Hyperhidrosis is defined as a condition in which perspiration/sweating is disproportional to a person's physical activity or ambient temperature. About 1% of the population of the Western world, including hundreds of thousands of Israelis, suffer from this condition. It is a problem that negatively affects quality of life.
Most patients go untreated and without medical follow-up. The condition known as secondary general hyperhidrosis appears with obesity, hormonal disorders, skin diseases, neurological conditions, and more. When no specific cause can be found, the condition is called primary focal hyperhidrosis, and usually involves specific parts of the body, especially the underarms (in about 50% of cases), the hands and feet (35% of cases) or the face (15% of cases).
The Integrated Center for Aesthetic Dermatology and Laser Treatments – Dermatology Division at the Tel Aviv Medical Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov) is a leader both in research and non-surgical treatment of hyperhidrosis.
Causes of hyperhidrosis
The causes of primary focal hyperhidrosis are unknown, however, about 25% of those suffering from this condition report having an immediate family member with a similar condition.
Treatment of hyperhidrosis
There are a number of common treatment methods:
- Antiperspirants containing aluminum chloride: These are effective mainly for very mild cases.
- Anticholinergic pills: Taking these pills reduces sweating, but can cause side effects such as dry mouth, heart arrhythmia, and more.
- Iontophoresis: This process uses a medical device to pass a mild electrical current through water and through the surface of the skin, usually on hands and feet. Iontophoresis causes a reduction in sweat gland activity in the treated areas. In order to achieve results, patients must repeat treatment several times per week, and most find it difficult to do so on a regular basis.
- Surgery: Aside from the risks involved in any surgery, the main disadvantage of surgical procedures for hyperhidrosis is that patients often develop compensatory hyperhidrosis, e.g. excessive sweating in other areas of the body which were not involved prior to surgery.
- Botulinus toxin injections: This treatment is considered safe, and causes no significant side effects. The botulinus toxin is well-known, and has proven effective for treating focal hyperhidrosis. The injected substance blocks passage of the nerve's signal to the sweat gland, thus preventing excess sweating. A number of pricks with a fine needle are used to inject the botulinum toxin into the affected area (underarms, hands, feet.)
Prior to treatment, the area can be numbed using an injection like that used by your dentist. Side effects are uncommon, but in a small number of cases patients may notice some weakness in hand muscles following treatment, which passes within a short time. The injection site may temporarily sting or show tiny bruise marks.
This treatment cannot be used for pregnant or nursing women and people suffering from neurological conditions involving muscular weakness.
Cautionary measures following your treatment:
Following injection of botulinus toxin (especially in hands), it is recommended to avoid driving.
For 48 hours after the treatment, avoid strenuous physical activity, visiting a sauna, and consumption of alcohol.
Note: Some improvement will be noticed a few days following treatment, but after 2 weeks the final results will be apparent, and are expected to last for 6 to 8 months. The treatment should be repeated once or twice a year.
This information does not replace personal consultation with a medical specialist. To receive more information and to consult one of our specialists, please contact the Integrated Center for Aesthetic Dermatology and Laser Treatments – Dermatology Division at Tel. 03-6972424, email@example.com