Treatment of Hyperhidrosis in New York
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating, a common condition estimated to affect up to 3% of all Americans. Excessive sweating may be present in the underarms (axillary hyperhidrosis), as well as in the palms of the hands and soles of the feet (palmoplantar hyperhidrosis). Without treatment, hyperhidrosis can have a significant impact on the quality of life for those who live with this condition. Not only is excessive sweating embarrassing, it can also stain clothing, ruin romance, and complicate business and social interactions. At Plastic Surgery & Dermatology of NYC, we offer a variety of treatment options that can significantly reduce excessive sweating, ranging from prescription-strength antiperspirants to BOTOX® injections and laser therapy.
What causes hyperhidrosis/excessive sweating?
Hyperhidrosis is caused by over activity of the eccrine sweat glands. In rare instances, there may be an underlying medical or metabolic reason for the condition, but in most cases, hyperhidrosis occurs in people who are otherwise healthy. While heat and emotions may trigger excessive sweating in some, many people who suffer from hyperhidrosis sweat most of the time, regardless of their mood or the air temperature.
How is hyperhidrosis/excessive sweating treated?
The first line of treatment is usually over-the-counter or prescription antiperspirants, which work by blocking sweat ducts in order to reduce the amount of perspiration. If antiperspirants are unsuccessful, other treatment options may include oral medications or iontophoresis, a procedure that uses water and electrical current to combat the production of sweat. Two of the most successful treatments for hyperhidrosis are BOTOX® injections and laser therapy.*
How does BOTOX® treat hyperhidrosis/excessive sweating?
BOTOX® is FDA-approved to treat severe underarm sweating when topical medications do not work. BOTOX® is a natural, purified protein. When injected into the affected areas, BOTOX® temporarily blocks the chemical signals from the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands, stopping the production of sweat in the treated areas. While BOTOX® is not currently FDA-approved for treatment of excessive sweating in the hands and feet, many doctors have successfully administered BOTOX® in those areas as an off-label use.
What should I expect during BOTOX® treatment for hyperhidrosis/excessive sweating?
BOTOX® treatment for hyperhidrosis is performed on an outpatient basis in our offices. Before the procedure, an iodine sweat test is performed by applying iodine and starch powder to the underarm area. This will help to delineate the areas of maximal sweat production. Using an ultra fine needle, small amounts of BOTOX® are injected into multiple targeted sites across the treatment area. To ensure patient comfort, topical numbing cream is offered prior to the treatment, although it’s not necessary. For treatment of the hands and feet, topical numbing cream will be used as well, and a local block may also be offered. The procedure usually takes about 20 minutes.*
What should I expect after BOTOX® treatment for hyperhidrosis/excessive sweating?
You can return to your normal activities with no restrictions immediately after treatment. The effects will become apparent during the first week after treatment, and you should notice a significant reduction in sweating within the first 4 weeks.*
How often do I need BOTOX® treatment for hyperhidrosis/excessive sweating?
On average, patients return for repeat treatment 3-4 times per year during the first year. Over time, you will need less frequent treatments, with most people needing just 1 or 2 treatments annually.*
What happens if I decide to stop BOTOX® treatment for hyperhidrosis/excessive sweating?
The effects of BOTOX® are temporary. If you decide to stop treatment, your sweating will gradually return to the level it was before you started treatment.
How does laser therapy treat hyperhidrosis/excessive sweating?
For many people, laser therapy can be an excellent option to treat hyperhidrosis on a longer-lasting basis. Specialized instruments, such as the SmartLipo® laser or the VASER®, use laser or ultrasound energy to target and destroy the eccrine glands that produce sweat. Laser therapy can significantly reduce sweating in the treated areas. Laser treatment of hyperhidrosis is minimally invasive and can be performed in the office using local anesthesia.*
What should I expect during laser treatment for hyperhidrosis/excessive sweating?
Laser treatment for hyperhidrosis is performed on an outpatient basis in our offices. A local anesthetic will be used to numb the treatment area. Tiny incisions are made to allow the laser to access the sweat glands beneath the skin. Laser or ultrasound energy will heat and can destroy the sweat glands in targeted areas. The procedure takes less than an hour to complete.*
What should I expect after laser treatment for hyperhidrosis/excessive sweating?
You can return to your normal activities immediately after treatment. Sutures will either dissolve on their own or be removed in 3-5 days.*
How often do I need laser treatment for hyperhidrosis/excessive sweating?
Laser treatment for hyperhidrosis destroys the targeted sweat glands, so there is no need for repeat treatment.*