Excessive Sweating

Excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis can affect the armpits, hands, feet, face or back.  It can be distressing and embarrassing. 

Patients with Hyperhidrosis sweat for no apparent reason even when they are not hot and not exercising.  Primary, or idiopathic, hyperhidrosis occurs when there is no obvious cause and tends to run in families.  The onset of Primary Hyperhidrosis tends to occur at a younger age and often in childhood. 

Secondary Hyperhidrosis is so named because it occurs as a result of a medical condition such as diabetes or an over active thyroid gland.  When the doctor sees you they will take a thorough medical history and may order some blood tests to rule out some of these more common causes of Secondary Hyperhidrosis. 

Hyperhidrosis should not be taken lightly as it can have a negative impact on ones confidence and the way they feel about themselves.  It can also impact on their relationships.  As a first step in managing this condition the doctor may recommend the use of medical grade anti-perspirants which often contain aluminium. 

Another common treatment is to inject a neurotoxin very superficially to block the nerves that cause sweating.  It doesn't work for everyone but when it does work its effect and can last for 6 months or longer.  In the meantime we recommend that patients suffering from Hyperhidrosis keep the area as clean and dry as possible.  Using absorbent pads can help.  Carrying a change of clothes is also advisable and sticking to natural fibres such as cotton.  Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is necessary to replace lost fluid.  If all these measures fail then surgery to cut the nerves to the sweat glands should be considered in severe cases.  

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