It is a condition that is often inherited and usually has no specific cause. Very occasionally, it can be related to an underlying disease process.
Most commonly, excessive sweating occurs on the palms, feet or under the arms. This can cause discomfort and embarrassment for patients and can make simple tasks difficult to perform.
Hyperhidrosis is usually diagnosed when patients have experienced at least six months of excessive sweating.
Severe hyperhidrosis is a chronic condition that can affect patients physically, psychologically and emotionally. It can be isolating and debilitating.
Although there are no cures, our dermatologists can treat and control hyperhidrosis.
Treatments available for Hyperhidrosis
There are a range of treatments we can offer our patients to treat hyperhidrosis, these include:
Aluminium hexachloride and glycopyrrolate may be applied locally to the affected areas.
This uses electricity to inhibit the sweat glands. Iontopheresis is usually reserved for the palms and soles. The hands or feet are placed into a tap water or glycopyrrolate solution, which then has a current passed through it. Usually you only feel mild tingling when this is happening. Different protocols are used. Often the treatment time is 30 minutes. This is usually initially given daily, then titrated out to weekly.
Muscle relaxant injections
This is most useful for under the arms. It involves injections under the skin which may cause a small amount of pain. Reduction in sweating often lasts for seven months or longer.
This treatment is now more affordable because of the new Medicare rebate.
As a last resort, there is a procedure called sympathectomy, which cuts the nerves that supply the sweat glands. We are able to refer our patients onto specialist surgeons who can perform this procedure. Obviously we will discuss the risks and benefits and together with you will decide whether this is the right step for you.
Hyperhidrosis Treatment Process
The first visit with our dermatologist will include a detailed history about the patient’s sweating.
If there is any indication of any other problems in the body, the doctor will perform the necessary blood tests to exclude any underlying health problems.
A tailored treatment plan for the patient’s hyperhidrosis will then be developed.