Sweating helps maintain body temperature, skin hydration and fluid, and electrolyte balance. People sweat in response to numerous factors, such as warm temperatures, physical exertion, anxiety, etc. However, individuals who sweat excessively when these triggers are not present, such as in cool temperatures, during periods of rest, etc., suffer from a condition called hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is characterized by abnormal, excessive sweating. It usually affects the underarms, hands, or feet, however, most areas of the skin’s surface can be affected.
Signs & Symptoms
Hyperhidrosis is characterized by abnormal, profuse sweating that can affect one or a combination of the following:
- Hands, called palmar hyperhidrosis
- Underarms, called axillary hyperhidrosis
- Feet, called plantar hyperhidrosis
The excessive sweating often interferes with daily activities. For example, patients with palmar hyperhidrosis have wet, moist hands that sometimes interfere with grasping objects. Those with axillary hyperhidrosis sweat profusely from their underarms causing them to stain their clothes shortly after they dress. Plantar hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating of the feet, makes ones socks and shoes wet, which leads to increased foot odor.
The cause of hyperhidrosis is unknown, although it is often genetically obtained in families and begins during childhood. Topical treatments is one way to help manage hyperhidrosis, but once topical treatments have failed, Botox treatment can help control the symptoms of hyperhidrosis by temporarily blocking the chemical signals from the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands. When the sweat glands don’t receive chemical signals, the excessive sweating stops. Botox injections for hyperhidrosis are safe and they are expected to temporarily stop the production of excessive sweat for 6-10 months.