Nothing but the truth! Palmar and plantar HH By Dr Davin Lim...
Myths and facts
Excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis is more common than you think and effects 2-3 % of the population. Most cases of hyperhidrosis start in late childhood or early teens. Excessive armpit sweating is the most common form of hyperhidrosis. Many patients suffer from this condition but maybe embarrassed to talk about it.
Most cases of hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating are unknown, however one third of patients will have a family history of this condition. Some cases of excessive sweating can be due to underlying medical conditions, and side effects of prescription drugs. Factors such as coffee intake, stress and emotional inputs can all contribute to excessive sweating.
Excessive sweating can have a major impact on your lifestyle including what you wear and how you act in social situations. It can also have an impact on your studies and work. If excessive sweating affects you, you should at least talk to us at Sweat Free Clinics to discuss treatment options. It could be a life-changing visit.
Take our questionnaire to see if this condition impacts your life.
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition with cosmetic consequences. In saying this, patients are entitled to a Medicare rebate for certain procedures and treatments if hyperhidrosis is managed at a Specialist level.
Hyperhydrosis can affect almost every area of the body, however excessive armpit sweating is the most common. This is called ‘axillary hyperhydrosis’ and accounts for 50% of cases of excessive sweating. Other areas involved include the hands, known as palmar hyperhidrosis, the feet, known as plantar hyperhidrosis. Other areas include the face, scalp, neck and groin. In some people it can affect the sweat glands all over the body, a condition known as ‘generalised hyperhidrosis’.
Many patients will have sweating involving a number of areas, such as the armpits, and hands.
Mild cases of underarm sweating can be treated with antiperspirants such as Driclor, or Rexona. For moderate to severe cases of excessive underarm sweating, sweat stopping treatments injections are now covered under Medicare. For as little as $2 a day, this treatment is effective in over 95% of cases, no matter how severe the sweating.
Excessive sweating of the hands affects 1 in 30 people, and often starts in early childhood. It can have a significant impact on school, work, self- confidence and job prospects. Mild cases of palmar hyperhidrosis can be treated with antiperspirants, however most patients will benefit from iontophoresis.
Surgery such as ETS (endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy) can help cure resistant cases.
Excessive facial sweating often involves the forehead and scalp area. Several treatment options are available including the use of over the counter antiperspirants. Skin irritation can occur if too strong a dose is used. Compounded creams work in some patients, whilst sweat stopping treatments injections to the high forehead area and scalp line can reduce sweating for up to 4 months.
Excessive feet sweating can be very problematic and result in malodour. Treating any secondary infection is very important. We use a combination of antibiotics, topical antiperspirants, creams, solutions and iontophoresis to help reduce sweaty feet.
Simple measures such as super absorbent inner soles and double layer cotton socks can help.
Yes. miraDry is an extremely effective, safe and time tested treatment for permanent sweat reduction. It can only be used for excessive underarm sweating, and does not involve surgery. 2 treatments are performed, 3 months apart. The procedure cost $2980 in total and takes less than 50 minutes to perform. miraDry will be available in mid 2014.
The Sweat Free Clinic is Australia’s first Specialist Hyperhidrosis Clinic. This clinic is overseen by Specialists trained in the field of hyperhidrosis, including dermatologists, neurologists, vascular surgeons and specialist nurse practitioners. This enables use to treat all forms of sweating- from mild to the extreme in patients of all ages.
The Sweat Free Clinic is a dedicated institution for the diagnosis and management of sweat conditions. We combine years of experience and the very latest in technology to help people sweat less. Treatments are based upon the latest medical research and most treatments are covered under Medicare or the PBS. Our doctors include Specialist Dermatologists, Vascular Surgeons, and Specialist Dermatology Nurse Practitioners using techniques such as iontophoresis, compounded creams, sweat stopping treatments injections and ETS surgery for the treatment of sweating.
The initial consultation takes 20-30 minutes to perform, depending on the complexity of your sweat pattern. We take a full medical history including a discussion of your previous treatment successes and failures. A medical examination is then performed to determine the sweating areas.
Based upon the history and examination, we will then recommend a course of action, including lifestyle modifications and treatments for excessive sweating.
A referral from a GP will enable you to obtain Medicare rebates for both the consultation with a Specialist and treatments such as sweat stopping treatments for underarm sweating.
Print the referral form below and ask your GP to fill this out. This enables us to keep your GP informed about your treatments.
Patient’s seen at Sweat Free Clinic in Brisbane will not need a referral as our in Hyperhidrosis Specialist Nurse will take care of any paperwork.
Sweat stopping treatments injections are now approved for excessive underarm sweating that does not respond to antiperspirants. This treatment takes just 5 minutes and involves several tiny injections into the armpit area. Sweating will decrease within a week or two of the procedure. This procedure is not associated with any downtime.
Sweat stopping treatments last on average 6-7 months, and is effective in over 95% of cases. Most clients will have 2 injections per year, however Medicare will pay for up to 3 treatments.
Iontophoresis is a treatment for excessive sweating of the hands and feet. This treatment takes 15 -20 minutes to perform and works by plugging the sweat glands by using an electric current to deliver ions into the sweat duct. Treatments are safe and effective in up to 70% of cases.
ETS or endoscopic thoracic surgery involves interruption of the nerves that stimulate sweating. This procedure can be very successful for patients who have sweaty hands and can result in permanent cure in over 90% of cases.
miraDry is the permanent answer for excessive sweating. Yes, that is correct- permanent means no more painful injections, no more costs, no more sweat stains, no more embarrassments, no more problems. miraDry uses patented electromagnetic energy to target sweat glands in the underarm area, permanently destroying them.
2 treatments 3 months apart will give you at least 90% sweat reduction. Treatments are simple, painless, and non-invasive. Costing for the whole procedure will be $2940. Sweat Free will start treatments in Brisbane in early to mid 2014.
The initial consultation with our Specialist Nurse Practitioner at Sweat Free Brisbane is partially covered by Medicare.
For more information on cosultations fee and referrals at Sweat Free Brisbane call (07) 3871 3437
For more information on consultations fee and referrals at Sweat Free Sydney call (02) 9553 0700
For more information on consultations fee and referrals at Sweat Free Melbourne call (03) 9890 1844
For more information on consultation fees and referrals at Sweat Free South Australia call (08) 8297 43 44
For more information on consultation fees and referrals at Sweat Free Perth call (08) 9366 1951
For more information on consultation fees and referrals at Sweat Free ACT call (02) 6282 8410
The cost of sweat treatments will vary depending on the location and severity of your sweating.
As a guide:
Treatment Approximate Costs
High strength antiperspirants $10 - $18
Tablets under prescription $15 - $40
Iontophoresis treatment $85 - $110 per month (clinic subsidised)
Compounded creams and wipes $20 - $45 per month
sweat stopping treatments injections From $700 (lasts between 6-7 months, under PBS)
You can claim back the majority of the initial assessment back on Medicare.
Some treatments are partially covered under Medicare and the PBS. For example, sweat stopping treatments injections for the treatment of severe underarm sweating is covered under the PBS.
Some private health insurance companies will provide a partial rebate for special compounded creams and prescription medications.
Other popular sweat questions
Make sure you choose an antiperspirant and not just a deodorant! We endorse certain brands such as REXONA range of antiperspirants as well as DRICLOR. Both of these brands are readily available in pharmacies.
Antiperspirants work best for patients who suffer from mild hyperhidrosis. Moderate to severe sweaters are less responsive to antiperspirants, and will often develop a secondary rash. There are several methods to reduce skin irritation if this occurs-
Always apply the antiperspirant to dry skin only. Apply at night, after a shower, dab the skin dry or use a hairdryer on the ‘cool setting’
Start application every second night, and increase accordingly
If a rash occurs, you can use some 1% Hydrocortisone cream to the area. Apply up to twice a day to the irritated area.
In reality, most patients with significant sweating will not benefit from strong antiperspirants as their sweating is just too severe. This is where other treatments such as sweat stopping treatments, iontophoresis, compounded creams and ETS comes in. Our team will guide you as to what is the best treatment for your sweat pattern.
Most patients with essential hyperhidrosis will not need any testing. This pattern of sweating usually starts in childhood, and may involve the hands, feet or underarms. It is not present during sleep, and usually affects both sides of the body. Some cases of excessive sweating require tests for thyroid function, blood sugar levels and other hormones. This will be discussed with you during your consultation.
In some cases, to determine the extent and severity of sweating, we may perform a Starch Iodine test. This can give us a accurate method of determining severity and areas involved, especially for underarm sweating.
Under the new scheme, sweat stopping treatments injections are now covered under Medicare.
This is only applicable for excessive underarm sweating
Patients must use or fail Driclor antiperspirants
Upto 3 treatments are subsided per year
The procedure can only be performed by a Specialist trained and recognised in this technique
sweat stopping treatments is not covered for sweating of the face, hands or feet.
Simple lifestyle measures can help with sweat reduction. Reducing caffeine intake, including drinking less coffee and energy drinks can reduce sweating. Relaxation techniques, yoga and biofeedback methods can reduce stress associated sweating. If you are on medications, talk to your doctor to make sure that tablets aren’t contributing to your condition.