- Best Results1-14 days
- Treatment RecoveryNA
- Procedure Time10 minutes
- Skin SpecialistDermatologist
- Duration of ResultsVariable
- Back to WorkImmediately
Face & Scalp Sweat Treatments
Facial blushing, flushing, & redness may occur as a stand-alone condition, or maybe associated with excessive facial sweating. Most often the cause is unknown, however some patients have associated conditions. Facial sweating often is a stand-alone condition and most commonly affects the forehead, scalp and upper lip areas. Excessive sweating on the face is very hard to hide and may cause significant embarrassment to sufferers.
FactsFacts on Facial & Scalp Sweating
- Facial sweating is also called craniofacial sweating, & forms part of primary hyperhidrosis syndromes
- Flushing and blushing maybe secondary to hormonal changes, or conditions such as Rosacea
- Flushing can occur by itself or associated with sweating
- This is due to over-activity of the sympathetic nervous system
- Treatments are aimed at decreasing sympathetic input or reducing the number of blood vessels
- Treatments are readily available for this form of excessive sweating
How common is facial sweating?
Craniofacial sweating or hyperhidrosis is very common & affects one in fifteen people. It can be one of the more irritating forms of excessive sweating as it cannot be disguised. Beads of sweat on the forehead, upper lip and face are very obvious, and unlike underarm sweating, can’t be easily hidden from view.
Most cases represent primary hyperhidrosis, however in some cases it may be a variation of a normal response to stress, anxiety, heat, exercise, drugs or embarrassment. Whatever the trigger, this form of excessive sweating can respond to treatment.
What are effective treatment options?
Facial sweating may be an isolated condition, not related to flushing or blushing. Primary hyperhidrosis commonly affects facial and scalp areas due to the higher number of eccrine or sweat glands in these areas.
The simplest treatment is with antiperspirants that contain aluminium chloride hexahydrate– refer to the webpage. Caution must be used on these areas, as skin irritation may occur.
If topical solutions of antiperspirants are ineffective you can step up to glycopyrrolate wipes. DermDry is a Canadian company that supplies pads. Typical concentrations range between 0.5 to 2% for this area. You do require a compounded prescription from your medical dermatologist. For scalp sweating, a lotion is better than a cream.
Anti-sweat injections may decrease sweating in this area. This treatment is a muscle relaxant, but may also block the nerves which cause the sweat glands to activate. This is a highly effective treatment for craniofacial sweating, but the injection technique requires skill. Remember that the surrounding muscles are also affected by this treatment. Duration of efficacy is between 3-6 months; it is not permanent.
Tablets such as anticholinergic medication can be useful if there are extensive areas of sweating involving the face, head and scalp area. Side effects such as blurred vision, dry mouth syndrome and constipation may occur. They still remain a good way of treating facial sweating on a short to medium term basis.
How to approach scalp sweating?
Be guided by your medical dermatologist as we have different approaches.
- Step one: Exclude the usual drug suspects including antidepressants, Lexapro, Prozac & over 50 others. Exclude pathology.
- Step two: Aluminium chloride hexahydrate 10-15% compounded. Refer to the page on how to use it.
- Step three: compounded glycopyrrolate lotion, 0.5 to 2% formulations.
- Step four: Botox into the hairline. This is the most effective treatment, it is temporary lasting 3- 6 months. It costs between $790 to $1900.
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Is your sweating associated with flushing & blushing?
This is an extremely common problem seen in young, middle age and older age groups. Blushing and flushing may occur on the upper chest area, & involve the neck and face. Certain triggers may worsen this condition, including social embarrassment, anxiety, & foods. Exercise may also act as a trigger. Facial sweating may also accompany flushing.
The impact to the patient can be significant. Patients are often embarrassed, and it may have a significant negative social impact. Your dermatologist can manage this medically with hormone replacements, topical therapy, clonidine, propranolol, anticholinergics & more. Some cases require investigation. Lasers are not first line. Most patients do best with ETS surgery by a vascular surgeon.
What permanent solutions are there for facial sweating & flushing?
Most cases are idiopathic (unknown) and associated with age-related hormonal changes, or associated with a rosacea. Rare disorders such as carcinoid syndrome, thyroid disease and neurological disease should be excluded. A test from a GP or a physician can be useful.
Facial flushing and blushing can respond to drugs such as propranolol or clonidine. Laser treatments can be successful in some cases, especially if there is an element of rosacea involved (I do think that medical treatment is first line). Surgical ETS can be considered if medical treatment fails.
Can lasers help reduce sweating?
No, lasers are used to treat sweating. They are best employed to treat static redness & not flushing or intermittent redness. Laser therapy does not treat the cause of this problem, but it may decrease the number of blood vessels under the skin. In theory, the lesser the number of blood vessels, the less severe flushing is.
Laser does not target the eccrine or sweat glands and has minimal impact on facial sweating.
Davin’s Viewpoint on Excessive Facial & Scalp Sweating
Brisbane is increasingly becoming more ethnic in population with a mixture of Asians, South Americans, Latinos, Middle Eastern and Pacific Islanders. Treating cosmetic concerns such as age-spots, wrinkles, skin pigmentation & sun damage can be challenging. If conventional techniques are employed, skin darkening can occur. Laser treatm
Excessive sweating on the face, and head areas is very common. Most patients have sweating on the forehead area, however other common areas include the scalp, and upper lip.
As with all sweat treatments we encourage the use of high concentrations of aluminium chloride hexahydrate as the very first step! If you respond to this topical antiperspirant, look no further. Most patients find this antiperspirant to be too irritating, if this occurs you may consider a lower strength formulation.
The next step up from here depends on many factors including the extent of sweating, any associated flushing or blushing and the exact location of the problem. For example, patients who sweat profusely on the upper forehead may benefit from sweat stopping treatments injections, whilst this treatment is not ideal for the upper lip. Severe sufferers who have associated flushing may benefit from ETS endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy.
This area is one of the harder areas to treat, and an individualised approach is the best.
Disclaimer: I do not treat sweating with medications, I only inject botulinum toxin- BOTOX. For initial treatments, namely lotions, tablets, & creams, consult your medical dermatologist or physician. My skill sets are in last or near last line management of all forms of hyperhidrosis. ents have to be conservative, and the parameters precise.
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