Hyperhidrosis

(excessive sweating)

What is Hyperhidrosis ?

Hyperhidrosis, alternatively known as excessive sweating, is a common condition where individuals experience uncontrollable sweating throughout the day.  The prevalence of hyperhidrosis is approximately 2-3 percent and individuals commonly experience excessive sweating under their arms and in the palms and soles of their feet.  Sweating often occurs as a method for the body to lower its core body temperature and but in individuals with hyperhidrosis,  excessive sweating can negatively affect work productivity and confidence, as well as cause social and emotional discomfort.  

Between the physical discomfort, social discomfort, and emotional effects of hyperhidrosis, this is a serious condition that deserves medical attention from a caring and knowledgeable professional. If you are experience excessive sweating and live in the Toronto area, you can get that medical attention from Dr. Chivers at the Canadian Plastic Surgery Centre. He and his staff are highly familiar with hyperhidrosis and have a strong track record of successfully reducing or removing the symptoms through treatment.

 
What is the causes of Hyperhidrosis

Sweating is normally triggered by our nervous systems when the body temperature rises in order to help cool itself.  There are two types of hyperhidrosis: Primary hyperhidrosis and Secondary hyperhidrosis.

Primary hyperhidrosis, also known as focal or essential hyperhidrosis occurs when the nerves responsible for signaling to the sweat glands become overactive without regular triggers such as the rise in body temperature, stress or nervousness.  This type of hyperhidrosis typically involves sweat glands of the hands, feet and sometimes the face.

Secondary hyperhidrosis is typically a more diffuse syndrome that is a result of another medical conditions.  Medical conditions that can cause excessive sweating include: diabetes, hyperthyroidism, menopause, low blood sugar, certain types of cancers and nervous system disorders.  Typically, treatment of underlying conditions, will treat symptoms of hyperhidrosis.

Suitable Candidates

Candidates for hyperhidrosis treatment are patients that are in generally good health and experience excessive sweating in any portion of their body. Common places for excessive sweating are the underarms, soles, palms and on their face, though it is possible that you may experience excessive sweating in other places. Additional symptoms that prompt people to seek treatment include:

  • Sweating that disrupts your daily routine

  • Sweating that causes emotional distress or social withdrawal

  • Sudden sweating that is more than usual

  • Difficulty maintaining dry clothes

 
 
Treatment of Hyperhidrosis

There are many treatment methods for hyperhidrosis.  Typically if your hyperhidrosis is diffused and is due to an underlying medical condition and treatment of the condition would cause cessation of the sweating.  For individuals who experiences excessive sweating in isolated areas, such as the palms, soles of the feet, face or axilla, injection with Botulinum toxin (Botox) and surgery are alternative management options.

Botulinum Toxin (Botox) - Botox is one of the most common treatment for hyperhidrosis.  Botox functions by blocking the nerves in the areas where it is injected, causing paralysis of the muscles those nerves stimulate.  In that same way, nerves that stimulate sweat glands causing excessive sweating are blocked by botulinum toxin which reduces the sweating in the locally injected area.  Botox treatment for hyperhidrosis is not a permanent solution as the protein is broken down by the  body and repeated treatment every few months is typically necessary for continual management of hyperhidrosis.  This treatment consists of a series of small botox injections into the area where excessive sweating is occuring.  These injections are performed without anesthetic and pain resolves over 1-2 days.

Surgery - surgical management is typically more invasive but a more definitive management solution.  Surgical management involves the cutting or dissection of the sympathetic nerves that control sweat glands to the areas where excessive sweating occurs.  Surgery is typically not a option of isolated hyperhydrosis in the head and neck area and is currently not offered at the Canadian Plastic Surgery Centre.

 

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