Summer in Queensland….fun for many, but if you suffer excessive sweating – or hyperhidrosis – it can be stressful, debilitating and even embarrassing. Dr Kate DeAmbrosis, Valley Plastic Surgery’s specialist dermatologist, can help if you are suffering with this condition.
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. It occurs when overactive sweat glands release a volume of sweat that is significantly more than your body’s normal requirements for cooling.
Hyperhidrosis can affect the whole body (known as generalised) or it can affect certain parts of the body (known as focal). The parts of the body affected by focal hyperhidrosis are palms, under arms, and the soles of the feet.
HOW HYPERHIDROSIS CAN AFFECT YOUR LIFE:
There are millions of people around the world who suffer from hyperhidrosis and it can be an isolating, chronic condition. Due to the embarrassing nature of the condition, more than half of the people with it are never diagnosed or treated for their symptoms. Severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis can affect people physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Some of the issues that these people face are:
- Social embarrassment and difficulty being in public situations
- Impact on their ability to perform at work
- Difficulty meeting people and developing personal relationships
- Needing to change clothes multiple times a day and not being able to wear certain colours/particular material
- Time and energy looking after personal hygiene
WHAT CAUSES HYPERHIDROSIS?
The exact cause of hyperhidrosis is not known. The sympathetic nervous system is the portion of the nervous system that controls the body’s energy and resources during stress or arousal stimuli.
SEVERE UNDERARM SWEATING CAN BE BROUGHT ON BY HEAT, STRESS OR EVEN CERTAIN TIMES OF THE DAY.
Some of the common triggers of hyperhidrosis are:
- Alcohol, coffee or tea, smoking, hot or spicy food
- Stress, anxiety or strong emotions.
WHAT ARE MY HYPERHIDROSIS TREATMENT OPTIONS?
Dr Kate DeAmbrosis can advise on a number of different treatments and products to help people with severe underarm sweating, including injectable treatments.
WHAT IS AN INJECTABLE TREATMENT FOR HYPERHIDROSIS?
Injectable treatments involve injections in the underarm area, which help to control the symptoms of severe underarm sweating by temporarily blocking the chemical signals from the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands. When the sweat glands don’t receive chemical signals, the severe sweating is significantly reduced. These injections are expected to temporarily stop the production of excessive sweat in the treated areas only
AM I ELIGIBLE FOR AN INJECTABLE TREATMENT?
People with severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis are eligible for treatment under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) if they are:
- Are over 12 years of age
- Are intolerant to topical aluminium chloride hexahydrate (found in antiperspirants such as Driclor™) after one or two months of treatment
- Are treated by a PBS-registered dermatologist or neurologist