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Why do I sweat more than everyone else?

Excessive sweating without any underlying medical condition is called primary hyperhidrosis. If the cause of excessive sweating is due to a medical condition, this is referred to as secondary hyperhidrosis.

Hyperhidrosis (HH) is caused by overactive sweat glands. There is increased release of a chemical (acetylcholine) from the central nervous system which causes sweat glands to produce excessive perspiration.

HH significantly affects the social and psychological wellbeing of an individual. It may cause physical discomfort, social embarrassment, affect occupational and daily activities, and at times social isolation. Many who have the problem find it embarrassing, trying to avoid shaking hands and hiding sweat stains by wearing black or jackets even during Summer.

Axillary HH refers to severe sweating under the arms. It also commonly affects the palms and soles and less often elsewhere on the body and face.

Treatments to stop excess sweating

Treatment options available for treatment of hyperhidrosis include:
Antiperspirants/deodorants: Aluminium chloride hexahydratein antiperspirants block the sweat pores and are best applied onto clean dry skin at night. This allows time for absorption into the skin. Deodorants are applied in the morning to help control body odour. Irritation and itching of skin can be an unwanted side effect.

Medications: Agents that inhibit the release of acetylcholine such as glycopyrrolate (lotion/cream), and tablets can be prescribed by a doctor specialising in excess sweating. These agents may cause dry mouth, dizziness and other side effects.

Iontophoresis: A small electric current is passed through a solution which is then absorbed and temporarily blocks the sweat glands. This is often used for treating excessive sweating of the palms and soles of the feet. Treatment is weekly and can be fortnightly depending on your response. Patients will need to buy the solution (approx. $90) which can be used repeatedly.


Injections: This has been used in Australia for over 20 years for medical conditions including cerebral palsy in children. It is a purified protein that works by blocking the release of acetylcholine. Small amounts are injected just under the skin using a very fine needle. Most patients notice a dramatic benefit within 7 days and you remain dry for 4 months or longer. Topical anaesthetic cream can be applied prior to the injections for a pain free treatment.

The drug is available only for severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis in patients 12 years or older who have failed or are intolerant to topical aluminium chloride hexahydrate after one or two months of treatment. Eligible patients may receive a medicare rebate.

Surgery: Surgery may be performed to remove the sweat glands or to interrupt the impulses from the central nervous system in a procedure called Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS). The ETS procedure is considered a last resort as it may cause compensatory sweating (excessive sweating at another location eg face) that maybe more difficult to manage than the original problem. Miradry is an option for those who can afford it ($2500-$3500) and results in a reduction of sweating.

Please email us at or contact our rooms for an appointment to assess and discuss the most suitable treatment. Please mention hyperhidrosis/ sweat free treatment when making the booking for an earlier appointment.

Hyperhidrosis ( Excessive Sweating)

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