Our brain contains a nerve centre which regulates perspiration and which is situated in the hypothalamus.
This nerve centre regulates the extent to which we perspire, thus keeping the body temperature in between normal limits.
It is activated in cases of physical exercise or fever, but also in the case of obesity, anxiety, stress, alcohol abuse, spicy food, disorders of the thyroid gland and untreated diabetes. Anamnesis, clinical examination and analysis of the blood serve to make a diagnosis.
Our body has two kinds of sweat-glands :
– The eccrine glands : re spread across our entire body’s skin (but very much concentrated in the armpits).
These glands secrete fluid sweat (water!). Certain bacteria feed on this sweat which produces an odour. The eccrine glands are therefore responsible for perspiration odour.
– The apocrine glands : are located in the inguinal folds, the armpits and the genital parts. They secrete a liquid, without any influence of warmth. The apocrine glands are therefore responsible for our body odour.
Remark : the smell of our feet is due to the proliferation of bacteria as a result of our wearing shoes. When walking barefeet, our feet can still sweat, but without a smell !
The body as a whole :
Wash twice per day, as well as after every outburst of perspiration; avoid alcohol abuse and spicy food. Try and anticipate moments of stress and prepare yourself. Avoid excess weight. Drugs, such as atropine, do exist, but they have a lot of side-effects (dry mouth, slower working of the stomach, etc.).
Iontoforesis can help (two tubs of salted water through which a light electric current is run; you soak your hands in them for twenty minutes, and this three times per week). In doing so, you clog the pores. However, a light tingling can occur. Has to be carried out in hospital first, possibly at home afterwards.
You can bathe your feet in a 10% glutaraldehyde solution (formaldehyde is no longer used because of the danger of irritations and contact allergies). These foot-baths are certainly effective, but they cause those parts of the skin that have been soaked in the solution to turn a brownish colour.
The easiest methods to use are hair removal (the bacteria that cause the odour stick to the hair in the armpits!), deodorants and antiperspirants based on aluminium salts (these close the channels that link the sweat-glands to the skin).
The technique to locally inject Botulinum toxin is very effective. You will find more information about it in this text.
Botulinum toxin has been marketed since 1973, for spasms of the eyelids, certain sight problems and spasmodic torticollis. Millions of people over the entire world have been treated using Botulinum toxin.
Nowadays, Botulinum toxin is often used in medicine, in certain cases of the following affections :
spasms of the eyelids, sight problems, spasmodic torticollis, spasms of the laryngeal muscles, writer’s cramp, trembling and tics, multiple sclerosis, encephalopathy, the condition after certain cerebral haemorrhages, injuries of the spinal marrow, nervous paralysis, facial spasms, problems to swallow, speech impediments, spasms of the urinary bladder, etc…
In 1988, a Vancouver ophthalmologist who injected his patients who suffered from eyelids spasms with Botulinum toxin noticed that Botulinum toxin made their wrinkles disappear as well.
Her husband, dermatologist Alistair Carruthers MD, did extensive research, which confirmed that Botulinum toxin could be very effective to treat aesthetic indications.
Further investigations in this field have lead to the conclusion that Botulinum toxin can also be used in the treatment of perspiration.
Botulinum toxin (type A) is a drug derived from the botulism bacteria. Botulinum toxin does not contain the bacteria, but contains only the toxin. (Contrary to the botulism disease, which is caused by the massive intake of the bacteria, especially in certain cases of food poisoning).
At the place of injection, botulinum toxin temporarily weakens the cholinergic nerve-ends which stimulate the glands.
By blocking the stimulation, Botulinum toxin hinders excessive secretion, which results in only a light, normal secretion remaining.
The secretion-zones are previously marked by applying a colouring matter on the skin (Minor test).
For sensitive persons, a light anaesthesia can first be carried out, by locally applying EMLA-ointment beforehand.
The first results become noticeable around the second day. The full result takes about six days and will last for 6 to 12 months, after which the treatment can be started all over again.
Antibiotics based on amino glycosides (injections with Streptomycin , Tobramycin en Garamycin ), penicillamin, quinine and blocks of the calcium channel (Calan , Cardizem , Dilacor , Norvasc , Procardia , Verelan ).
If you are being treated with one of these drugs, please make mention of it.
Here Botulinum toxin is used in very small amounts comparatively to other medical specialisations.
It is working by blocking the nervous ends at the contact of the muscles in the areas where it has been injected, and this only temporary.
Outside the action on the muscle, Botulinum toxin has no toxic or any other effect on the body.
No side effects are visible after the injections (ecchymoses are very rare, except when taking aspirin the last few days prior to the injections).
A light, local sensitiveness of the skin can occur just after the injections, but in most cases there is no pain.
As a precaution : pregnancy, breast-feeding and neuro-muscular diseases (myasthenia).
Originally, these treatments were reserved for real cases of hyper-hidrosis (excessive armpit-perspiration).
But nowadays, all cosmetic indications of “wellness” can be treated this way, i.e. all patients who want to free themselves of sweat-marks during the Summer, after sports or in stressful circumstances.