Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating)
Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating)?
What Causes Hyperhidrosis?
People with hyperhidrosis have higher than normal levels of nerve stimulation of the sweat glands. This stimulation can be more or less continuous in some patients, or it can be intermittently active, triggered by heat, anxiety, or physical stimulation. Patients with hyperhidrosis often report other symptoms suggestive of high rates of sympathetic nerve activity: higher resting pulse rate, flushing of the skin, sensations of warmth, etc. No one knows why this increased nerve tone is present. There is clearly a genetic influence, however, as we frequently see groups of sweaters in the same family.
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Treating Hyperhidrosis with Neurotoxins
Sweat glands require stimulation by nerve fibers, which are part of the sympathetic nervous system. These fibers originate in the spinal cord and extend up to the undersurface of the skin where they branch into tiny fibers that extend to the sweat glands.
Neurotoxins like Botox inhibit the release of a chemical messenger (acetylcholine). This is released at the nerve endings and stimulates sweat glands. If there is no release of the chemical messenger, there is no stimulation of the glands. If there is no stimulation, the glands simply sit there doing nothing and the skin remains dry.
Effectiveness of BOTOX for Excessive Sweating
The typical axillary (underarms) sufferer will be treated on both sides on the initial visit and 85 – 100% reduction in sweating is usually achieved with one treatment. Palmer (hands) patients are more difficult to treat and the results are not as successful. Feet are the most difficult to treat and the least effective. Both the hands and the feet are much more painful to treat and not as effective, therefore we usually recommend treating the underarms first before attempting to treat hands or feet.
Can You Stop Sweating On The Face and Head?
We have successfully treated a number of patients who have sweating of the anterior scalp and upper forehead, although it is not as effective as axillary sweating. It is impossible to treat the entire scalp, therefore injections are usually restricted to the upper forehead, frontal and posterior scalp and neck.
Will I Sweat More In Other Areas After Treatment?
No, the effects of the neurotoxins are strictly focal. Since only small surface areas are treated (axillary skin, palms, soles, upper forehead, etc.) the rest of the skin on the:
- and face sweats as before.
The body has an internal mechanism to maintain normal body temperature.
Are Neurotoxins Safe?
Neurotoxins, such as Botox, are purified proteins produced by bacteria. Minimal amounts of the medication are injected directly into the areas being treated. The neurotoxin particle is too large to move from where it has been injected, therefore it cannot travel to other parts of the body. It has been widely tested and has been found to be extremely safe. There is a rare risk of allergic reaction.
How Much Neurotoxin Will I Need For Treatment?
Each vial of neurotoxin contains 100 units and the average dose for underarms is 1 – 2 vials. For most women and smaller men, 1 vial should be sufficient. 2 vials are recommended for larger patients and those who are extremely active. Most patients will have 70 – 100% reduction in sweating that lasts anywhere from 6-12 months, although results may vary.
Alternative Hyperhidrosis Treatment Options
There are other alternatives to treat hyperhidrosis, but these are not offered at Remington Laser Dermatology Centre. These include: