Sweating is a natural and vital process that helps regulate the body temperature. However, some people experience excessive sweating without significant physical movement or exposure to heat. This condition of extreme sweating is called hyperhidrosis, and it is believed to affect approximately 2-3% of the world’s population.
Hyperhidrosis can affect the whole body or only specific body areas. The most commonly affected body regions include the following
- Soles of your feet.
- Palms of your hands.
- Face and chest.
Although not a significant health concern, hyperhidrosis can take away your body’s freshness and make you feel less hygienic. As a result, you may feel embarrassed and have low self-esteem.
Fortunately, various hyperhidrosis treatment options are available to help you regain your quality of life.
Types of Hyperhidrosis
There are two types of hyperhidrosis: primary hyperhidrosis and secondary hyperhidrosis.
Primary hyperhidrosis may run in the family, meaning that if you have this condition, you may have inherited it from other family members. This problem generally starts in childhood or adolescence and may stay the same or worsen with age.
Primary hyperhidrosis may also result from overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the ‘fight-or-flight’ response to stress.
Secondary hyperhidrosis results from other conditions or factors, some of which are
- Neurologic syndromes
- Diabetes mellitus
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Medications that cause sweating as a side-effect
- Injury to the spinal cord
It is pertinent to note that night sweats can indicate some cancers. Therefore, if you excessively sweat only at night, consult a doctor to rule out the cancer risk.
The exact cause of hyperhidrosis is not fully understood, but it appears to involve overactivity in the sweat glands. Certain triggers or problems commonly associated with hyperhidrosis include the following
- Pregnancy or menopause
- Low blood sugar levels
- Specific medications
- An overactive thyroid gland
The primary symptom of hyperhidrosis is extreme sweating without the usual triggers, such as exercise, heat, stress, or anxiety. This sweating is so excessive that it can disrupt routine tasks like working on the computer or writing on paper.
Hyperhidrosis commonly affects feet, hands, and underarms, making these areas dripping with sweat. It may also affect the head and face (craniofacial hyperhidrosis), causing disruptions in social and intimate interactions.
How is Hyperhidrosis Diagnosed?
Hyperhidrosis can be diagnosed through several methods, some of which are discussed below.
Medical and Family History
Your doctor may ask about the frequency and severity of your sweating episodes and any medical conditions you have. They may also ask if anyone in your family is or was affected by this problem. Based on the readings, they will establish whether your sweating problem falls under hyperhidrosis.
Your dermatologist or doctor may perform a physical checkup to diagnose your hyperhidrosis. This test usually involves looking closely at the areas that sweat a lot. The doctor may also ask specific questions about your condition to determine why you sweat excessively.
The starch-iodine test is one of the most common tests for diagnosing hyperhidrosis. It first involves applying an iodine solution to the problem area. When the solution dries up, starch is applied. If the combination forms a dark blue color, it means you have hyperhidrosis.
A Vapometer is a device that measures Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) – a unit representing the quantity of water passing through the skin layers to leave the body. While primarily used to evaluate skin barrier function and moisture levels, this device may help diagnose hyperhidrosis in the underarms, hands, feet, and scalp. The higher TEWL readings denote unusual fluid expulsion through the skin, potentially indicating hyperhidrosis.
Botox for Hyperhidrosis
Botox has been shown to be an effective method for treating hyperhidrosis. While it can be performed on various body parts, it works more effectively in the armpits. Generally, it is considered when topical treatments are unsuccessful.
Botox for hyperhidrosis involves injecting botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, directly into the areas affected by excessive sweating. This toxin inhibits the release of the neurotransmitter responsible for the overactivity of sweat glands, curbing excessive sweat production.
Botox for hyperhidrosis is a simple procedure that doesn’t require significant preparation. However, to improve the prospects of a better outcome, you may need to follow some instructions, such as the following
- Avoid shaving the treatment area for 2-3 days before the treatment.
- Stop using blood thinners a few days before the treatment after consulting with your healthcare provider to prevent bruising.
- Tell your doctor about your medications. Do not stop taking them unless the doctor tells you to do so.
The appointment usually lasts 45 minutes to an hour, and the injections take 20-30 minutes.
- Depending on your pain threshold, the doctor may use a numbing solution or local anesthesia.
- Then, the area where Botox injections are to be administered is marked.
- The Botox injections are administered using a fine needle, usually in a grid pattern. You may receive 15-20 injections, depending on the size of the treatment area. The distance between every two injection sites is generally one or two centimeters.
Your doctor may schedule follow-up visits to check for missed spots after a few days.
After the Botox procedure for hyperhidrosis, you should be able to return to your job or resume routine tasks. That being said, some aftercare will be needed to ensure a smooth recovery and desired outcome.
Aftercare guidelines after Botox for Hyperhidrosis include the following
- Keep the treated area clean. Pay special attention if the treated region is your underarm.
- Avoid using deodorants and antiperspirants for at least 24 hours.
- Avoid shaving the underarms for 24 hours.
- Stay away from hot temperatures for at least 24 hours.
- Do not engage in strenuous physical activities for a day.
- Avoid alcohol consumption.
- Do not touch or rub the treated area for 24 hours.
Risks and Complications
Common side effects of Botox for hyperhidrosis are
- Swelling, pain, and stinging in the injection areas.
- Hot flashes.
Less common side effects of the procedure area
- Temporary muscle pain.
- Stiffness of the joints.
- Pain in the armpits.
When provided by an experienced practitioner, Botox should reduce hyperhidrosis significantly in the first 2-4 days. The treatment may come into full effect after two weeks.
Botox for hyperhidrosis can help reduce excessive sweating, particularly in the underarms, by 50% to 85%. The treatment results are temporary but may last several months. The exact longevity may vary from person to person, though.
Cost of Botox for Hyperhidrosis
The average starting cost of Botox for hyperhidrosis or sweaty glands in Dubai is AED 3500. The exact price of the treatment may vary based on several factors, such as
- Size and location of the treatment area.
- Number of injections being administered.
- The expertise of the practitioner.
- Location and reputation of the treatment facility.
Other Treatments for Hyperhidrosis
Various clinical methods and medications are available to treat hyperhidrosis. We are going to explain the top options prescribed and practiced worldwide.
Laser therapy: Laser treatment for hyperhidrosis generally employs a laser beam upon the treatment region. Laser wavelengths typically used to treat fat have also been found to treat excessive sweating. This method can help target and destroy sweat glands in the affected areas, reducing extreme sweating.
Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS): This treatment involves cutting sympathetic nerves using specific equipment. It is a minimally invasive procedure performed through two small incisions, one on each side of the chest. A specialized miniature camera is also inserted through those incisions to monitor the nerves. ETS effectively treats extreme sweating of the hands (palmar hyperhidrosis).
Medications: The most common drugs and medications used to treat hyperhidrosis include
- Prescription antiperspirants.
- Prescriptions creams and wipes.
- Medications to block nerves that cause overactivity of the sweat glands, e.g., Anticholinergic drugs that work by blocking the actions of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps stimulate sweat production.
- Antidepressants (used typically when abnormal sweating is due to stress or anxiety).
Schedule a Consultation
Regain your freshness with hyperhidrosis treatment at Dubai Cosmetic Surgery. For details, call us at +971 4 348 5575. Fill out the form below if you want to book a consultation online.
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