Excessive sweating, medically known as hyperhidrosis, involves overactive sweat glands. When sweating becomes excessive it can be embarrassing, uncomfortable, stressful and disabling. Excessive underarm sweating can disrupt many aspects of a person’s life, from career choices and recreational activities to relationships, emotional well-being and self-esteem.
WHAT IS HYPERHIDROSIS?
Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is a condition that affects millions of people around the world. Uncontrolled sweating can occur in various parts of the body including the hands, feet or underarms. Although high temperatures or stress can increase perspiration, they don’t cause hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis may be an inherited trait or physiological condition that stops the body from property regulating its temperature.
WHAT IS HYPERHIDROSIS TREATMENT?
A natural, purified protein is used that temporarily blocks the release of a chemical that signals perspiration, helping to reduce excessive sweating. The active ingredient in the injection is derived from bacteria in much the same way penicillin is derived from mould. It it manufactured in sterile laboratory conditions.
This is a prescription-only medicine and treatment is only available from a qualified medical professional. It is registered for the treatment of severe axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweating) and if you fulfil certain criteria, you may be eligible to a Medicare rebate.
HOW DOES THE TREATMENT WORK?
An injection can be used to treat excessive underarm sweating by targeting sweating at its source. Once injected by your doctor, the protein enters the specific glands in the underarms responsible for excessive sweating. There, it blocks the release of a chemical that signals the body to produce perspiration.
WHAT DOES THE TREATMENT INVOLVE?
This is a non-surgical procedure whereby a small amount of solution is administered into the skin of the armpits by Dr Hills using a very fine needle. Generally, the procedure takes around 15 minutes. Discomfort is typically minimal and brief, and although the injection may sting for a few seconds, normal activities can be resumed soon after.
After the injection, it takes about 7 days for the treatment to take full effect.
HOW LONG DOES THE TREATMENT LAST?
After the first treatment, the effects last an average of 7 months. However, the duration of effect may vary from person to person. When your symptoms begin to return, see your doctor.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?
As with all medicines, the injections may cause some side effects. In the amounts used for the treatment of hyperhidrosis, the side effects are usually temporary and localised to the area of injection. The most common side effects for primary hyperhidrosis are a perceived increase in sweating in areas other than the underarms, pain at the injection site, pain, hot flushes and transient arm weakness. If you have any questions about side effects, please ask your doctor.