What is hyperhydrosis?
Hyperhydrosis is a condition in which an individual sweats excessively. It is relativly common with 1-3% of the population affected. Areas affected include palms, feet, groin and of course, armpits (axillae).
What is excessive sweating?
There is no strict, medical definition of what constitutes excessive sweating. However if you feel that your sweating negatively affects your everyday life and causes you anxiety in social situations then it could be described as excessive. Patients with hyperhydrosis typically complain of having to change their clothes several times a day. They may be reluctant to engage in certain activities such as exercise for fear of making sweating worse, they may also become anxious/ self conscious when engaging in physical contact.
What causes it?
The causes of hyperhydrosis are very varied. Occasionally there may be a serious underlying condition such as hyperthyroidism (at Array one of our medical team will take a history and may examine you to rule these out before prescribing any treatment for underarm sweating). A consultation may be required with your GP before considering treatment. However, in the vast majority of cases there is no sinister underlying problem, most people suffer from primary hyperhydrosis – this means the body’s sweat glands produce excessive sweat for no particular reason.
What treatment options are there?
For most people, the first line treatment will be anti-perspirants. There are various over the counter and prescriptions available.
Some people turn to home remedies such as Apple vinegar or baking soda – as you can imagine these have questionable effectiveness at best.
At the most extreme end of the spectrum a surgical procedure called a sympathectomy can be used to reduce underarm sweating. This involves a surgeon cutting the nerves which supply the sweat glands of the axillae and is for obvious reasons, a last resort.
What about Botox?
For people in whom anti-perspirants have proved ineffective Botox injections to the underarm are an excellent option. It works by blocking the nerves that supply the apocrine glands (sweat glands) in the armpits thus preventing them from producing sweat.
Botox is effective in over 90% of patients and one treatment typically lasts 6-12 months.
What can I expect?
If you feel you may benefit from hyperhydrosis treatment please make an appointment with one of the specialist doctors at Array in Belfast. At your consultation the doctor will take a history and examine you to determine whether or not Botox is the right option for you.
If you opt to proceed, the treatment involves shaving and cleaning the underarms. The doctor will then perform a series of injections into both armpits. Some people are squeamish /nervous about the injections but, because the needles are so small and the injections so superficial (just under the skin) most patients describe the procedure as almost painless.
Maximal results should be seen within 7-10 days. As with all injectable treatments at Array you will be followed up by a doctor after 2 weeks.
Interested in botox for excessive sweating in Belfast? Contact us here to book a free consultation