Hyperhidrosis is a disorder which occurs in people who sweat more than the body needs to maintain optimal temperature. It occurs in approximately 3% of the population. Hyperhidrosis affects work productivity, confidence, social comfort, emotional state, and wardrobe selection. Studies show that hyperhidrosis impacts the quality of life to the same degree as other dermatological conditions, such as severe problems with acne or psoriasis.
It has been proven that only 38% of people who suffer from hyperhidrosis seek professional help and talk about their condition. People rarely seek help because they are not aware that excess sweating is a medical disorder that should be treated.
There are two types of hyperhidrosis:
Central hyperhidrosis, also known as primary hyperhidrosis, has an unknown cause. This type of hyperhidrosis is localized in one or more of the following body parts:
Although this type of hyperhidrosis has an unknown cause, the way in which it affects people is associated with excessive activity of the central nervous system and thus leads to a higher stimulation of the sweat glands.
General hyperhidrosis, also known as secondary hyperhidrosis, is caused by other conditions e.g. dysfunction of endocrine glands, menopause, obesity, nerve damage, and rarely by the use of some drugs. This type of hyperhidrosis generally occurs throughout the body and is usually treated depending on the patient’s condition.
Possible treatment options
The treatment of hyperhidrosis using Nd-YAG laser does not leave large scars and cause bleeding, which are advantages. Laser is effective and secure.
This procedure can easily be done under local anesthesia. The process involves making a cut that is 3mm long. Sweat glands become inactive under the laser’s light energy, and at that time laser probe passes underthe skin and destroys these glands. Many people are able to resume work activities on the day of intervention. The patient may feel a slight pain over the next few days, but the risks are minimal. The process of laser removal of hyperhidrosis reduces underarm sweating in 80% of the patients. The removal is permanent and there is no need to repeat the treatment.
Botulinum toxin (Botox), except in the cosmetic treatment of wrinkles, is used in many areas of medicine, such as the treatment of muscle spasms and certain types of migraine. It can be also used as a medical treatment of excessive sweating-hyperhidrosis.