What is Hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. Axillary Hyperhidrosis is when the sweating is particularly bad, under the arms. Sweating is one of the most important ways in which the body loses heat, however, people with hyperhidrosis, produce sweat in amounts far greater than needed to control their temperature. It is thought that about one in 200 people have some form of hyperhidrosis.

There are two main types of hyperhidrosis. The more common type is focal hyperhidrosis, which can affect the armpits, hands, feet or face. Generalised hyperhidrosis is less common, affecting the whole body. This is often caused by other health problems such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism. Often when the health problem is treated, the sweating usually stops.

How is Hyperhidrosis treated?

Initially, simple self-help measures may be useful:

• Cool clothing
• Avoid hot or spicy foods which may trigger sweating
• Try to reducing stress and anxiety
• Increased attention to personal hygiene

For those wanting a more effective solution to their underarm sweating, injections of botulinum toxin (type A) has been shown to be a very effective treatment.

Effects start within the first week after treatment and last for an average of seven months before further injections are required. Side effects are rarely troublesome.
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