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What Is Hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis disorder is a condition that results in excessive sweating.

Sweating is a natural response to certain conditions, such as warm weather, physical activity, stress, and feelings of fear or anger. With hyperhidrosis, you sweat more than usual for no apparent reason. The underlying cause depends on which type of hyperhidrosis you have. This sweating can occur in unusual situations, such as in cooler weather, or without any trigger at all.

What are the types of hyperhidrosis?

Primary focal hyperhidrosis

Sweating mainly occurs on your feet, hands, face, head, and underarms. It usually starts in childhood. Most people with this type have a family history of excessive sweating.

Secondary generalized hyperhidrosis

This is caused by a medical condition such as hyperthyroidism, or as a side effect of certain medications. It generally starts in adulthood. With this type, you might sweat all over your body, or in just one area. You might also sweat while you’re sleeping.

What is the treatment for hyperhidrosis?

Through a systematic evaluation of causes and triggers of hyperhidrosis, followed by a judicious, stepwise approach to treatment, many people with this annoying disorder can sometimes achieve good results and improved quality of life. The followings are various types of treatments:

  • Over-the-counter antiperspirants containing a low dose of metal salt (usually aluminum) are usually tried first because they are readily available.
  • Prescription strength antiperspirants, which contain aluminum chloride hexahydrate.
  • Iontophoresis: A device which passes ionized tap water through the skin using direct electricity.
  • Oral medications, Anticholinergics reduce sweating.
  • Botox: Botulinum toxin-A has been approved in the U.S. by the FDA for treating excessive axillary (underarm) sweating.
  • Machines: Certain machines using microwave technique or radiofrequency can be used for the treatment of hyperhidrosis.
  • Surgery: A procedure called thoracic sympathectomy may be considered as a last resort.

What is “Iontophoresis” treatment?

Iontophoresis was introduced over 50 years ago as a treatment for excessive sweating. Its exact mechanism of action is still unclear, although it probably works by temporarily blocking the sweat duct. The procedure uses water to conduct an electric current to the skin a few times each week, for about 10-20 minutes per session, followed by a maintenance program of treatments at 1- to 3-week intervals, depending on the patient’s response. Iontophoresis treatments are not painful.

How does Botox work for excessive sweating?

Botox works by blocking the nerves responsible for activating your sweat glands. Normally, your nervous system activates your sweat glands when your body temperature rises. This is how your body automatically cools itself. In people with hyperhidrosis, however, the nerves that signal the sweat glands are overactive.
When you receive Botox injections directly into the area of your body that commonly sweats, your overactive nerves are essentially paralyzed. When your nerves can’t signal your sweat glands, you don’t sweat. However, Botox only prevents sweating in the specific area where it’s injected. The injections are usually tolerable.

Price:

Botox injection for axillary hyperhidrosis costs AED 2900.
Iontophoresis single session is AED 280. A package of 10 sessions costs AED 1900.

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