Hyperhidrosis Treatment

Treatments

What will happen during my Sweat Clinics Australia Treatment?

You will arrive at our clinic and be greeted by one of our friendly team. Your details and paperwork will be checked.

You will be taken to our treatment room by your doctor or by our technician.

Your doctor will ask you about your sweating and confirm the treatment is appropriate. Your doctor will consider arranging further testing to exclude secondary causes of sweating if required.

Your doctor will explain the procedure to you and prepare the area being treated with antiseptic solution.

You will receive 15-20 anti-sweat injections in a grid pattern in your area of concern.

You can go home and resume normal activities immediately after your procedure. You may feel tender in the treated area for a day or so. Avoiding deodorant, vigorous exercise and hot baths for 2 days after the procedure is advised.

What alternative treatment options are there for excessive sweating?

The treatment options for excessive sweating depends on where in the body the sweating occurs.

Underarms Hands Feet Face
Anti-sweat injections Y Y Y Y
Topical antiperspirants Y Y Y Y
Oral Medications Usually used if needing to treat whole body
Miradry Y
Iontophoresis Y Y
Surgery Y Y

Topical Antiperspirants

Clinical strength aluminium containing antiperspirants are the first line treatment for hyperhidrosis and should be trialled before consideration is given to any other treatments. They are affordable and usually well tolerated. They should be applied at night to clean, dry skin.

The antiperspirant plugs the sweat gland and should signal your body to stop producing so much sweat.

Some people cannot tolerate antiperspirants due to skin irritation or a burning sensation. Some people will find they provide inadequate control of their sweating.

If clinical strength aluminium containing antiperspirants cannot be tolerated or fail to provide good sweat control, alternative treatments such as anti-sweat injections at Sweat Clinics Australia can be considered.

Oral Medications

Prescription medications such as anticholinergics can temporarily relieve sweating. These are usually considered when sweating involves the whole body.

The side effects can include dry mouth, dry eyes, blurry vision and cardiac affects. This significantly limits their use and they are not frequently prescribed.

Miradry

Miradry is a non-invasive procedure that uses microwave technology to target and destroy sweat glands in the underarms. It is long lasting and performed under local anaesthesia.

Side effects may include swelling, numbness and bruising in the underarm area for several days after treatment.

Cost is a barrier to many people in accessing this treatment. The cost of Miradry treatment is variable but generally between $2500- $3500. Sometimes a second treatment is required which may cost a further $1500- $2500.

Iontophoresis

Iontophoresis can be used for excessive sweating of the hands or feet. It is non-invasive and performed at home using a medical device that sends a low voltage current through water while the hands or feet are immersed. The electric current passes through the skins surface and shuts down the treated sweat glands temporarily.

It is very time consuming. Most people need 6-10 treatments before the sweat glands are shut down. A treatment session typically takes 20-40 minutes and is performed 2 or 3 times a week initially. Once sweating is improved ongoing maintenance treatments are needed. It can sometimes result in dry, irritated skin and discomfort during the treatment.

Surgery

Surgery is usually a last line option considered when other less invasive treatments have failed to provide relief from excessive sweating.

Surgical procedures include surgical removal of the sweat glands or thoracic sympathectomy.

Surgical removal of the sweat glands can be used to treat axillary hyperhidrosis. It can be performed under local anaesthetic. Risks include infection, pain, bruising, scarring and loss of feeling in the underarm.

Thoracic Sympathectomy involves cutting or clamping the sympathetic nerves in the thoracic region of the spine. It is usually used to treat palmar hyperhidrosis. This is a major surgical procedure requiring general anaesthetic. Serious side effects can occur including compensatory sweating, Horner’s syndrome (a rare complication affecting the eyes), pneumothorax (puncturing the lung) and infection.

FAQ

How long do anti-sweat injections last for hyperhidrosis?

Most people find their anti-sweat injection treatment lasts 4-6 months before they need to have it repeated. Some people can last up to 8 months or longer.

How often will I need treatments?

Most people will need treatments every 4 to 6 months (2 or 3 times per year).
Medicare will cover one treatment every 4 months.

I’m scared of needles; can I still have this treatment?

Yes! At Sweat Clinics Australia we have supported many people with needle phobias through this procedure. Please let us know when you book your treatment, and we will allow extra time to support you.

You can consider using topical anaesthetic cream (eg. Emla) cream applied 1 hour prior to the procedure. This is most useful for underarms, hands and feet. You may also consider our other options for pain relief.

Detailed instructions on using Emla Cream can be found on the Emla wesite.

Is the treatment painful?

Underarms (axillae)

For most people the discomfort or pain from underarm anti-sweat injections is mild. The procedure is quick and the injections are superficial with an ultra-fine needle. If you are concerned about pain you can apply Emla cream 1 hour prior to the procedure.

Detailed instructions on using Emla Cream can be found on the Emla wesite.

Hands (palms) and Feet (soles)

The discomfort from anti-sweat injections to the hands and feet is more significant. We use a combination of multiple measure to minimise this pain.

Ice applied to the treatment area 30-60 minutes prior to your procedure helps reduce inflammation and numb the area. Topical anaesthetic cream (eg. Emla) applied to the treatment area 1 hour prior to the procedure also assists to numb the area. During the procedure you can opt to use the “green whistle” penthrox inhaler which is a short-term analgesic.

Your doctor will discuss pain relief with you during your consultation and plan for what suits you best. Your doctor will provide a script for pentrox if required.

Detailed instructions on using Emla Cream can be found on the Emla wesite.

What are my options for pain relief during anti-sweat injection treatment?

Topical anaesthetic cream

Topical anaesthetic cream (eg. Emla) applied 1 hour prior to the procedure temporarily numbs the skin. It can be useful in treatments of underarms, hands and feet. It is applied directly to the skin surface. It takes about 20-60 minutes for the active ingredients to penetrate the skin, start numbing the nerves and have full effect.

Detailed instructions on using Emla Cream can be found on the Emla wesite.

Ice

Ice application before and after the procedure can minimise swelling and help numb the area. It is most useful in treatment of hands and feet.

Green Whistle (Penthrox Inhaler)

The penthrox inhaler is a handheld inhaler used for short term pain relief. It is used during the procedure. It is most useful in treatment of hands and feet. You will need a script, your doctor will arrange this for you during your consultation.

Nerve Blocks

Nerve blocks are occasionally used.

Can I use numbing cream (eg. Emla) prior to my procedure?

Yes. Topical anaesthetic cream (eg. Emla) can be used to reduce the discomfort from the procedure. It is most useful for underarms, hands and feet. This is purchased over the counter at a pharmacy and is applied at least 1 hour prior to the procedure.

Detailed instructions on using Emla Cream can be found on the Emla wesite.

Are anti-sweat injections safe?

Yes! The medication used in anti-sweat injections has been used to treat a wide range of medical conditions, across the world, for over 30 years.

This medication is most well known as a cosmetic treatment for wrinkles, but also used to treat conditions such as neuromuscular disorders, migraine and muscle spasm as well as hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).

Can you become immune to repeated anti-sweat injection treatments, or have too much of this medication?

No. Research has shown that anti-sweat treatment is safe and effective for hyperhidrosis and that repeated treatments consistently result in meaningful long lasting improvements in sweating, daily functioning and quality of life for hyperhidrosis sufferers.

Do anti-sweat injections work for treating hyperhidrosis?

Yes. Anti-sweat injections are highly effective for treating hyperhidrosis. Studies in axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweating) have shown a reduction in sweating of approximately 85%.

Don’t I need to sweat? Is stopping my sweating safe?

While sweating is an essential bodily function for temperature regulation, we only block a very small percentage of the body’s total sweat glands when we treat hyperhidrosis with anti-sweat injections. The armpits, for example, are home to less than 2% of the body’s sweat glands. Blocking the function of such a small proportion of sweat glands does not cause any issues.