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Excessive sweating: why it occurs and how to treat it

Excessive sweating: why it occurs and how to treat it
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Are you a heavy sweater? Hyperhidrosis is a common condition that causes excessive sweating. It is easily treated in clinic with ENRICH Clinic’s extensive range of advanced treatment options including MiraDry, the latest treatment hyperhidrosis. Read on for our clinical run down on why hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, occurs and what can be done to treat it.

Is heavy or excessive sweating an issue for you? Contact our clinic staff to make an appointment with one of our experienced doctors. We’ll make use of our extensive and advanced treatments options to help you make excessive sweating a thing of the past!

What is hyperhidrosis?

Sweating is a natural bodily function to aid in cooling you down. Hyperhidrosis is defined as excessive sweating, primarily affecting the axillae (armpits) and extremities (hands and feet). Hyperhidrosis means the body sweats in excess of its biological requirements. It can be an embarrassing problem, impacting self-esteem, clothing choices and social activities. Often, regular deodorant doesn’t offer any relief to hyperhidrosis sufferers.

What causes hyperhidrosis?

The excessive sweating associated with hyperhidrosis is generally mostly present in the hands, feet, armpits and the groin due to the higher concentration of sweat glands present in these areas. We can distinguish between focal hyperhidrosis where the excessive sweating is localised, for example, palmoplantar hyperhidrosis, which is the excessive sweating of the palms, and there is generalised hyperhidrosis, which refers to excessive sweating of the whole body.

There are two forms of hyperhidrosis. Primary hyperhidrosis occurs without a clear cause and is often referred to as idiopathic hyperhidrosis. There is no known cause of primary hyperhidrosis – it occurs without a reason! Often, the patient will have experienced excessive sweating from a young age or adolescence. Primary hyperhidrosis predominantly affects the palms, soles of the feet, armpits and occasionally the face and scalp.

In contrast, secondary hyperhidrosis occurs when the excessive sweating is the result of an existing medical condition. Some possible causes include diabetes, thyroid disease, obesity, menopause, infection or nerve damage. In some cases, hyperhidrosis may be the result of some forms of medication, or in rare cases, some forms of tumour.

Your doctor will assess the nature of your hyperhidrosis in your initial consultation, as well as address any of your concerns or questions.

MiraDry – the latest treatment for hyperhidrosis under the arms 

The MiraDry treatment is the centrepiece of ENRICH Clinic’s arsenal of hyperhidrosis treatments. The treatment uses microwave energy that targets the sweat and odour glands under the arms. The microwave energy creates a controlled heating process known as thermolysis which destroys the glands. The surface of the skin remains cool and comfortable, and local anaesthetic can be used to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure.

It safely, effectively, and in most cases,  permanently reduces underarm sweat, hair and odour. The treatment has lasting effectiveness and also boast minimal downtime for the patient. The treatment is so effective, because it destroys the sweat glands. After treatment, the sweat glands do not regenerate. Studies have indicated that patients who undergo MiraDry treatment report an average 82% reduction in underarm sweating. One to two treatments are typically required. Very occasionally a third is needed.

But wait, there’s more!

The treatment also addresses the odour associated with excess sweating by targeting the glands that cause theodour. Other underarm sweating treatments do not have this added benefit. It is not dangerous to reduce the sweating under your arms, as your body has many other sweat glands. Additionally, the technology can also produce a permanent reduction in underarm hair if the patient desires.

Other treatment options for hyperhidrosis

Anti-wrinkle injections can also be used for the treatment of hyperhidrosis. Anti-wrinkle injections (yes, the ones you’d inject into your face to remove pesky smile lines or crow’s feet!) also work to treat hyperhidrosis by blocking the secretion of the chemical that activates sweat glands in the body. Both miraDry and anti-wrinkle injections are part of ENRICH Clinic’s hyperhidrosis program.

Additionally, you might wish to try a strong antiperspirant deodorant such as Driclor to prevent excessive sweating. Stronger than your average supermarket buy, Driclor uses aluminium chloride to stop excessive sweating by blocking the sweat glands. Over time, this reduces the amount of sweat that the sweat glands produce. Driclor is applied prior to going to bed at night when the sweat glands are less active and is then washed off in the morning. The sweat glands remain blocked and sweating is reduced. Our experienced team of doctors will assist in explaining which treatment options is best suited to you and your individual needs.

Contact us to secure an appointment.

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