Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)

All individuals sweat, and it is essential for regulating body temperature. However, some people experience excessive sweating that becomes a nuisance, affecting up to 3 per cent of the population. This can manifest as stains on clothing or sweaty palms. This condition is called hyperhidrosis in medical terms, which means sweating more than necessary for regulating body temperature.

What is hyperhidrosis?

Sweating is the body's way of regulating heat. There are two types of sweat glands: One type of gland contributes to cooling by evaporation (sweating) and is found all over the body except for the lips. The second type is called the "scent glands", which give the smell of sweat and are mainly found in the armpits, in the abdomen and around the nipples.

In some people, the body produces more sweat than is necessary and it is called hyperhidrosis in the technical language. Excessive sweating is completely harmless but can be embarrassing for those affected.

Treatment

The most effective treatment is treatment with botox. Only localized hyperhidrosis can be treated with Botox, as only the areas that are injected will feel the effect. Generalized sweating is rather treated with tablets to inhibit the sweating.

Botox is a muscle relaxant that blocks the nerve impulses from the sweat glands, so you produce less sweat. This is done by injecting Botox deep into the skin where the most active sweat glands have been located. The effect will not spread to other places in the body where Botox has been injected.

The effect itself lasts for 4-6 months, so it is not a permanent solution. It may still be a better alternative than using daily medication and creams to keep the sweating problem at bay. If you repeat the treatment over time, the sweat glands will also become less active, and the effect will last all the longer.

FAQs about hyperhidrosis

How is the consultation with a dermatologist?

The dermatologist will have an initial consultation where you get an overview of which type of treatment is suitable for your situation and will on that basis apply to have the drug covered on a blue prescription. When the prescription is ready, a new treatment appointment is arranged where the patient has the prescripted drug taken out at the pharmacy. If you already have the medicine, you can book an appointment for an injection without prior consultation. The toxin is injected via a syringe into the armpit. If necessary, you get a local anaesthetic cream against the needle sticks.

How does the treatment take place?

The toxin is injected via a very thin needle tip into the armpit. The nerve impulses to the sweat glands are blocked only in the area where the dermatologist makes the injection, not elsewhere in the body. This is set approx. 20-25 stitches in each armpit. Anaesthetic cream is used as needed.

What can I expect in the days after treatment?

There are minimal side effects after treatment. You may experience some tenderness at the injection site. You can get small wounds where the stings are set, but there is little risk of infection as they close quickly. No wound washing is required, only normal hygiene. It may sting a little when applying soap and deodorant, but it is not dangerous. Everyday chores can be resumed immediately after treatment.

How long does the treatment last?

The effect of the treatment occurs after 4-10 days and lasts for 4-12 months. The effect is reversible and you can repeat the treatment if needed. The effect usually lasts longer after repeated injections.

The activity of the sweat glands will decrease after repeated treatments and in most people will lead to less sweating in the long run.

Who is the treatment not suitable for?

Pregnant women, breastfeeding women and those suffering from certain muscular and neurological diseases should not be treated with this method. The toxin has an unexplained effect on fetuses and infants receiving breast milk.

Doctor
General Practitioner

At Dr.Dropin our experienced GPs provide a wide range of primary care services, similar to those provided by the NHS, either in the clinic or through video consultations.

Dermatologist

At Dr.Dropin, you will receive specialist care from our expert Consultant Dermatologists provided by skindoc. With extensive experience from both public and private hospitals, we can assess and treat most chronic and acute skin disorders – either in the clinic, through video, or via a photo upload service.