A Shrewsbury skin clinic has reported an increase in the number of enquiries about treatment for excessive sweating, and staff believe the stress of the current economic climate could be responsible.
Hyperhidrosis is thought to affect around three per cent of the population, commonly affecting work aged people of between 25 and 64. The condition can be triggered by emotional stress and mental activity as well as by heat, causing sweating beyond any physiological needs and affecting underarms, palms of the hands, soles of the feet and the face.
Dr Simon Reid, authorising Medical Officer at The Skin Clinic at The Dental Spa, says: “Whilst the condition is rarely a serious medical problem, on an annoyance scale it is off the charts. Lifestyle changes such as avoiding stress, wearing lightweight loose-fitting clothes and avoiding heavily spiced or salty foods can sometimes help, but the difference is usually only marginal.
“Unfortunately people who suffer from hyperhidrosis find themselves in a vicious circle. The condition is often caused by stress and that stress then increases with the embarrassment of the sweating symptoms. Patients who suffer with hyperhidrosis say they feel less confident, get easily depressed, are less likely to go out socially or participate in leisure and exercise activities and they are frustrated because they don’t know what to do about it.
“Fortunately there is now something that can be done about the condition in most instances, thanks to a European study completed in 2001 which used Botulinum Toxin to treat underarm hyperhidrosis. As a result this medication is widely recognised today as an effective treatment which can have a hugely positive impact on a patient’s quality of life issues. The treatment is quick and relatively painless, but it can only be given by a qualified prescriber.”