What is hyperhidrosis?

Sweating is a normal bodily function.

We all sweat to help keep the body at a steady temperature so that all the chemical reactions inside work properly.

We sweat more when it is hot, when we exercise and when we are stressed or anxious.

Some people sweat much more than is needed to control their body temperature and this is known as hyperhidrosis.

“I had hyperhidrosis of the hands, feet, and armpits, and experienced all the demoralising symptoms mentioned by others: soggy paper, smelly shoes, sweat patches on clothing, embarrassment about taking off my shoes, raising my arms, shaking or holding hands, etc. Physical contact with other people was very difficult for me, as I was painfully aware that I was not pleasant to touch.”

Primary hyperhidrosis is when there is no secondary cause for the excess sweating such as certain medications, or secondary to another illness. It can be distinguished from secondary hyperhidrosis, in that It does not cause sweating when asleep. It affects 1% of the population. It can be inherited but there are also cases where people develop it and have no family history of the condition.

Primary hyperhidrosis is localised, and concentrated in certain areas such as the hands, feet, armpits, groin, back, head and face and almost always occurs on both sides of the body.

Secondary hyperhidrosis is generalised, presenting itself all over the body and not always in a specific area. We do not know what causes primary hyperhidrosis.

The reason the hands, feet and armpit are affected is because there are more sweat glands in these areas than anywhere else in the body. However hyperhidrosis can also affect the scalp, face and groin.

The procedure is carried out by doing multiple injections, a few cm apart into your armpits. The procedure lasts between 15-20 minutes and should not cause any discomfort. The treatment lasts between four and seven months. Once it starts to wear off, you need to have it again if you want to keep the effect going.

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