This can be defined as "Excessive sweating beyond what is required for temperature regulation"
There are two sub-types of this sweating disorder;
Primary- When this is no identifiable cause
Generalised - When there is an underlying condition, medication or disorder.
The majority of patients suffer from Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis and this typically affects a small number of sites such as the hands, feet, face or underarm area. This condition usually starts in childhood and may run in families. It can be embarrassing and interfere with daily activities.
Generalised hyperhidrosis tends to begin well after your teenage years and sweating occurs over a larger part of the body and often when sleeping.
Treatment With Botulinum Toxin
Botulinum Toxin (commonly referred to as the brand name 'Botox') is a bacterial protein which works by blocking the release of a neurotransmitter responsible for switching sweat glands 'on'. This results in a temporary reduction in sweat produced in the targeted area.
How is it done?
The toxin is injected very superficially into the skin of the treatment area. The amount of injections required will depend on size of the target site, with underarms typically requiring 12-20 per side. Treatment takes around 30 minutes and is generally very well tolerated, with local anaesthetics not normally being required.
How long do results last?
Although you will not stop sweating entirely, you can expect up to a 75% reduction in sweat in the treated area. Initial treatment can last up to 4 months and, with subsequent treatments, results can last up to 9 months to 1 year.
Will it make me sweat more elsewhere?
No. The toxin works by preventing the production of sweat in the glands of the treated area only. These particular glands are NOT involved in thermoregulation (control of body temperature) so treatment does not have any effect on glands remote from the treatment site.
Sweating and the Menopause
Secondary hyperhidrosis can be caused by the menopause. Sweating can be sudden and produce large volumes of sweat. Hot flushes in the day often affect the neck, chest and head and are accompanied by sweating.
Treatment of the affected areas with Botulinum Toxin and significantly reduce the amount of sweat produced (by up to 75%) and may even help with flushing.