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Hyperhidrosis/Excessive Sweating

Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition where an individual sweats excessively, more than is necessary, in order to regulate their body temperature. Although hyperhidrosis doesn’t usually cause medical problems, it can cause psychological distress and affect self-esteem as it is often embarrassing. Hyperhidrosis does not have a specific diagnosis, but generally, if excessive sweating is interfering with your daily life, your doctor may diagnose hyperhidrosis and recommend a course of treatment. Patients with hyperhidrosis may experience excessive sweating in the armpits, palms of the hands, soles of the feet and the face and chest. A need to change clothes several times during the day, finding that deodorants don’t seem to be effective enough or are needed to be applied with significant frequency, and avoiding certain social situations or personal interactions, such as shaking hands or hugging others can be signs that you may have a problem level of sweating which is bothering you.

Causes of Hyperhidrosis

There are two types of hyperhidrosis; primary hyperhidrosis and secondary hyperhidrosis.

Medical opinion tends to agree that primary hyperhidrosis is caused by problems with the sympathetic nervous system. When we sweat, it is usually because our sympathetic nervous system has sent a signal from the brain to the sweat (eccrine) glands in order to regulate body temperature – sweating cools us down. In hyperhidrosis patients, it is thought that there may be a problem with the part of the brain that sends signals to the eccrine glands, so that they produce sweat even though there is no need to regulate body temperature.

In secondary hyperhidrosis (where the excessive sweating is caused by an underlying medical condition or problem), causes include:

  • The menopause
  • An over-active or under-active thyroid gland
  • Being drunk or being “high” on drugs
  • Withdrawing from alcohol or drugs
  • Taking medications, including anti-depressants, tamoxifen and gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist
  • Some medical conditions, including leukemia, lymphoma, HIV, tuberculosis and Parkinson’s disease


Lifestyle changes, such as minimising stress, avoiding known triggers, wearing clothes made from all-natural fibres and using medically-approved anti-perspirant sprays can help to reduce hyperhidrosis symptoms. At Hilton Skin Clinics, we offer botulinum toxin treatment (Botox) to reduce the production of sweat in those with excessive underarm sweating (primary axillary hyperhidrosis). During treatment, our Advanced Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner will inject Botox into the armpits (between 12 and 20 injections) in a procedure that takes less than 40 minutes. The botulinum toxin blocks the signals from the brain to the sweat glands, interrupting the faulty signals that may have been causing excessive sweat, reducing sweat production. The effects of treatment typically last for 2-8 months and follow-up treatments will usually be needed to maintain the reduced levels of sweating.

If you think you suffer from hyperhidrosis and would like to know if you could be treated at Hilton Skin Clinics, please contact us today.

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