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Excessive Sweating or Hyperhidrosis – Causes and Treatment – Auckland NZ

Excessive sweating is a genetic condition that can affect the underarms, face, hands and feet. Also called hyperhidrosis, it can be difficult to manage and can cause anxiety during social interactions. Thankfully treatment is simple, safe and effective.

Below we discuss hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating causes, hyperhidrosis symptoms and hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating treatment at Palm Clinic, Auckland, NZ

What Causes Excessive Sweating or Hyperhidrosis

Our clients often ask us “what is excessive sweating a sign of?”

Hyperhidrosis is caused by overactivity of sweat glands in the skin. The glands exist in various concentrations throughout the skin and their function is to maintain body temperature in the heat or during physical activity.

Anxiety, stress, heat and exercise can all trigger excessive sweating. Sweating occurs when the muscle around the sweat gland is stimulated. Its response is to contract, which causes sweat to release.

This is where Botox® works. Botox® treatment for excessive sweating stops the muscle from contracting therefore eliminating the sweating response.

There are two types of hyperhidrosis: primary hyperhidrosis, and secondary hyperhidrosis.

Primary hyperhidrosis is the most common type and is the one described above. It’s essentially an over-reaction type of sweating. There is no underlying medical condition and it often runs in families. Primary hyperhidrosis is more focal and tends to affect the hands (palmar hyperhidrosis), the feet (plantar hyperhidrosis) or the armpits (axillary hyperhidrosis).

Secondary hyperhidrosis is rare. It means hyperhidrosis that is due to an underlying cause (medical condition). This is more likely to cause generalised excessive sweating all over the body rather than being isolated to one area.

Some underlying conditions that may cause secondary hyperhidrosis include:

  • Menopause hot flushes, which are often associated with excessive sweating at night
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
  • Some cancers, which are often associated with night sweats
  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Having an active infection
  • Some neurological conditions

If your Palm Clinic doctor suspects secondary hyperhidrosis, they will refer you to the appropriate healthcare provider for investigation.

It’s also important to remember that some level of sweating is a normal response to emotional stress and heat stimulus. If excessive sweating is only of concern during exercise, then unless it’s a bother, it may not need treatment.

Excessive Sweating or Hyperhidrosis Treatment

Botox® (botulinum toxin) is a natural, purified protein delivered by a very fine needle into the muscle surrounding the sweat gland. Botox® has the effect of relaxing the muscle so it’s not able to contract and release sweat, making it an effective excessive sweating treatment.
After treatment, sweating diminishes substantially within 48 hours and results typically last from 3-12 months in the armpits and 3-12 months in the palms.

Botox® is quick, simple, safe and effective, and relatively painless.

Treatments cost $1,700 to treat both underarms (50 units each side) and $1,700-$2,200 for the palms depending on whether we use 50 or 100 units per palm.

Treatment takes around 20 minutes and we do a follow-up appointment two weeks later if necessary.

Botox® has proven to be a safer and more effective treatment than its alternatives, which we do not offer at Palm Clinic. These therapies include:

Traditional treatment for excessive sweating such as aluminium salts used in cosmetic antiperspirants, iontophoresis or drugs such as glycopyrrolate. Topical therapy has been limited in success and often causes skin irritation. Oral medications can have unpleasant side effects such as blurred vision, dry mouth and urinary retention and have limited effectiveness on sweating.

Hyperhidrosis surgery: Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy is a surgical procedure which involves cutting the sympathetic nerves that supply the sweat glands. This is performed through keyhole surgery and usually takes a few days to recover from. Compensatory sweating from other parts of the body after treatment can be a problem. Sympathectomy has a recognised complication rate including Horner’s syndrome, pneumothorax (collapsed lung) and injury to nerves.

Direct excision of affected skin creates unwanted and unsightly scarring often with prolonged recovery and limitation of mobility, and so, is a less desirable treatment option.

Sweaty Armpits (Axillary Hyperhidrosis)

Young woman with sweat stain on her clothes against grey background, caused by excessive sweating condition hyperhidrosis

Axillary hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating of the underarms and is a common problem for men and women.

Excessive underarm sweating is a problem that can lead to extreme anxiety and self-consciousness. Bromhidrosis or osmidrosis are related problems in which underarm odour, with or without excessive sweating, is the main problem. Many treatments have been trialled for hyperhidrosis with varying degrees of success. The most effective treatment is Botox® injections.

Hyperhidrosis Botox® works by relaxing the muscles around the eccrine sweat glands so that the perspiration is not squeezed out onto the skin. This works extremely well for around 3-12 months and can be life-changing for those with a significant problem.

Sweaty Palms | Hyperhidrosis Hands

Have you worried about sweaty palms when you need to shake hands?

For some people this can affect confidence and self esteem and lead to difficulties in the workplace. The problem can be treated with botulinum toxin which switches off the excessive sweating for on average of 3-12 months.

Treatments involve injecting between 50-100 units of Botox® into each palm (and fingers) depending on how bad the problem is. Most people start with 50 units per palm at a cost of $1,700 in total, with 100 units per palm costing $2,200.

Sweaty Feet | Hyperhidrosis Feet

Sweaty feet can be an extremely embarrassing condition which can be improved with Botox® injections. While Botox® works particularly well for sweaty armpits and sweaty palms, the results for sweaty feet can be less predictable because of the thickness of the skin in this area.

Typically, you would need at least 100 units of Botox® per foot at a total cost of $2,200 for both feet. Some people need even more than this and the duration of efficacy is very variable. For these reasons we only recommend treatment of sweaty feet for particularly severe cases in those people who are very distressed by the condition and are prepared to accept that despite the high costs the results are variable.

Palm Clinic in Auckland, New Zealand are highly experienced in Botox® treatment for excessive sweating. To find out more or to book a consultation, please contact us or call 09 522 8128 or 0800 4 PALM CLINIC. 

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Consulatation at Palm Clinic with Dr Sam Dunn

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Botox®  is a prescription medicine for the treatment of frown lines, horizontal forehead lines and crow’s feet round the eyes. Botox® has risks and benefits. Ask your doctor if Botox® is right for you. If you have side effects, see your doctor. You will need to pay for Botox® and clinic fees will apply. For details on precautions & side effects consult your healthcare professional or the Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) at Botox® treatment lasts about 4 months and further courses of treatment may be necessary. Should only be administered by trained medical professionals.(Contains botulinum toxin A 50,100 & 200 units). Allergan (NZ) Limited, Auckland.

Juvederm Ultra™ & Juvederm Ultra Plus™ are medical devices Class III for the filling of medium size and deep facial wrinkles by injection into the skin and for creating definition and volume in the lips. Contains 24mg/mL. cross-linked hyaluronic acid. Juvederm has risks and benefits. Cautions: Use in an area that has been treated with another dermal filler, people with autoimmune disease, or who are pregnant, breastfeeding, under 18 years of age or have an increased susceptibility to keloid formation and hypertrophic scarring. People on blood thinning medicines. Possible side effects: injection site inflammatory reactions (redness/swelling, itching/pain on pressure) induration or nodules; discolouration; weak filling effect. If you have side effects or concerns speak to your doctor. Product and treatment costs will apply. Note: Juvederm treatment lasts about 12-24 months. For product information check with your doctor or product information at Allergan (NZ) Limited, Auckland.