Hyperhydrosis is excessive sweating. Sweating is one of the most important ways in which the body loses heat; however, people with Hyperhydrosis produce sweat in amounts far greater than needed to control their temperature.
What's happening in the body to cause Hyperhydrosis?
Hyperhydrosis is caused by over activity of one type of sweat gland, the eccrine gland. Many things can trigger normal sweating and this is also true for Hyperhydrosis - it's just the amount of sweating that's different. Examples include:
Stress, anxiety or strong emotions
Heat or cold
Certain times of the day
Alcohol, coffee or tea, smoking or spicy food
People with Hyperhydrosis can produce a large amount of sweat. This means that the armpits may be constantly damp. This can cause embarrassment at work or socially, and it may make normal everyday activities more difficult to carry out. But it is not true that Hyperhydrosis causes body odour: the smell that some think is due to sweating is in fact caused by bacteria on the skin if the sweat remains on the skin for a long time.
What can I do about Hyperhydrosis?
Simple self-help measures you can take include:
Choose clothing that will keep you cool. Natural fibres are cool but they absorb sweat and can remain damp; some synthetic fibres are warm but they wick sweat away from the body and feel dry.
Keep your work environment cool and well aired
Avoid the food and drinks that trigger sweating; these will be different for everyone and you will probably know what causes problems for you.
Stress, tension and anxiety are common problems for everyone, though people with Hyperhydrosis have the extra difficulties of coping with sweating. Think about how you can reduce stress during the day: plan your activities carefully and make time to relax.
Odour can be prevented by attention to personal hygiene (such as frequent showers); although this will not be convenient for people who constantly sweat, it is an effective and simple measure to take.
How does BOTOX work?
BOTOX is recommended for the treatment of Hyperhydrosis. When small doses are injected into the skin, BOTOX blocks the actions of the nerves that supply the eccrine glands: this prevents the glands from producing sweat. The effects of treatment last for several months but eventually they will wear off.
What happens during a course of treatment with BOTOX?
Using a very fine needle, you will be injected with a small amount of solution of BOTOX into 10 to 15 places about 1 cm apart and spread evenly in each armpit. Dye is used to show up areas where sweating is greatest and to show where injections should be placed. A course of treatment takes about 30 minutes.
How soon does it work and how long will it last?
You should notice some change for the better within the first week after your treatment. Your next treatment can be given when the effects of the first course wear off: this usually happens after an average of 7 months.
How effective is BOTOX at reducing sweating?
Different people have different responses to treatment. In a clinical trial, the average reduction in sweat production on week after treatment was 87% and sweating was reduced by at least half in 95% of patients.
What happens if I decide to stop treatment?
The effects of BOTOX wear off over a period of several months. If you decide not to have more treatment there will be no lasting change in the areas treating and sweating will gradually return to the level it was before you started treatment.
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