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Hyperhidrosis (Excessive sweating)

Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis affects about 1-2% of the population.
The sweating is bilateral (both sides) and symmetrical.
It can impair daily activity. It is not always present but at least once a week.
It starts in young people before the age of 25years.
There is a positive family history in up to half of cases.
It is NOT PRESENT DURING SLEEP.

It can be a really unpleasant embarrassing problem but thankfully can be treated.

TREATMENTS:
Anti-perspirants like DRI-Clor. Contain Aluminum Chloride.
They can work really well if used properly.
Unfortunately the presence of sweat on the skin can interact with the Dri-Clor to cause
redness and stinging so many people will wrongly believe they are allergic.

If you follow these instructions this simple inexpensive OTC treatment might work for you and should be the first thing you try before having Botulinum Toxin injections.

1. Shower and towel dry. Then use a hair dryer on one armpit until it is completely dry.
2. Apply the Dri-Clor to the dry Axilla and use the hairdryer until it has dried in.
3. Repeat on the other armpit.
4. Do this every night for 1-2 weeks. You will still get stinging in the first few nights but as the treatment starts to works and there is less sweating and moisture the stinging and redness will stop. You can use a normal deodorant in the day time.
5. After 2 weeks you should not need to use the Dri-Clor every night but 1-3 times per week.

While it is only recommended for armpits I have had clients tell me they used it successfully on the soles of their feet and palms.

Medications:
Certain anticholinergic medications can help but they have side effects like dry mouth, GI upsets and constipation.

Iontophoresis
This machine passes an electric current through a liquid into which the sweating area is bathed. It is a bit time consuming, more accessible for hands and feet rather than axilla (though can be used with pads) and involves either purchasing or hiring the machine.

Botulinum Toxin (BTxA);
This involves injecting the toxin in a grid like pattern in very many injections in both axilla.
It uses quite a lot of the drug compared to Toxins used for wrinkles etc. so it will always be costly. However it works really well reducing sweating quite dramatically.
Treatments of the armpits and face are fairly painless and can be done without anesthetic. However treatment of palms and soles require a regional nerve block. This takes time to work and is rarely carrie out apart from hospital specialist dermatology clinics. BTxA injections need to be repeated to maintain the effect, usually every 6 months however it is not uncommon for clients to get relief for 9 months or longer.

Thoracic Sympathectomy:
This treatment is reserved for severe cases that don’t respond to other less invasive
Treatment. It involves cutting off the sympathetic nerve supply that drives the sweat glands.

Radiofrequency with topical anesthesia:
This is a new and exciting treatment but still very much in development stage. However it may turn out to be a cost effective and painless alternative to Toxin injections.

Botulinum Toxin injections (Botox) are available at FACES and cost €450 for both axillae.