Mississauga plastic surgeon answers questions about excessive sweating.

As many of you may know, the most popular cosmetic wrinkle injectable on the market is also very effective in reducing sweating. Hyperhidrosis is a term used to describe sweat that is excessive. While we don’t know the cause of excessive sweating, one accepted theory is that for many, their nervous system is simply wired to cause the release of more sweat. Normally, nerve impulses travel down nerve fibres and cause the release of a chemical called acetylcholine at the end of the nerve. This chemical then sticks to receptors on sweat glands and tells them to release sweat. When we inject to treat hyperhidrosis, the medication is absorbed by nerve endings and prevents the release of acetylcholine. As a result, the glands are not stimulated to release sweat. In general, the injection is effective for around 6 months, although it is variable and can last anywhere from 3 to 12 months or more.

Some commonly asked questions about excessive questions are:

  1. What is involved in a hyperhidrosis consultation?
    Because excessive sweating can (rarely) be a symptom of a medical condition like thyroid disease, it is important to be seen by a medical practitioner. At your appointment, we will determine if there are any factors that raise concern. If so, we may examine you or request your GP to perform some blood tests. This initial consultation for sweating is an OHIP covered service, so there is no cost to you. We do, however, typically ask that your GP or another physician provide a brief note to us requesting the appointment.
  2. Does private health insurance cover the cost of treatment for excessive sweating?
    Yes, most (though not all) private health insurance plans cover the cost of the medication, but they do not usually cover the injecting fee. If you have private health insurance of any kind you can take advantage of something known as the Access Program. Within this program, you need only fill out some paperwork at your first appointment, pay the injecting fee, and we’ll look after the rest. This way, you won’t be out of pocket for the cost of the medication and you don’t have to ask your insurer about coverage – all of that is taken care of for you.
  3. Are there other options for treatment of hyperhidrosis?
    Yes, there are over-the-counter as well as prescription topical medications that can be helpful to some people. For hands and feet, there is a device called an iontophoresis machine. Some people who suffer from hyperhidrosis may also benefit from sweat gland or nerve surgery. All of these options will be discussed in detail at your appointment.

If you are interested in more information about treatment for excessive sweating, request an appointment online today.

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