Treatment of Hyperhidrosis
What is it?
About 3% of the population suffers from varying degrees of hyperhidrosis, the medical term for excessive sweating. The problem can occur all over the body, but the most common areas affected are the armpits, palms of the hands, and the soles of the feet. Although not medically dangerous, this condition can interfere with many activities and cause significant problems in daily life.
Stress, embarrassment, anxiety, isolation and even depression are among the socio- professional consequences frequently linked to excessive sweating.
Botox injections are the treatment of choice for treating localized hyperhidrosis. The paralyzing action of the toxin inhibits sweating and immediately improves quality of life. The treatment takes about 30 minutes and the therapeutic effect lasts 6 to 9 months.
What are the causes?
Hyperhidrosis does not always have an obvious cause. It is sometimes idiopathic, meaning that it exists by itself. It can also be secondary in nature and be triggered by certain medical conditions including hyperthyroidism, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, overweight or menopause. Strong emotions, especially stress, are also important aggravating factors. The consumption of certain foods (meat, shellfish, spicy foods, caffeinated drinks) can also cause a flare-up of sweating.
How is the diagnosis made?
Botulinum toxin injections are indicated when sweating cannot be controlled or moderated by topical antiperspirant treatments. Treatment is usually considered when the problem causes social anxiety and becomes disabling.
The iodine-starch test is sometimes used to measure the extent of the problem. The doctor applies an iodine solution to the sweating area and then sprinkles some starch powder before observing the change in color. The darker the color, the heavier the sweat and the more pronounced the problem.
How is hyperhidrosis treated?
The treatment consists of injecting microdroplets of botulinum toxin through a very fine needle into several places on the treated surface. An anesthetic cream can be used to minimize discomfort.
Complications are rare and usually consist of small hematomas at the injection sites. The effect is seen one to three days after treatment. The result is optimal after ten days and lasts between 6 and 9 months.
What is the cost of the treatment?
The price is determined at the time of consultation.
Is this treatment covered by private insurance?
Treatment for hyperhidrosis is sometimes covered by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec or by private insurance companies. We recommend that you check directly with your insurer. Please note that Dr. Brutus’s practice is completely private and that none of the services offered at Exception MD are covered by the RAMQ.