Hyperhidrosis Treatment, Treatment for Sweaty Palms, Surgery and Treatment for Body Odour

Hyperhidrosis/Body Odour

Patients suffering from minor to medium cases of hyperhidrosis may apply deodorant to dry skin to prevent excessive sweating. Medical treatment is not normally administered due to its side effects and low rate of success.

Botox injection is also an option. Effects last for 6 months and the injection must be administered regularly. Although each treatment requires the injection of Botox at up to 100 locations, which may seem a lot, the biggest benefit is that any side effects will dissipate within 6 months as the Botox loses its effectiveness.

Alternatively, lonophoresis is a method that allows patients to receive treatment at the comfort of their own homes. The equipment can only be purchased in the United States or Europe. During the treatment, skin is soaked in saline solution. Electric currents will then be passed through the skin. At the beginning, lonophresis has to be administered four times a week, for 30 minutes each time. Frequency may then be reduced to once a month when the condition improves. However, patients may find this treatment overly troublesome and forego this option.

Surgery for Hyperhidrosis

When all methods of treatment fail, patients may consider surgery to remove the sympathicus that causes perspiration. The sympathicus are nerves within the autonomic nervous system that are located at the spine behind the lungs. The sympathicus overlap with other nerves in most parts of the body except at the thoracic vertebrae.

As there is a nodule at the bottom of each vertebrae that connects the nerves, the objective of the surgery is to remove this nodule. This surgery is suitable for patients with hyperhidrosis in the arms and underarms.

Even if this is a minimally invasive surgery, different surgeons will make different incisions. Some surgeons may make only one incision (10-15mm) and place the endoscope and scalpel through the incision. Some may also make three 4mm incisions, one for the endoscope and the other two for placing surgical equipments. Although this means having two more wounds, this method is more flexible.

Three Types of Surgeries

  • Electrosurgery – Using electric currents to destroy the nodule. However, chances of relapse is relatively higher as the nodule remains inside the body.
  • Clamp - Using the clamp to clamp onto the blood supplying vessels, destroying the nodule with the lack of blood supply. However, this is an irreversible surgery, and the wound is relatively large.
  • Removal – Surgical removal is more complex than the two methods above, but it is the most effective with a very low chance of relapse.

Surgeries for hyperhidrosis or body odour generally takes around one hour. Patients will then be hospitalized overnight for observation. Patients may experience chest pains for several days, and may last for several weeks for a minority.

Compensatory hyperhidrosis is one of the complications of surgery, meaning sweating may occur at other locations of the body.

Perspiration is caused by the constriction of blood vessels that force out water within the blood. Therefore, after surgical removal, without the stimulation of the nerves, sweating is reduced.

Surgery is not the first and foremost method of treatment. Doctors will provide appropriate treatments based on the severity of the patient’s condition. As opposed to other kinds of surgery, surgery for hyperhidrosis is not urgent. It is necessary for patients to balance the pros and cons of each method of treatment.