Excessive sweating

Normally, sweat glands produce perspiration that moves to the skin’s surface in response to a range of stimulus including rising air temperature if you are sick, exercising, anxious, nervous, stressed, or maybe have eaten hot food. When the triggers stop, the nerves send a signal for sweating to stop. The body has between two and four million sweat glands, with most clustered around the feet, palms, face, and armpits.

However, there are some rare cases (less than 2 per cent of the population) where the sweat glands don’t shut off and sufferers can sweat in any circumstance; whilst cold, sitting watching TV, and some have even reported symptoms of sweating whilst stationary in a swimming pool. This is called hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating where sufferers soak their clothes and drip sweat regardless of their activity or exposure to heat. This is a permanent but common, condition that causes discomfort and distress to both men and women and can result in stigma, and in some cases emotional trauma.

Some people choose to have their sweat glands removed by a plastic surgeon due to the embarrassment they suffer from having constantly sweaty hands, feet, armpits or all-over sweating in general. However, there is a non-surgical treatment that prevents heavy sweating from interfering with work or daily life, but there is not a permanent solution.

There are several treatments available to reduce the symptoms of hyperhidrosis, but one of the most effective for sufferers is the use of injections of botulinum toxin, a muscle relaxant used by doctors in the UK for years to help patients suffering from excessive sweating to give dramatic and life-changing results for many who suffer from this condition. This treatment is available mainly from private clinics, such as Hunar, although there is some availability through the NHS.

The treatment for hyperhidrosis is on-going as there is no cure as doctors are unable to diagnose why it may occur. This treatment will need to be repeated every three to six months, depending on the patient.

Do make sure that you use a GP-led clinic to treat your condition, such as Hunar, as there are many unlicensed clinics offering this treatment and amy not have had the correct training.

Hyperhidrosis has two forms:

Focal hyperhidrosis, which is the most common and is excessive sweating of the hands, feet and underarms.

Generalised hyperhidrosis is not as common as it affects the whole body. This form of excessive sweating is usually caused by another application such as diabetes, thyroid issues or infection.

A test can be carried out under the Hyperhidrosis Disease Severity Scale (HDSS) which scores excessive sweating according to the impact on a person’s life and the severity of a condition.

  • Grade 1: Sweating /perspiration is not noticeable and never interferes with daily activities.
  • Grade 2: Sweating is tolerable but sometimes interferes with daily activities
  • Grade 3: Sweating is barely tolerable and frequently interferes with daily activities.
  • Grade 4: Sweating is intolerable and always interferes with daily activities

Grade 2 indicates mild or moderate hyperhidrosis but Grades 3 to 4 indicates severe hyperhidrosis and the person would be the ideal candidate for treatment. 

If you would like more information on the treatment of hyperhidrosis, then Dr Mittal would be happy to arrange a consultation and take you through the procedure and the options available, book a consultation here.

*Patients experiences will vary dependent on age, lifestyle and medical history

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