Bromhidrosis and Hyperhidrosis (excessive body odour and sweating)
Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is characterised by the increased production of sweat disproportionate to what is required for environmental conditions or thermoregulatory needs. It is estimated to affect both men and women equally, and can cause both physical discomfort and social awkwardness.
Bromhidrosis is defined as foul-smelling body odour related to your sweat. Perspiration itself has no odour, however when it encounters bacteria on the skin an offensive smell can emerge.
You have two types of sweat glands: apocrine (found in the axilla, breast and groin region) and eccrine (found all over the body). Bromhidrosis is usually related to secretions by apocrine glands, however both types of sweat glands can lead to abnormal body odour.
There are a number of non-surgical and surgical treatments for focal hyperhidrosis and bromhidrosis.
The appropriate treatment approaches for hyperhidrosis and bromhidrosis are based on the severity of the condition. In some cases, preventive measures are enough. In more serious cases, injectables or surgical removal of the offending sweat glands may be the answer.
Injectables work by blocking nerve impulses to the sweat glands, thus causing less sweat. Results start appearing at 2 weeks and can last 6-8 months until the nerve impulses return. It is therefore not a permanent solution. Those with moderate issues may just do this once a year to cover the hotter, summer months.
Treatment of the armpits – The area is prepped with a topical anaesthetic cream and carried out in our minor procedure room on-site. This takes approximately 45 minutes. You can drive and work straight away. The cost of this ranges from $600-1000 depending on the dose required.
Treatment of the palms and soles of the feet – require a general anaesthetic as a day-only procedure in an accredited hospital. You can drive and work unrestricted from the next day. Medicare and private health fund rebates are often payable for this if performed in the axilla (armpit). The total cost of the surgery (Dr Kevin Ho, anaesthetist, hospital fees) and any rebates you may be entitled to will be calculated after your initial consultation with Dr Kevin Ho. Typically the total out of pocket costs for surgery start at $1,500.00.
It is advisable to bring a referral from your GP as most cases off axillary hyperhidrosis are entitled to a Medicare or Private Health Fund rebate.
One way to reduce apocrine sweat and odour is to remove the sweat glands themselves using specialised liposuction. This is a more permanent solution. The aim is to remove sweat glands from underneath your axillary skin. A very small, specialised instrument, called a cannula, is inserted just under the skin. It’s then grazed along the underside of your skin, removing sweat glands as it goes.