Facial sweating (craniofacial hyperhidrosis)
Facial sweating, or craniofacial hyperhidrosis, occurs in around 10% of people who suffer from focal hyperhidrosis1.
Although less frequent then axillary and palmar hyperhidrosis it can have a large impact on patients' lives. Our faces convey our emotions and when people see facial sweating they can often assume the sufferer is anxious or embarrassed. Wiping sweat from your brow or eyes can also become disruptive to everyday tasks.
Treatments for facial sweating
1st line: Antiperspirant with high aluminium content
It is good to start with a clinical strength antiperspirant e.g. Driclor or Rexona Clinical Protection (contain around 20% aluminium). These can be bought from a supermarket or over the counter at a pharmacy. It is best to apply them at night prior to bed since you tend to sweat less overnight and it is more efficacious. It can result in localised irritation of the skin which might limit its use on the face since the red skin can be unsightly.
2nd line: PBS listed anti-hyperhidrosis treatment
If the clinical strength antiperspirants are not effective or causes localised irritation then it is good to have a clinical assessment at a clinic that specialises in hyperhidrosis. After assessment, if injections are indicated they would be conducted on the same day as your clinical assessment. Usually the injections result in a 75% reduction of craniofacial hyperhidrosis and lasts for 5 months2. Patients usually notice a difference 4 days post-treatment however the full effect usually takes one to two weeks. The procedure is conducted after applying topical anaesthetic cream to minimise discomfort. Some patients may experience a mild relaxation of their frontalis muscle which are responsible for forehead lines.
3rd line: Anticholinergic medication
After a clinical assessment at a clinic that specialises in hyperhidrosis, anticholinergic medication can be considered (particularly effective in craniofacial sweating). These work systemically and work by blocking transmission of the chemical messenger (acetylcholine) responsible for excessive sweating. Anticholinergic medication can cause a range of side effects e.g. dry mouth, constipation, impaired taste, blurred vision and urinary retention so the dose needs to be adjusted to minimise these while maximising the effect on sweating.
Please note: these are only guidelines and your treating doctor will discuss the treatment(s) most appropriate for you.
- Lear W, Kessler E, Solish N, et al. (2007). An epidemiological study of hyperhidrosis. Dermatol Surg; 33: S69-75.
- Boger A, Herath H, Rompel R, et al. (2000). ...treatment of cranio-facial hyperhidrosis. J Neurol; 415: 857-861
Still sweating? Get in touch!
If you have tried using a clinical strength anti-perspirant and are still suffering sweat problems then we can help. Contact us now to book an appointment for treatment at one of our clinics (or if you have any questions) using the form on the right-hand side of this page.