Hyperhidrosis is defined as excessive perspiration, unrelated to physical activity, external temperature or emotional state. Sweating in the armpit area is the most common case of hyperhidrosis (50% of all cases), followed by hands and feet (35%) and face (15%). Other areas include the buttocks, the groin area, and the back.
How can this condition be treated?
The most successful treatment today is a Botox injection. Botolinum toxin is a poison which blocks the nerve stimulant in the sweat gland, stopping the release of acetylcholine, neutralizing the sweat glands. The procedure is very simple, not invasive and without the need for general anesthesia. A small needle injects the Botox into the armpit. Generally, the effect of the injections is felt immediately and 90%-100% of the patients report that the effects last between 8-12 months. Since Botox is a protein, it will eventually break down, losing its effectiveness over time.
There are two types of surgical procedures available.
Sweat Gland Removal – This type of procedure is only effective on the armpit. One major advantage of this procedure is that there is no compensatory sweating in other areas as a result.
Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy – This is a procedure where portions of the sympathetic nerve trunk are destroyed. It is an invasive surgery and is done in the cardiothoracic surgery department. The procedure generally fixes the problem, but in 40% of cases, patients reported having experienced compensatory sweating in other areas.
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