About Perspiration Reduction
Perspiration Reduction, also known as hyperhidrosis or sweat reduction.
There are several ways to treat hyperhidrosis, including several types of medication, super-strength antiperspirants and there are even surgical options available.
There are a variety of different ways surgeons can treat excessive sweating. These include:
- prescription antiperspirant
- oral medications
- botulinum toxin injections
- microwave technology
- axillary shaving
- laser ablation
Each of these procedures acts on the body in a different way, so results will depend on the type of treatment. Accordingly, costs and aftercare for each procedure will also differ. Some of these procedures may need to be repeated in the future.
How is it performed?
Some of the treatments listed above work by reducing the actual amount of perspirations produced, some by disabling or blocking the sweat glands. Surgery is not usually required, but in cases where it is, the surgeon will cut the specific nerves controlling the sweat glands in the area, to prevent sweating entirely. Such extreme surgery will only be performed once all other options have been exhausted.
Below are some of the most common treatments available for excessive sweating:
- Prescription medications or anti-perspirants, whether oral or topical, reduce sweating either internally or at the site and usually help to get rid of the worst symptoms.
- Ionrophoresis is a unique technique, which utilizes the conductive properties of water to pass electricity through the skin. This blocks the production of sweat at the source. These devices are available to buy, or you can ask your physician to perform the treatment for you at their office. The process will be repeated for several days until the results are noticeable and then weekly follow up treatments are necessary to maintain the results.
- Botulinum toxin injections (although not its primary use) can be incredibly effective at stopping sweating because it temporarily paralyses the nerves of the sweat glands completely. It can be used almost anywhere on the body, but is currently one of the most popular treatments of axillary hyperhidrosis. Depending on your body and the severity of your problem, your plastic surgeon will need to make somewhere between 20-50 injections of botox into your underarms to have a full effect.
- Axillary shaving is completely different to all the other devices, in that it directly removes a part of the sweat gland. The surgeon uses a very thin tube-like shaver, which is designed to go underneath your skin. After making a small incision in each armpit, the surgeon will gently shave away the sweat glands from beneath the skin using the special arthroscopic shaver. Axillary shaving is a permanent procedure, which doesn’t damage the surrounding cells (like hair glands).
- Laser ablation uses a specially formed beam of laser-light energy to destroy the sweat glands beneath the skin. This procedure must be performed under local anesthetic and your surgeon will access the area by making one or two tiny incisions into the armpits. This is a permanent treatment that will need a small amount of recovery time and which also can result in the loss of some hair.
- Microwave technology is a relatively recent addition to the excess sweat and body odor treatment toolbox. The device uses a specially tailored suction cup to draw the sweat glands to the surface of the skin, where they are blasted with optimized microwave energy. The procedure usually takes no longer than an hour and patients do not report any feelings of pain or discomfort. For optimal effects, most people will have two or three sessions.
What result can I expect?
Results can vary between people and between devices. However, there are some general guidelines that can give us a rough idea:
Botulinum toxin injections:
Shots are needed every six months to two years.
Sweating stops completely for four to six months and returns, but is minimal.
A permanent solution that resolves over 90% of sweating.
Effective to resolve above 80% of sweating after two to three treatments.
If you want to ensure you get the best possible results without putting your body at risk, ensure that you keep all your follow up appointments with you cosmetic surgeon. If you ever have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact your plastic surgeon.
- Makes you feel more comfortable in professional or social situations
- Able to grasp objects securely without fear of losing grip
- No longer have to frequently change clothes or limit wardrobe
- Botulinum toxin injections may need to be repeated every seven months to two years
- Laser treatments are permanent, but could require follow ups
- Some treatments only work on certain parts of the body (such as the armpits)
The recovery period from a hyperhidrosis treatment can vary greatly depending on the treatment. Some require no aftercare whatsoever, while others may need 1-2 weeks of re-cooperation for the best results. If you are required to restrict your diet or activity then your cosmetic surgeon will discuss the details with you during your consultation. Make sure you follow all the instructions given to you by your physician carefully.
Your cosmetic surgeon will go over how to spot any signs that your wounds (if you have any) are not healing properly. If you notice anything strange, or experience any abnormal pain or symptoms then you should contact your cosmetic surgeon immediately.
Limits & Risks
There are very few cases of complication due to non-surgical sweat reduction procedures. If there are any risks unique to you, then your surgeon will discuss how these may affect the treatment during your consultation. Remember that all procedures do come with some risks. If you want to reduce this risk, make sure you listen to and follow all the instructions of your cosmetic or plastic surgeon before, during and after your procedure.