Sweating is a physiological and vital process.
There is difference between focal and generalized hyperhidrosis.
In focal hyperhidrosis, armpits, hands or feet are mostly affected by excessive sweat production. In <90% the cause is unclear. Occasional causes can be hormonal, drug or functional disorders.
Which therapy is suitable for focal hyperhidrosis?
There are a few treatment options for treating focal hyperhidrosis.
Injecting a muscle relaxant is the most effective non-surgical treatment for focal hyperhidrosis. The purified protein is injected into the skin. This leads to a reduced release of acetylcholine, which influences sweat production and thus significantly reduces it. The duration of the effect depends on the amount of sweat that is produced and can last between 4 and 7 months. The administration of muscle relaxants is at the same time the safest and best tolerated therapy for excessive sweating. In the case of privately insured patients, the treatment is covered by health insurance.
Multiple injections in each armpit
Minimal. Local anaesthetic cream applied 30 minutes prior to injections
Inmdividual. Every 4-7 months
Further treatment options are treatment with the following topicals:
Antiperspirants containing aluminum salts. Commercially available deodorants often contain aluminum salts. These clog the sweat glands, thus reducing the amount of sweat being produced. Side effects include skin irritation and burning sensations.
Another surgical treatment option for axillary hyperhidrosis is the complete removal of the axillary sweat glands by curettage. This has success rates of up to 90%, but the intervention is not insignificant. Complications include wound infection, scarring, skin necrosis, and skin discoloration.
What are the causes of generalized hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)?
In generalized hyperhidrosis, the whole body is affected. There are many reasons for this and they can be:
- in <85% idiopathic (unclear cause)
- hormonal disorders (e.g. hyperthyroidism, diabetes)
- Infections (flu)
- Diseases of the nervous system
There is a possibility for treatment with anticholinergics.
Unfortunately, patients often don’t notice improvement but rather side effects such as dry mouth, accommodation disorders (visual impairment), urinary retention, constipation and memory disorders.
Whether this therapy option is suitable for you depends on the physical findings.