How To Treat Excessive Sweating

February 12, 2024

Sweating is a natural and healthy thermoregulatory response. But how much sweating is too much? If your sweat is excessive, persistent or uncontrollable, it likely interferes with your quality of life. That is a sign that you should seek treatment.

We’re going to cover everything you need to know about excessive sweating: what it is and why it happens. Plus, most importantly, what you can do about it.

What is Excessive Sweating Called?

Excessive sweating is a condition known as hyperhidrosis, affecting around five percent of the world’s population. That’s an astounding 365 million people struggling with excessive sweat production.

For some, it affects the hands. Sweaty hands can prevent you from shaking hands with people. For others, it’s sweaty feet, causing strong odors and discomfort. Some people experience sweaty armpits that soak through their shirts while sitting in a meeting. One thing is for sure, it’s not enjoyable.

Many people who experience excessive sweating feel self-conscious, insecure, or anxious in social settings. That’s perhaps why hyperhidrosis is a condition associated with anxiety and depression. When you are constantly worried about sweating, you are less able to enjoy the present moment. But there are treatments out there that can help you regain your confidence!

Why Do We Sweat?

It’s important to note that sweating happens to everyone - some more than others. Let’s touch on what sweating is and why it happens.

Sweating is a thermoregulatory system in your body that essentially acts as an automatic fan. Think of it like a conditioning unit that turns on when the room temperature gets too hot and humid. It automatically starts cooling it down. That is exactly what sweat does - it cools you down. 

When you exercise, your body heats up. This is because you’re being active: your heart rate increases and blood is being pumped more vigorously around the body and into the muscles, causing blood vessels in the skin to dilate. Unfortunately, humans are quite inefficient at generating movement: only around 20 percent of the total energy used contributes to the actual muscular contraction involved in the exercise, the remaining 80 percent of the total energy is lost in heat.

When your body temperature increases above homeostasis (around 37 degrees celsius), thermoregulation initiates, causing your body to produce sweat on the skin’s surface. This sweat evaporates, drawing heat from the skin to cool down the body’s core temperature.

So when you sweat during exercise, or when your body temperature is elevated because you’re out in the sun - this is completely normal, and beneficial! The issue is when you sweat profusely outside of these situations. 

Why Am I Always Sweating?

If you’re part of the 365 million people around the world that struggle with hyperhidrosis, you’ve probably asked yourself this question! Why am I always sweating? As we just covered, sweating is healthy. But it’s helpful to establish whether the amount you sweat is within the realm of normal. 

People who find themselves sweating profusely might have the condition hyperhidrosis. If this is something you think you may be experiencing, it’s important to seek medical advice from a professional. Even if you are not diagnosed with the condition, you still may still be sweating more than normal, which might be interfering with your quality of life. 

Depending on a few key variables, you can expect to lose anywhere from 500 ml per day at rest in cool environments to 10 liters per day during exercise in the heat. The rate of sweat is proportional to your metabolic rate, along with the following variables:

  • Gender - Men statistically sweat more than women.
  • Genetics - Focal hyperhidrosis is a chronic, inherited skin disorder.
  • Activity levels - Exercise increases your sweat production; some studies have found people sweating two liters an hour during a workout!
  • Environment - Hotter, more humid climates, means more sweat!
  • Medications - Increased sweating can be a side effect of some medications
  • Hormonal imbalances - Conditions like hyperthyroidism can cause excessive sweating.
  • Mental health factors - Individuals with anxiety disorders, particularly social anxiety, depression, or attention deficit disorder (ADD).

The link between mental health disorders and excessive sweating is clear. A study looked at 500 hyperhidrosis patients and found that within the group, 13.8 percent had anxiety, 12.4 percent had depression and 6.4 percent had ADD. But it’s a case of ‘the chicken or the egg?’ because sweating profusely can also leave you feeling insecure, stressed and depressed, even if you don’t suffer from those conditions.

So what can you do about it?

The Treatment for Hyperhidrosis

Once you have been diagnosed with hyperhidrosis, you may be advised to take a prescription medication like:

  • Prescription antiperspirant - Often containing aluminum chloride 
  • Prescription creams - Often containing glycopyrrolate 
  • Nerve-blocking medications
  • Antidepressants - To target the emotional component causing excess sweat

These medications can have side effects. For example, according to the Mayo Clinic, nerve-blocking medications can cause dry mouth, blurred vision and bladder problems. That is why we recommend another treatment for hyperhidrosis - botox injections.

Botox for Excessive Sweating

Botulinum toxin injections is the leading non-invasive cosmetic treatment globally, with a whopping 6.2 million injections administered in a single year. One of the main uses for botox is to prevent and minimize wrinkles, however, it has a variety of therapeutic uses including to treat excessive sweating.

Botox is effective for treating regionalized excessive sweating conditions also known as hyperhidrosis. It’s so effective that it has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for hyperhidrosis. 

What areas can you treat with botox for hyperhidrosis?

The most common areas to treat with botox for hyperhidrosis include:

  • Hands - Sweaty palms? We have the solution! A study found that when botox is injected into the hands, it can reduce sweating by up to 50 percent!

  • Face - Mopping your sweaty brow throughout the day can get annoying. Botox injections can reduce facial sweating, and give you the added benefit of less wrinkles.

  • Feet - When botox is injected into the soles of the feet it can alleviate excess feet sweat, with studies supporting its efficacy in 73 percent of participants.

Do you have another area of your body that sweats more than normal? Luckily, botox can be used on any body part to treat overactive sweat glands. Sisu Clinic treats patients who experience excessive sweating of the feet, hands, and forehead, among other areas. Click here to inquire about the body part you’d like to target.

How Does Botox for Hyperhidrosis Work?

Botox injections inhibit the nerve impulses that cause sweating, preventing the sweat glands from generating excessive amounts of sweat. 

If you’re wondering how long botox for hyperhidrosis lasts, the answer is - it depends! Research has shown that botox for hyperhidrosis can last from 4 to even 14 months. Your body will metabolize the drug administered during your treatment at different rates, which is why some people enjoy results for longer than others.

Additionally, certain areas on the body exhibit shorter duration, like the hands and feet due to the anatomical structure. But with each subsequent treatment, the results will likely last longer each time. 

Aside from not experiencing excessive sweat, you will also experience a noticeable reduction in body odor. When you sweat, your glands release certain odorless chemicals that come into contact with bacteria on your skin. These bacteria are responsible for creating the odors we typically associate with “BO”. If we sweat less, we emit fewer of these chemicals, reducing body odor. 

What Should You Expect When You Get Botox for Hyperhidrosis

When you come into Sisu Clinic, one of our medical providers will assess the area to treat and answer any questions you may have. This is your initial consultation, with the goal being to leave you feeling confident and well-informed before you get botox for hyperhidrosis.

Once you are ready to come in for your appointment, your provider will clean the treatment area and inject a few points across the target area. These will feel like minor pin-pricks - some people barely notice! The treatment is non-invasive, quick and effective, and there is no downtime, so you can get back to your daily routine as soon as you’re done.

You Deserve Relief From Excessive Sweating

You don’t need to suffer in silence (and sweat!) any more. There are effective treatments for hyperhidrosis, including botox. Botox injections are the easiest way to efficiently target and treat hyperhidrosis. You’ll enjoy results that last, because you deserve it.

The cure for hyperhidrosis is here. Click here to book your free consultation.