What is hyperhidrosis?
Perspiring is a natural physiological phenomenon which is indispensible in keeping the body temperature stable. In some people it can, however, be excessive in some places, like the armpits, hands, feet and the forehead. Excessive perspiration affects about 1% of the population and can be secondary to other medical conditions like hyperthyroidism and obesity, but in the majority of cases it has no apparent cause, and is often manifested after particularly psychologically and emotionally stressful situations. In these cases, it is a problem of great social and psychological impact that can alter the individual’s emotional stability to the stage of causing their social isolation.
The areas affected by hyperhidrosis produce perspiration in extremely abundant quantities with evident symptoms, like a damp appearance, which is frankly often wet, in the affected area which sometimes goes as far as actual dripping.
Hyperhidrosis can be treated with excellent effectiveness using botulinum toxin, which acts by temporarily blocking the mechanism that lies at the base of the secretion of the perspiration. The drug is injected directly into the affected area of excessive perspiration. The injections are slightly uncomfortable in the armpits and forehead, whilst they are painful in the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. In these areas an anaesthetic is administered before treating. Although having a temporary duration of about 6-7 months, the drug is usually effective with very satisfying results, even with relation to alternative therapeutic methods, which are few in number and often invasive. For hyperhidrosis of the armpits, it is, in fact, possible to carry out a surgical operation of thoracic endoscopic sympatheticectomy with the permanent interruption, at the level of the costovertebral articulations, of the nerves that transmit the impulse to the sweat glands, or a dermo lipo-aspiration of the subcutaneous tissue of the armpit, whilst for the other areas there are no effective permanent cures. Therefore, the treatment with botulinum toxin is often really the true solution to the problem and is carried out more and more frequently.