December 5, 2016

Beat the heat – Treatment for Excessive Sweating

Written by Dr Kate Jameson

It’s summer time here in Perth and with that comes the added stress to those who suffer from excessive sweating.

Hyperhidrosis is the medical term used for those who experience excessive levels of perspiration due to overactive sweat glands. It commonly affects the underarms (axilla), the palms and the feet. Hyperhidrosis can be socially debilitating and cause distress and embarrassment.

In the absence of an underlying medical cause for the condition (please read our treatment information page on hyperhidrosis) there is an effective treatment option for those who want to have some relief over these warmer summer months.

Anti-wrinkle injections can be used to treat this bothersome condition (is there any thing cosmetic injectables can’t do???) and I’ll explain the treatment below using the armpit as an example as this is the most commonly treated area.

Anti-wrinkle Injections for Excessive Sweating

The use of anti-wrinkle injections is a simple and effective treatment for excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis. It involves the injection of small amounts of wrinkle relaxer into the dermis where the sweat glands are found. Here the anti-wrinkle injections work to inhibit the transmission of the nerve impulse that stimulates the sweat gland thus rendering the sweat gland ineffective. The end result of an inactive sweat gland? You guessed it, no more perspiration.

What does the procedure involve?

Prior to performing the procedure, our cosmetic nurses or doctors, will perform a consultation and examination to determine the exact area where the excessive sweating occurs. This is done by using iodine and starch powder which marks out the exact location of the sweat glands. It can sometimes be a bit messy but it enables the precise injection of the product to ensure the best result from treatment. Alternatively we can examine the skin and often find the exact area where the excessive sweating is occurring.

After the area has been marked with the ‘starch test’ we will mark out the treatment area in a grid pattern, again to enable precise delivery of the anti-wrinkle injection. Once marked out it is as simple as injecting small amounts of product into the dermis (not deep into the muscle like with anti-wrinkle injections for the face). The whole treatment lasts around 10-15 minutes and is relatively painless. Down time is minimal and you can head back to work straight afterwards.

How long will the results last?

The results do vary from person to person but the ball park figure is anywhere from 6-9 months. A small top up may be needed and repeat treatments if the hyperhidrosis is particularly severe.

Results will be evident within 1-2 weeks following treatment. I would advise avoiding any sweat inducing activities for 24 hours after the treatment eg spas, saunas, hot showers and excessive exercise.

How much does the treatment cost?

The cost of treatment can be found here.

“The use of anti-wrinkle injections to treat hyperhidrosis is a non-surgical option which is not only extremely effective but affordable, comfortable and offers almost immediate results. “

I have had wonderful feedback from patients after this treatment.

We all know how uncomfortable sweating on hot days can be and how embarrassing it is when those sweat patches appear on our crisp white tees. Imaging not having to worry about those tell tale marks – be it on a hot day out with friends, during a stressful meeting at work or on a first date?

As with the majority of procedures I perform it really comes down to improving the confidence of my patients. If I can offer a treatment that assists with improving self-esteem, confidence and comfort in my patients then I will endorse it 100%.

Although there are simple methods to combat excessive sweating such as aluminium based topical treatments and iontophoresis (placing the hands and feet in a bath of ionised water with a gentle current passing through) none are as effective or long lasting as injections.

The alternative option with permanent results are a surgical sympathectomy (this involves dividing the sympathetic nerves that supply the sweat glands) and a new treatment called ‘Miradry’ however these are not currently offered at Youth Lab.

Again, I hope this offers some useful information and advice about a popular and effective treatment.

Dr Kate