Hyperhidrosis is the medical terminology for excessive, uncontrollable sweating of a particular area.
In most cases, it is due to an overactive nerve supply to the sweat glands that stimulates excess sweat production.
Excessive sweating can be exacerbated by hot temperatures, anxiety and stressful situations.
In a hot and humid climate like Singapore, Hyperhidrosis can often negatively affect the quality of life for affected individuals.
2 common treatment areas are sweaty underams and sweaty palms.
Hyperhidrosis of the underarms may cause staining or soiling of the clothes and body odour which may lead to embarrassing situations.
Hyperhidrosis of the hands (sweaty palms) may also impact self-confidence when an individual shakes hands with others during a social introduction.
The psychological and social stress of excessive sweating is the driving force behind seeking treatment.
Various treatment options exist in the market for managing hyperhidrosis.
The least invasive would be the application of topical antiperspirants such as aluminum chloride solution which reduce sweat production by blocking the sweat ducts.
However, patients may experience skin irritation (dermatitis) after prolonged application.
Surgery to address the overactive nerve causing hyperhidrosis is invasive and hence, the last resort. It is linked to other side effects such as neighboring nerve injury.
Dr Edwin prefers to use Neurotoxin (Botox) injections to treat Hyperhidrosis safely and effectively.
Sweat glands produce sweat after being activated by a chemical that transmit signals called acetylcholine.
Neurotoxin (Botox) injections stops the release of acetylcholine from the overactive nerves supplying the sweat glands.
No signals = No sweat! Botox has been reported in studies to be both safe and more effective than topical antiperspirants for hyperhidrosis treatment.
Numbing cream is first applied to the entire treatment area for around 30 minutes.
Next, Dr Edwin marks out the injection points. For example, each underarm may require 20 to 25 injection points to adequately target all the sweat glands.
Each injection feels like a small prick / ant bite and after injection, small bumps containing the botox will be present at the treatment site.
These bumps will subside after 4 to 6 hours.
Bruises are rare and can be improved with the application of an anti-bruising cream.
Patients can resume their normal daily activities straight away after treatment.
On average, results may last between 4 to 6 months and patients are recommended to repeat treatments every 4 to 6 months.
Every clinic offers different treatment options for excessive sweating. No one clinic is same as the other. If you want to make sure that hyperhidrosis treatments are performed safely and effectively, make sure that the clinic is experienced in offering such injectable treatments. The clinic should also offer information on the various types of hyperhidrosis treatment options before proceeding.