Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating)

Underarm Sweating

Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating)

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 antiperspirants
  • 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 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.

Hyperhidrosis treatments

There are several treatments that can be effective for treating hyperhidrosis, including:

Aluminium chloride antiperspirant

Antiperspirants containing 20-25% aluminium chloride (so-called “clinical strength” antiperspirants) are often the first line of defence for excessive sweating. Clinical strength antiperspirant is available without a prescription at most pharmacies and even in the personal hygiene aisle of your neighbourhood supermarket. Stronger prescription antiperspirants 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.

Neuromodulators for hyperhidrosis

Neuromodulator injections are an effective treatment for hyperhidrosis. It is injected near the sweat glands in a quick and relatively painless treatment. Clinical studies on the treatment of hyperhidrosis with Neuromodulators 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 is injected with tiny needles just under the skin.  It takes only minutes to complete.
  • Hands – also respond well to Neuromodulator injections.
  • Forehead – sweating occurs near the hairline and drips down the face.  A few small injections easily treat 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


A few weeks ago I decided to google search to see what places offered neuromodulators 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, it 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 with the best care. They even took their time to explain to me what to expect before and after the 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!!!

Winnie Lam Property Manager
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