Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, is a common and often embarrassing problem for many people. There are many products which can be useful for treating this, some of which can be bought and some can be obtained on prescription, but if all else fails, injections into the affected areas are likely to give you the freedom from embarrassment you long for. The treatment can make such a huge difference to your self- confidence you’ll wonder how you’ve lived without it for so long.
Procedure Time45 mins
Full Recovery24 hours
Results Duration7-12 months
RisksBruising, tenderness, failure to reduce sweating, compensatory hyper hydrosis
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The virtually pain-free injectable treatment to stop sweating.
What areas can be treated?
The underarms are the most common site where excessive sweating is problematic. The palms of the hands, soles of the feet and forehead can also be treated, although due to the sensitivity of the hands and feet, we generally only treat underarms or foreheads.
How does the treatment work?
The glands which produce sweat are supplied by the same type of nerve ending that supplies muscles in the face which cause wrinkles. Botox is a protein produced by the clostridium botulinum bacteria, and is the most well known product for treating wrinkles in the world, although there are other similar products that we also use. It is extremely effective when used for sweating.
Using a tiny needle, small quantities of protein are injected into the areas producing excessive sweat e.g. the underarms. The product prevents the nerve signal reaching the sweat gland and therefore stops the gland producing sweat. Several injections are spread out across the area so that as many sweat glands as possible are blocked.
Before injecting, we usually perform a sweat test – this involves painting the area to be treated with an iodine- based mixture which changes colour when it comes into contact with sweat. This identifies the exact area that needs treatment, making the procedure more effective.
Is it safe and does it hurt?
Millions of people worldwide have had anti-wrinkle injections with the same product used for hyperhidrosis. It has been used extensively to treat sweating as well so its safety is not in doubt.
Treatment is not recommended in pregnant or breast-feeding women, and those with muscle-weakening conditions such as myasthenia gravis. Most other people are suitable for treatment.
Underarm injections may be uncomfortable but rarely painful.
Are there any side effects?
As with any injection there may be side effects but they are uncommon. They include redness, swelling tenderness, and bruising at the injection sites. Very occasionally the injections may not work.
What can I expect after treatment?
The treatment takes about 30 minutes to perform. You should notice a significant reduction in sweating within a couple of weeks and the effects usually last from between seven to ten months. After this you can choose to have more injections to maintain the benefit. You can carry on with your normal life immediately after treatment, although we advise avoiding exercise and alcohol for six hours. We recommend appropriate dressing when you come for treatment which allows exposure to your underarms. It is sensible to wear old, dark clothing as iodine can stain clothing if it comes into contact.
Minor’s iodine start test
Before undertaking treatment we perform a test to identify the areas of greatest sweat production so that these areas can be successfully treated.
There may be some temporary after-effects of the injections. Most commonly these are bruising, tenderness, swelling, redness and occasionally a headache or mild flu-like symptoms. The latter two may last two to three days, the others usually resolve within a couple of hours. Very occasionally the treatment may not work.
For 24 hours after the injections you should avoid heavy exercise and alcohol as these can increase blood flow and may dilute the effect. You should also avoid rubbing the area or applying pressure.
You should notice a significant reduction in sweating within a couple of weeks and the effects last up to ten months and after this you can choose to have more injections to maintain the benefit.
We recommend appropriate dressing when you come for treatment which allows adequate exposure to your underarms. It is sensible to wear old, dark clothing as iodine can stain clothing if it comes into contact.
“My days of wearing dark clothing and T-Shirts under my shirts have vanished, I can go into my meetings now looking and feeling great and not having to worry about wearing shirts or lifting my arms, I LOVE IT!!!” Karl, Lichfield.