Friday, January 13, 2012

Don't sweat the small stuff

 Hyperhidrosis is a term describing an excessive production of sweat in the skin’s sweat glands. The most common type is a localised, symmetric form, affecting for example the palms, soles and/or armpits. There are millions suffering with this problem worldwide. While there are some cases of excessive sweating caused by an underlying problem such as a hyperactivity of the thyroid gland (Grave’s disease), most cases don’t suffer with any underlying condition and the cause remains unknown (thought to be genetic in some cases). These idiopathic cases are examples of Primary Hyperhidrosis.

Hyperhidrosis can have a detrimental effect on your social life and drastically decrease his quality of life. It affects your activities and dictates the type of clothes you wear. It’s extremely uncomfortable to endure. Most people have tried numerous ways of trying to manage the problem with various topically applied formulations.

In addition, there are also certain prescription drugs that can be tried such as propantheline tablets, glycopyrrolate tablets or topical glycopyrrolate solution. Another type of treatment, which is usually very well tolerated and works particularly well for hands and/or feet is Iontophoresis. Iontophoresis is a method of passing a tiny electric current through the skin while your hands or feet are soaking in water).  This sometimes works well for hands or feet but not armpits (axillae).
However, for the armpits there is another treatment method available, which achieves truly incredible results that are life-changing for the sufferer. This treatment involves injecting botulinum toxin (Botox™) which blocks the nerves that activate eccrine sweat glands in the skin. After application of a topical numbing cream (so that you won’t feel the injections), very small amounts of the botulinum toxin solution are administered into the affected skin area. The sweat blocking effect is quite astonishing and the best thing is that it lasts about six to nine months, before the treatment has to be repeated. It’s wonderful to hear how happy patients are after the treatment and it’s fantastic to make such a positive difference in a patient’s life.

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