Hyperhidrosis is the condition whereby an individual has abnormally increased or excessive perspiration or sweating which can occur on any part of the body, although the most commonly affected sites are the hands, feet, armpits and groin area. Hyperhidrosis usually starts in childhood or adolescence and can continue well into adulthood and beyond.
Injectables are also a popular choice, particularly if other treatments have failed to improve the sweating. They cannot cure hyperhidrosis, but it provides temporary relief. It is injected into the skin and it works by blocking the nerves that supply the eccrine glands. This prevents them from producing sweat. Although BTX-A is typically very effective, it can be painful if it is used to treat the hands and feet unless a local anaesthetic is applied. Treatment also needs to be repeated every 3-6 months.
Price between £600 – £1,000 (underarms)
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term used to describe excessive sweating, whereby the body produces more sweat than is needed to regulate its temperature. This can be due to overproduction of a specific neurotransmitter in the sympathetic nervous system (your body’s ‘thermostat’), a side effect of medication, an overactive thyroid gland and menopause to name a few. Hyperhidrosis is very inconvenient and uncomfortable for the affected person and cause social and emotional distress, especially if it impacts their daily lives. The excessive sweating usually occurs in the armpits, face, hands, or soles of the feet but can also affect the whole body and is more common than people may realise, with the NHS website claiming over one million people in England are affected by it. It is important for anyone suffering from hyperhidrosis to realise it is a diagnosable medical condition and the first step would always be to contact your GP to discuss your options. Injections may be one such option and depending on the policy of your Primary Care Trust, the injections may be available on the NHS. If not, you may have to pay for the treatment at a private clinic like our own.
The treatment is a protein that can be injected into the areas of concern in small doses and block the action of nerves that supply the eccrine glands, thus significantly reducing the production of sweat. The treatment is a prescription drug and FDA approved in the treatment of severe primary hyperhidrosis of the underarm and it has also been shown to be effective in treating other areas, such as the palms and feet with regards to excessive sweating. Although its use in this field is still relatively new, the results thus far have delivered reasonable with results with patients reporting relief from their symptoms for up to six months.
There is a moderate amount of pain, this is because the areas that are often treated are very sensitive. We usually administer a topical anaesthetic cream, which takes around 30 minutes to take effect. This relieves some sensation but the needle entering the skin can still feel like a slight bee sting that lasts for a few seconds. This can be experienced between twenty to fifty times per area as we need to make sure the treatment is spread across the site. Once the treatment is completed there is usually no discomfort, however you may perceive sensitivity in the area for a few hours post treatment.
It’s difficult to put an exact timeframe on how long the treatment lasts but it is safe to say between four to six months, in our personal experience some patients have enjoyed relief from their symptoms between 8 – 12 months, it really does vary per person. It can take between 10 – 14 days for the drug to take effect after the first treatment and we welcome patients back to the clinic after two weeks to review its success and administer at top up if needed. It is important to note that injections will not completely stop sweat production but can reduce symptoms dramatically.
As with all of our treatments, a free consultation is the best way in which we can determine if you are a suitable candidate. The treatment is tolerated by most people, however patients who are pregnant or have neurologic or muscle disease should not be treated and may have to find an alternative remedy for their symptoms.