Toronto Dermatology Centre is one of the top places in Canada to manage your excess sweating or hyperhidrosis. Toronto Dermatology Centre staff of outstanding dermatologists can offer both a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis of your sweat problem, and also discuss all the treatment options including: prescription lotions, prescription pills, over the counter treatments, Botox® (botulinum toxin) injections or surgery. The best expert to manage your excessive sweating is a dermatologist, so make sure you’re receiving the best care possible.
Not only do we provide treatments for excessive sweating in Toronto, but we have also published many articles and research on the use of various treatments for excess sweating (hyperhidrosis) and our Toronto dermatologists are regularly cited in the media for their expertise in treating hyperhidrosis. Toronto Dermatology Centre will provide you the best treatment options and most current information on this frustrating condition.
What is Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating. Sweating is necessary to keep the body cool; however, it should not interfere with a person’s ability to interact and function. Hyperhidrosis affects quality of life. It may cause embarrassment and frustration. It can impact one’s ability to carry out routine chores and may be an occupational hazard. There are three types of hyperhidrosis: primary focal, generalized idiopathic, and secondary generalized.
Primary focal hyperhidrosis is a true medical condition not caused by medication or another medical problem. It occurs on specific areas of the body (focal), usually appearing on both sides equally. The most commonly affected areas are the feet, hands, underarms, head, and face. Primary focal hyperhidrosis frequently begins in childhood or adolescence, often starting with excessive sweating on the hands and feet that occurs at least once a week while the person is awake. There may be a hereditary component to this form of excess sweating. Toronto Dermatology Centre will determine the type of hyperhidrosis you have to be able to offer you the best treatment option for your sweating.
Generalized idiopathic hyperhidrosis is a true medical condition in which large areas of the body sweat. This is usually treated with oral medication.
Secondary generalized hyperhidrosis may be caused by a medical condition, such as menopause, an overactive thyroid, diabetes (peripheral neuropathy), or stroke. Medications (antihypertensives or antidepressants), exercise, and heat also cause secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. Unlike primary hyperhidrosis, sweating involves large areas of the body and may occur during sleep. This condition must be investigated by a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Why Treat Primary Hyperhidrosis?
Primary hyperhidrosis may affect a person’s quality of life, interfering with work and social activities. Excessive sweating causes emotional embarrassment and isolates people. It is psychologically unsettling and may be associated with depression and anxiety. Also physically debilitating, it may cause discomfort and skin irritation, which can lead to bacterial and fungal infections.
How is Primary Hyperhidrosis Treated?
Antiperspirants – Available by prescription and non-prescription, these topical sprays, gels, roll-ons, and lotions decrease sweating. The most common ingredient is aluminum chloride hexahydrate. Antiperspirants should be applied at bedtime on dry skin, covering the hair-bearing areas of the underarm (axillae) and washed off in the morning. Drysol® & Hydrosal® are particularly effective.
Iontophoresis – Used to treat sweaty hands and feet, this treatment requires the patient to immerse the hands or feet in a shallow pan filled with water. A medical device sends a low-voltage current through the water. This process is used every other day for about six to ten treatments until sweating decreases. Repeat treatments are necessary to maintain results. The patient administers the treatments at home. A prescription is necessary for the machine.
Botulinum toxin (Botox®) – A dilute concentration of this medication is injected by the dermatologist into the axillae (underarms), palms, or soles. Other areas may also be treated such as scalp, face, chest, back, groin etc. The medication blocks the release of a neurotransmitter (acetylcholine) and is an effective treatment that may last 4-12 months, depending on which area is treated. Patients are generally very pleased with the results of injections of Botox® and the discomfort is modest. Toronto Dermatology Centre has extensive experience using Botox® in Toronto both medically and cosmetically. This is considered one of the best treatments for hyperhidrosis as far as its balance of efficacy and safety. Fortunately most private drug plans will pay for the entire cost of this treatment.
Oral medication – Taken by mouth, medications such as Ditropan® or Robinul® are used to prevent the stimulation of sweat glands and excessive sweating; Toronto Dermatology Centre has expertise in using these medicines. They block “cholinergic” receptors in the glands and other areas of the body. Beta blockers (propranolol) also may be used and can be helpful in treating stress-induced sweating. Since all medications have potential side effects, the benefits should outweigh the potential risks.
Sympathectomy – This surgical procedure interrupts the autonomic nervous system impulses to the sweat glands. A potential side effect is compensatory sweating, excessive sweating in non-treated areas. Because of this side effect, which can occur in up to 80% of patients, sympathectomy should be considered only for those patients who fully understand the risk and in whom other treatments have been properly tried and have failed.
For more information, evaluation, and treatment, consult a dermatologist who is the expert on conditions related to skin, hair and nails and can help deal with this irritating excessive sweating. Toronto Dermatology Centre will offer you a variety of great treatment options to suit you. For the best treatments for excess sweating, come in for a consultation with one of our Toronto dermatologists.
Interestingly, Botox® has also been used on and off label for many other conditions. At our Toronto clinic, we have successfully and safely used Botox® for cosmetic wrinkle treatments and hyperhidrosis, and also: Raynaud disease and Raynaud syndrome, Migraine and tension headaches, Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) pain, and Bruxism (teeth grinding). Botox® has also been used in other medical specialties for such conditions as: cerebral palsy and club foot in children, bladder dysfunction, blepharospasm, spasticity, and many other medical conditions. The expert dermatologists at Toronto Dermatology Centre have extensive experience using Botox® for facial wrinkles, hyperhidrosis, headaches / migraines, TMJ pain, Raynaud syndrome and more.
*Result may vary from person to person.
Here is a selection of scientific & media articles by our renowned dermatologists Dr. Benjamin Barankin and Dr. Anatoli Freiman as they pertain to excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) and treatment with Botox®. Toronto Dermatology Centre is proud to be among the largest treatment centres for hyperhidrosis. We are also amongst the most widely quoted by media and published in the scientific literature for excess sweating in Canada.
- What’s Your Diagnosis? – Palmar Hyperhidrosis
- Ick Factor from Cosmetics Mag
- Excessive Palm Sweating
- Palmer Hyperhidrosis (Journal of Neonatology and Clinical Pediatrics)
- DermCase – Moist Hands, Hyperhidrosis
- Optimizing Safety with Botox
- DermCase – Essential or Primary Hyperhidrosis, Canadian Family Physician
- Treatment of Inguinal (Groin) Hyperhidrosis with botulinum toxin type A (BOTOX)
- The Story of Clostridium Botulinum: From Food Poisoning to Botox
- The Well-Groomed Man, Sharp Magazine
- Improving Both Raynaud Disease and Hyperhidrosis with Botox
- Canada.com – As Heat Waves Hit, Botox Among Options for Extreme Sweating
- WebMD – Is Your Excessive Sweating Caused By A Medical Problem.
- Is sweating bad for your skin? – The Globe and Mail
Toronto Dermatology Centre is located in Toronto, Ontario, and serves men and women in North York, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, York, Aurora, Thornhill, Mississauga, Scarborough, Brampton, Etobicoke, Pickering, Peterborough, Guelph, Kitchener, Oakville, Barrie and all of Greater Toronto (GTA).