What is hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is the condition of excessive sweating. While sweating is an important feature of the body to help maintain temperature, some people produce more than what is needed. This condition affects approximately two to three percent of the population.

For more detailed information on hyperhidrosis visit the RACGP’s website by clicking here.

What are the symptoms of hyperhidrosis?

The most common areas of the body affected are the underarms, hands, feet, scalp and face. Some might be affected in one or multiple areas of the body. Symptoms include excessive sweating in such areas without due cause – such as exercise. People with hyperhidrosis often sweat when it’s cool.

What is the cause of hyperhidrosis?

While hyperhidrosis is caused by overactive nerves, why they become overactive is not known. It is thought that there is a genetic element, as the condition is known to affect people who have a family history of excessive sweating.

What treatment options are available?

There are a number of treatment options available to those suffering from hyperhidrosis. The options available to you will be discussed with your GP and with Doctor Cohen. Some of these options include:

  • Antiperspirant deodorant containing aluminium chloride
  • Oral medications
  • Botox
  • Surgery – best reserved for sweating of the hands
  • Endoscopic Thorascopic Sympathectomy –  this involves a general anesthetic and two small tubes are placed under the arm to allow access to the chest. The lung is deflated and this allows vision of the sympathectic chain that runs along the back wall of the chest. The chain will be divided in two places and the lung reinflated. The procedure usually takes 60 minutes and you will be discharged the following day. The risks and benefits of the surgery will be discussed with you at the time of the consultation.

If you’d like to speak to Dr Cohen about your hyperhidrosis, you will require a referral from your GP or healthcare provider.


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