About excessive sweating
Hyperhidrosis is characterized as excessive sweating. Most individuals are embarrassed by this condition, consequently affecting their self-esteem and self- confidence.
Hyperhidrosis is defined as the increased production of sweat disproportionate from the amount required to compensate for the body’s thermoregulatory needs and environmental conditions. It is classified as primary or secondary and focal or generalised. Focal hyperhidrosis affects one or more areas of the body. The areas most commonly affected by focal hyperhidrosis are:
- palms of the hands
- soles of the feet
- axillae (armpits)
Generalised hyperhidrosis affects the entire body and tends to be due to another underlying disorder. Primary hyperhidrosis only occurs during waking hours.
Injections for sweating
Injections may be used in the treatment of hyperhidrosis. The injection contains a neurotoxin which is produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum. It works by causing irreversible inhibition of the release of acetylcholine from the pre-synaptic nerve terminal at the neuromuscular junction and the eccrine sweat glands. Injections for sweating are primarily used in the treatment of axillary hyperhidrosis. The injections can reduce the amount of axillary sweating by around 85%.
The area of the axilla involved in the excessive sweat production is treated. Multiple injections are delivered at a distance of 1-2cm apart. The effects of injections for sweating only last for a certain period of time and the injections may need to be repeated; the effects of treatment tend to last between 4-9 months.
Adverse effects associated with injections for hyperhidrosis are uncommon. The main adverse effects reported include mild pain at the injection sites and compensatory hyperhidrosis in untreated areas. The treatment works quickly, with patients noticing a reduction in sweating between 2 and 4 days after the injection. The greatest effects are observed at 2 weeks after the treatment.