What is Hyperhidrosis and How to Treat It

Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating affects approximately 15.3 million people in the United States, or 4.8% of the population. It is characterized by excessive sweating that is more than required for thermoregulation of body temperature. Since it is caused by the overactivity of certain nerves, it is not necessarily caused by the exercise of exposure to heat. Therefore, it can substantially impact a person’s lifestyle, including work and social activities.

Where Does Hyperhidrosis Occur?

It may affect the hands, feet, and underarms, but can also affect the head and face, back, chest and under the breasts. Depending on the area affected, topical antiperspirants, iontophoresis, and radiofrequency treatments may be effective. Botox® is an FDA-approved treatment for hyperhidrosis affecting the underarms, but we have also used it effectively on the face. Your provider will do a thorough consultation and physical exam to determine if you are an appropriate candidate. In some cases, a starch iodine test may be used to locate areas of focal sweating in the underarms to ensure adequate treatment in that area.

How do I Treat Hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis treatments are non-invasive injections, similar to cosmetic treatments, however, the injections are placed more superficially to target the sweat glands. Botox blocks the release of acetylcholine, which is the neurotransmitter responsible for stimulating sweat gland activity as well as muscle movement. Since the Botox is injected into the skin and not the muscle tissue in the underarm, no impairment in muscle activity occurs.

A starch iodine test is performed if needed. Then the treated area is marked and injections are placed in a specific pattern and distance apart. Ice is applied before and after, and there is no residual discomfort after the procedure. Patients can return to all work and social activities immediately. We recommend refraining from exercise until the day after treatment.

How Long Does Hyperhidrosis Treatment Last?

This treatment is not permanent, and patients will enjoy the results for 6-8 months after each session. The duration of relief from excessive sweating will vary from patient to patient, but most patients report significant relief. We have had patients report not having to bring a second or third shirt or blouse to work, and feeling less self-conscious after treatment.

 A consultation and evaluation with Jennifer Fick, our board-certified aesthetic nurse practitioner,  is required to ensure you are a candidate for hyperhidrosis treatment. She will provide you with the best treatment options, and a timeline in which you can expect results. 

Schedule Your Hyperhidrosis Treatment Consultation

To learn more about hyperhidrosis treatment and to see if you are a candidate, schedule a consultation at the Deschamps-Braly Clinic in San Francisco, California. Call our office at (415) 877-6585. 

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Dr. Deschamps-Braly is a board-certified plastic and craniofacial surgeon specializing in facial plastic surgery, orthognathic (jaw) surgery, and craniofacial surgery for adults and children. He is also one of the world’s foremost leaders and innovators in facial gender confirmation surgery.