Hyperhidrosis or Excessive UNderarm Sweating
Injections for Underarm Sweating or Hyperhidrosis
Excessive sweating of the underarms, also called axillary hyperhidrosis, is a common and distressing problem. Sufferers complain that they can only wear dark clothes and are considerably embarrassed. Sometimes excessive sweating is genetic and will run in a family. Small injections of muscle relaxant with a very fine needle in the underarm are used to resolve the excessive sweating problem.
The consultation for excessive sweating assessment
History-taking is very important in the treatment of excessive sweating. The following should be explored: Are there others in the family who have excessive sweating? Has the patient had treatment before and were they happy with treatment outcome? Did the effect of toxin injections last? Are there any other areas of excessive sweating, including the back, hands or feet.
Choosing the dose for excessive sweating
Your practitioner will assess the sweating and decide on the best dose after taking a history and performing an examination. The patient’s budget is also important. If the patient has a history of poor longevity, or needing high doses or wanting maximal effect, then a higher dose may be suggested.
If a patient has a history of complications with muscle relaxing injections, or if their budget is small or if they want a subtler result, then a smaller dose might be chosen.
Pain relief during treatment
A numbing cream may be applied to the area prior to the treatment for 30 mins. Most patients do not bother with numbing cream because it takes so long to work and because the treatment isn’t very painful anyway. Ice is always used to decrease pain and to reduce the risk of bruising.
Typical problems which can occur
In general, treatment of excessive underarm sweating is very low risk. Bruising occurs in a significant number of cases. One side may be more effective than the other: this is usually because the patient has asymmetrical sweating to start with. There is a possibility of a perceived increase in sweating in other areas of the body e.g. face, back, palms, feet.
The underarm will be cleaned with alcohol and ice will be applied to the area briefly before treatment
The Practitioner will inject at least 15 sites on each underarm. The procedure itself takes less than 10 minutes.
The effect of the injections may start to occur within 2-8 days. The maximal effect of the drug will be at 3-4 weeks, so a review should be booked for 4 weeks.
Sometimes asymmetry will occur because one side just comes on quicker than the other. Usually it will right itself by the time of the review appointment. If it doesn’t, then it can be treated at the review appointment.
The answer to this is very individual and depends on the patient’s metabolism, the dose, the placement etc. At a higher dose, about 30% of patients will get 1 year out of the treatment. The rest will probably require retreatment at 9 months.