Hyperhidrosis – a condition characterized by excessive sweating of the armpits, feet, hands, under the breasts and groin – can cause much social discomfort and embarrassment for its sufferers. If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis, book a private medical consultation at our Vancouver, BC clinic to discuss hyperhidrosis treatment options.
What is hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating, affects approximately 3% (950,000) of Canadians according to the Canadian Dermatology Association. Hyperhidrosis is classified as primary when it is not a symptom of another condition, or secondary, when it is, as is sometimes the case with conditions such as hyperthyroidism or menopause.
Sufferers become desperate to stop sweating, yet many, unaware that treatments exist, don’t seek medical help. Hyperhidrosis can be frustrating, causing its sufferers to become hypervigilant about their problem. They may change clothing frequently, cover up (even in warmer weather), take trips to the washroom to check that sweat isn’t showing, or to blot their sweating skin. They want to know how to stop sweating, try many things, and, the resultant anxiety just seems to make things worse.
The condition is annoying and uncomfortable, but moreover, affects confidence and self-esteem, and can make some people avoid social situations altogether.
Symptoms of hyperhidrosis
The severity of hyperhidrosis is assessed by determining how much the condition disrupts daily life. You may have hyperhidrosis if you:
- Sweat excessively at any time of year
- Change clothes frequently because of dampness, sweat marks or stains
- Feel dampness even when wearing anti-perspirant
- Use absorbent pads under clothing
- Avoid certain fabrics and styles of clothing
- Frequently check to see if sweat stains are visible
- Dab areas of sweat to ensure stains are not visible
- Feel anxious in social situations because you’re afraid sweat stains may be visible
What causes hyperhidrosis?
When not caused by an underlying conditions, such as obesity, menopause, and hyperthyroidism, hyperhidrosis is an idiopathic condition (no known cause), but seems to have a strong genetic link. According to this medical article about causes and treatments for hyperhidrosis, 30-60% of patients have a positive family history. Hyperhidrosis may be triggered by heat, stress, overexertion, and even spicy food. The anxiety caused by the disorder can make it self-perpetuating: a person is sweaty so feels anxious and the anxiety causes them to sweat.
There are several treatments that can be effective for treating hyperhidrosis, including:
Aluminium chloride anti-perspirant
Anti-perspirants containing 20-25% aluminium chloride (so called “clinical strength” anti-perspirants) are often the first line of defense for excessive sweating. Clinical strength anti-perspirant is available without prescription at most pharmacies and even in the personal hygiene aisle of your neighbourhood supermarket. Stronger prescription anti-perspirants may contain up to 30% aluminium chloride, which is sometimes effective, but can cause skin irritation.
Tap water iontophoresis
Iontophoresis, a treatment used for sweaty hands and feet, electrically charges a basin of tap water into which hands or feet are submerged. One study of the treatment reported that it is effective for palmoplantar (hands and feet) hyperhidrosis, and reported that 24/27 patients found the treatment dramatically improved their condition.
Botox for hyperhidrosis
Botox injections are an effective treatment for hyperhidrosis. Botox is injected near the sweat glands in a quick and relatively painless treatment. Clinical studies on the treatment of hyperhidrosis with Botox has demonstrated that up to 81% of patients had a 50% reduction in sweating that lasted on average up to 6.7 months.
- Underarms – are the most common and easiest place to treat. Botox in injected with tiny needles just under the skin. It takes only minutes to complete.
- Hands – also respond well to Botox injections.
- Forehead – sweating occurs near the hair line and drips down the face. A few small injections easily treats this.
- Feet – like the hands, often require some anaesthetic before treatment. It is not uncommon to find improvement of the feet after just the hands are treated.
More about hyperhidrosis
- View Botox for hyperhidrosis study results.
- Read this medical article on hyperhidrosis causes and treatments.
- Botox for hyperhidrosis studies at the International Hyperhidrosis Society.
AMAZING STAFF AND HIGHLY SPECIALIZED CARE
A few weeks ago I decided to google search to see what places offered Botox injections for my excessive facial sweating then I came across a few websites that I was interested in, began to do my research and even made a few phone calls to make sure the staff were friendly and the services they provided was what I wanted. Anyways, it came down to one place I was absolutely interested in and that was this clinic. The first impression when I got in was absolutely amazing. The designs of everything was very contemporary, professional and inviting. Finally, I met Dr. Frame and the rest of his staff and they provided me the best care. They even took their time explain to me what to expect before and after the Botox procedure. Everyone was really knowledgeable and experienced that I wasn’t scared for a second that they would do a bad job and for it to turn out badly. Once again, I am completely impressed with this clinic and would continue on getting services with them. You should too!!!