What is it?

Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition which describes excessive and unpredictable sweating.  Sweating is a normal physiological response that helps the body to stay cool in warm temperatures, during exercise or exertion, or in response to situations that make them anxious, angry, or afraid.  Excessive sweating that occurs without such triggers is known as hyperhidrosis.

When excessive sweating affects the hands, feet or armpits, it is known as primary hyperhidrosis.  This condition usually runs in families and often improves or even disappears with age.

Secondary hyperhidrosis is caused by another medical conditions and can be widespread or localised.

Approximately 3% of the general population suffer from primary hyperhidrosis and 50% of these find that it is worst in their axillae (underarm area).

Hyperhidrosis can have a significant psychosocial effect, causing people to be self-conscious about themselves.  Hyperhidrosis of the hands leads to an unwillingness to shake hands or hold hands with someone else.  Hyperhidrosis of the soles of the feet  often results in having to wear socks everyday to help absorb the moisture.  Hyperhidrosis of the underarms is the most common form of this condition.  Excessive underarm sweating ruins clothing, can often be maloderous, and excessive wet patches under the arms can cause significant embarassment.

Treatment options include specific anti-perspirants which often stain clothing and surgical procedures which have variable success rates.  An easy non-invasive treatment is the use of Botulinism Toxin to inhibit the sweat glands.  This treatment has FDA- approval for treating severe primary hyperhidrosis of the underarm area  which interferes with daily living and is resistant to topical treatment.   It is a safe and very effective treatment.  Treatment of other areas is off-licence.

What areas can be treated?

Any area that is prone to excessive sweating can be treated with Botulinum Toxin.  These include:

  • Underarms
  • Palms of hands
  • Soles of feet
  • Brow/Forehead
  • Groin
  • Hairline

Who is a good candidate for treatment?

Anyone with hyperhidrosis is a good candidate for treatment.  We treat adolescents, teenagers, and adults.  Many of our patients are executives who feel that excessive underam wetness makes them appear nervous instead of cool, calm and collected.

What does a treatment entail?

Minute amounts  of Botox are injected very superficially at 1-2cm intervals throughout the area to be treated. The Botox temporarily “switches off” the chemical messenger that causes sweating.

The vast majority of patients have a normal distribution of underarm sweat glands and get a good result.  If areas of excessive wetness persist, a simple iodine-starch test can be done in your doctor’s consultation room helps to demarcate the area of sweat gland distribution for more accurate treatment.

Is there pain and downtime?

The treatment area is iced beforehand to minimalise discomfort.  Most people tolerate this treatment easily.  A topical anaesthetic can be applied beforehand if required.  Tiny injection site bruises may occur but disappear in a few days.  A nerve block may be performed when treating the palms of the hands or the sole of the feet.

What do I need to do afterwards? 

There is no specific aftercare needed.

When can I expect to see results and how long do they last for?

Most people report a reduction of up to 80% of sweating in the underarm area after Botulinum Toxin injections.  It takes 3-4 days for it to start working and two weeks to reach maximum effect.  Effects last for 4-12 months, with most people finding it lasts for about 8 months.

Underarm sweating

Palms of Hands

Soles of feet

Groin area

Brow sweating

Hairline sweating

Improves self-confidence

Protects clothing


3a 5th Road,

Hyde Park

Tel:  011 788 7910

Email: info@aestheticson5th.co.za