FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - EXCESSIVE SWEATING
What does treatment cost?
At Emetheni we charge $1000 for a complete treatment of both underarms. Currently in Australia there is no rebate from medicare or private insurance, except with treatment by a very limited number of approved Dermatologists.
What causes Underarm Hyperhidrosis?
Axillary Hyperhidrosis is a medical problem that involves more sweating than what is required by our body. Axillary Hyperhidrosis is caused by overactivity of the sweat glands and is present in 1% of the population and a family history is present in 30 to 50 % of patients suggesting a genetic component.
Axillary Hyperhidrosis and is triggered by
- Heat or cold
- Alcohol, coffee, tea, smoking , hot or spicy food,
- Stress , anxiety, strong emotions
- Certain times of the day
Social and functional working of the person is directly affected by Axillary Hyperhidrosis and can create anxiety and depression in the person suffering from it. The condition generally starts in adolescence; Hyperhydrosis is divided into primary or secondary hyperhidrosis. Secondary hyperhydrosis is usually generalised and often has all underlying pathologicaleatiology.
How is it treated?
Botulinum Toxin is used for excessive underarm perspiration. This is the same product we use for anti-wrinkle treatment. See Wrinkle reduction. It is given by micro injection into the skin, a procedure that takes approximately 10 minutes to perform.
What is the name of the product we are talking about?
The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration( TGA)forbids the advertisement of the name of the product we are talking about, although it is a household name, and recognised by over 97% of Australian women. Should you wish to know the specific name of the product, for your information, please e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does it work?
When small doses are given into the skin, it blocks the actions of the nerve that supplies the eccrine glands: this prevents the glands from producing sweat. The effects of the treatment usually last for several months but will eventually will wear off.
Dr Morley has successfully treated many patients for Axillary Hyperhidrosis with a simple and effective treatment for excessive sweating. The procedure takes:
- 20-30 minutes
- Is relatively painless, (we apply a special anaesthetic cream 1 hour prior to treatment)
- Involves a few injections into the underarm skin where the sweating is greatest
- To block the action of nerves that supply the sweat glands
- And stop the glands from producing sweat.
These results can last from 6 to 9months, and after 2 - 3 treatments it is progressively longer lasting (up to 18 months).
How does this treatment improve one's self esteem?
People with hyperhidrosis produce large volumes of sweat which means that the hands, feet, or armpits may be constantly damp. This may make normal every day activities more difficult to carry out and it can cause embarrassment at work or socially especially if one has give presentations where one constantly have to lift one's arms.
Is it safe?
Botulinum Toxin has also been approved by the FDA for the treatment of maxillary hyperhidrosis and has been safely used in all skin types. Botox can not be used in pregnant or nursing females. See Wrinkle Reduction.
How would one diagnose Axillary Hyperhydrosis?
If there is excessive sweating of at least 6 months duration with at least two of the following characteristics then primary Hyperhydrosisis present and this can be treated successfully.
- Bilateral and relatively symmetrical sweating?
- Impairs daily activity?
- At least one episode per week?
- Onset before the age of 25 years?
- Positive family history?
- Cessation of sweating during sleep?
What are other treatment options?
This procedure involves sending a small electrical current to the surface of the affected area while it is submerged in water. In general, treatments must be repeated 3-4 times per week. The procedure can be done at home using a home device. Although this procedure can be used for treating severe underarm sweating, it is usually more useful for controlling sweating in other areas of the body, such as the hands and feet.
A variety of surgical approaches have been used to treat severe sweating, but they are usually reserved for the most severe cases that do not respond to other treatments. One of the most common types of surgery used today for this condition is called endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS). With ETS, the patient is put to sleep with general anesthesia and then the surgeon attempts to interrupt the transmission of nerve signals between the spinal column and sweat glands in the affected area. This procedure requires special training, and may result in unwanted increased sweating from other areas of the body - called "compensatory sweating." Other types of surgery sometimes used for severe underarm sweating include liposuction and removal of the sweat glands under the armpits.
Herbal remedies such as sage tea or sage tablets, chamomile, valerian root and St. John's wort, as well as biofeedback, acupuncture, hypnosis, and relaxation techniques, are sometimes suggested as treatments for excessive sweating. However, there is little research at this time to indicate the effectiveness of such treatments.
What other tips can be useful?
While only a doctor can prescribe or perform certain hyperhidrosis treatments, there are things you can do to help make excessive sweating less of a burden on your everyday life:
- Bathe daily to keep the amount of bacteria on your skin in check.
- Dry yourself thoroughly after you bathe. Bacteria and fungi (which can cause body odour and infections on irritated skin) thrive in damp spaces, like between your toes. If you have sweaty feet, use foot powders to help absorb sweat.
- Apply antiperspirant products in the evening. Antiperspirants may be used on hands and feet as well as on underarms. Gently massaging them into the skin may be useful. If you’re using a prescription or high-potency antiperspirant, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and remember that these products may damage clothing and linens. To limit this damage, wear old pyjamas if the antiperspirant is applied at night, before bedtime.
- Choose air-permeable clothing. Wear natural fabrics, such as cotton, wool, and silk, which allow your skin to breathe. When you exercise, you might prefer high-tech fabrics that wick moisture away from your skin.
- “Dress shields,” small pads that go in your armpits to absorb sweat, may be an option for you. You may also want to keep an extra shirt with you for emergencies.
- Launder your clothes and/or change your shoes and clothing often.
- If you have trouble with sweaty feet, rotate your shoes. Your shoes may not dry out overnight, so try not to wear the same pair two days in a row.
- Wear the right socks. Moisture-wicking athletic socks are a good choice. These may be made of merino wool (which doesn’t itch) or a synthetic blend sometimes called “polypro.”
- Change your socks often. Change socks or pantyhose once or twice a day, drying your feet thoroughly each time. Women should try pantyhose with cotton soles.
- Air your feet. Go barefoot when you can, or at least slip out of your shoes now and then.
- Avoid hot beverages (such as coffee), alcohol, and spices, which can make you sweat.
- Try relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or biofeedback. These can help you learn to control the stress that can trigger perspiration.
- Change your diet. Make note of any foods or beverages that cause you to sweat more than usual. Consider eliminating caffeinated drinks (like coffee and cola) from your diet as well as alcohol, certain “hot” spices, and foods with strong odours, such as garlic and onions.
- Join a support group or online discussion board for moral support and to learn more about new treatments.