Excessive Sweating

What is hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis: Sweating is a natural body function needed for the regulation of body-temperature. There are five million sweat glands throughout the body and about two-thirds of these glands are situated in the hands. The secretion of sweat is controlled by the sympathetic or (vegetative) nervous system. In approximately 1% of the population, the nerves are over-stimulated and sweat is produced far greater than needed to keep a constant temperature. This condition is referred to as Hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating may be episodic or continuous. Profuse sweating may be caused by warm weather, emotional stress, or for no reason at all.

Hyperhidrosis may be part of an underlying medical condition (secondary hyperhidrosis ) or may be of unknown cause (primary Hyperhydrosis). In general, secondary Hyperhidrosis involves the entire body. Diseases or medical conditions which cause secondary Hyperhidrosis include hyperthyroidism, endocrine treatment for malignant diseases, psychiatric disorders, obesity and menopause. Primary Hyperhydrosis or sweating without known cause is also termed idiopathic or essential Hyperhydrosis. This is a much more common condition than secondary Hyperhidrosis and may occur in one or several locations of the body. The hands, feet and armpits are the most common locations. The condition usually starts during adolescence and is lifelong. Nervousness and anxiety can precipitate excessive sweating.

Injectable treatment for hyperhidrosis

Axillary hyperhidrosis (sweating of the armpits) that does not respond to topical antiperspirants such as Drysol™, Saldrize™ or Certain Dry™ may be treated with a muscle relaxing injectioninto areas of the skin that produce excess sweat, effectively reduces sweat production for many months. The injections to the sweat-producing areas of the armpits can frequently provide relief for as long as 6 months. An alternative treatment for axillary hyperhidrosis is surgical removal of the axillary (armpit) sweat glands.

Muscle relaxing injections are also an effective remedy for palmar hyperhidrosis (sweating of the palms of the hands) and relief can last many months. However, the pain involved in the administration of the injections to the hands along with occasional problems related to muscle weakness can make the injections a less desirable form of therapy for treating palmar hyperhidrosis. Although the muscle relaxing injections are approved by the Federal Drug Administration in the United States for many medical uses; it is not yet approved for the treatment of excess perspiration. Physicians may use it to treat hyperhidrosis, but it is considered an “off-label” indication.