Excessive sweating – what it is, why it happens, how to treat it
What is excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)?
We consider a patient to sweat excessively (or, in medical terms, suffer from hyperhidrosis), when his or her body produces sweat without any plausible reason – like a rise in temperature or intense physical activity.
Hyperhidrosis can be passed down in our family and be hereditary (called primary hyperhidrosis) or it can be caused by an underlying medical issue (called secondary hyperhidrosis).
What health conditions may lead to excessive sweating?
- Diabetic hypoglycemia;
- Fever of undetermined cause;
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid);
- Medication side effects, such as sometimes experienced when taking some beta-blockers and antidepressants;
- Neurologic disease;
- Pheochromocytoma (a rare adrenal gland tumor);
Solutions for excessive sweating
First of all, the patient should undergo a series of tests to ensure that his excessive sweating is of the primary kind – genetic – and not of the secondary kind – caused by health issues. If the cause for excessive sweating is caused by another medical issue, then treatment should be sought in that area.
For primary hyperhidrosis, there are two main solutions: endolift or botox injections.
“Endolift” is the name of the latest non-surgical treatment, using the Eufoton/Aton laser.
The Endolift procedure is performed using an optical fiber measuring 200 to 600 microns, which allows the laser energy to be discharged directly into the subcutaneous tissue. The technique used has an immediate tissue lifting effect, but also a long-term regeneration result. This lifting effect contributes to a decreased secretion of sweat.
Endolift treatment is an intervention that involves local anesthesia, does not cause pain, and the patient can go home immediately, being a non-invasive procedure – one that lasts a maximum of 30 minutes.
The result appears immediately, becomes more visible after 3 weeks, and continues to improve up to three to six months.
Most people require one or two treatment sessions. Mild local pain may occur, as well as mild burning sensations that may last for 4-5 hours – which we control with oral painkillers.
Edema can occur in the treated areas for 2-3 days and resolves without medication. Massage can help resolve them faster. Ecchymoses can appear in the treated areas, which disappear in 7-10 days.
Botox injections are a common solution for primary hyperhidrosis. They are currently only used for the underarm area. The botox (Botulinum toxin) injection blocks the nerves responsible for activating your sweat glands.
This is a non-invasive and quick intervention, and results are visible after 5 to 7 days. The results can last anywhere from 3 to 5 months, depending on the dose. Regular visits for reinjecting the botox are recommended every 6 months.
Botulinum toxin injection is not recommended for people who:
- Are currently going through pregnancy or breastfeeding;
- Have local infections at the injection site;
- Have hypersensitivity reactions to botulinum toxin;
- Have neuromuscular disorders (myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis);
- Are over 65 years old – this contraindication is due to the lack of an adequate clinical response;
- Are allergic to albumin or a human source;
- Have been treated with Aspirin, Aspenter, Plavix, Clexane, Sintrom or another platelet anticoagulant / antiplatelet agent in the last two weeks (this creates an increased risk of bruising).
Side effects of botox
Most patients tolerate botox very well and experience no side effects after the injections. However, for a small minority, side effects may include:
- pain or bruising at the injection site
- flu-like symptoms
Excessive sweating can be annoying and can lead to a decrease in self-esteem. Although there is no permanent solution for this issue, the treatments that are available at the moment are fast, non-invasive, and highly efficient.
If you suffer from excessive sweating, book an appointment today, and let’s see what the best solution is for you!