Hyperhidrosis or Severe excess sweating

Excessive underarm sweating or hyperhidrosis can be embarrassing as well as psychologically damaging.  People may be embarrassed by sweat stains or signs of sweat, especially during the summers.  It may lead some to purchase more clothing due to sweat stains and cause them to change clothes more than once daily.  Although it can be a complicated problem, the solutions may be varied and simple.

Excessive underarm sweating is a medical condition that involves overactive sweat glands. Sweat is your body’s temperature regulator. In severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis, sweating significantly exceeds the body’s normal requirements for cooling. People with the condition do a lot to cope including avoiding social contacts.

You should first see a physician who understands the physiology and treatment protocols.  It does not need to be a dermatologist, simply a provider who understands the problem and solutions.  Some people have this as a true medical condition while others simply want to decrease sweating for cosmetic reasons especially in summer.  If you spend a lot of time in and out of a car or buildings, this can be a cosmetic or comfort problem. Regardless of your particular situation, you may wonder how to stop excessive underarm sweating. At the Blume Skin Centre we have successfully treated numerous people with this condition with antiperspirants as well as Botox treatments.

Antiperspirants/Deodorants

Often considered the “first line” of treatment for severe underarm sweating, over-the-counter antiperspirants work by blocking sweat ducts, thereby reducing the amount of perspiration that reaches the skin. Deodorants help control body odor, which is caused by a reaction between bacteria and sweat. The deodorants work by making the skin more acidic thereby less attractive to bacteria. They are often used in combination with antiperspirants to help control sweating.  Your doctor may provide a prescription for a stronger antiperspirant for your severe underarm sweating.  Similar to over-the-counter antiperspirants, these also work by blocking sweat ducts, thereby reducing the amount of perspiration that reaches the skin.   Below are the alternatives if antiperspirants don’t work or if one simply wants to use a convenient, cosmetic alternative.

Surgery

A variety of surgical treatments have been used to treat severe underarm sweating, but they are usually reserved for the most extreme cases that do not respond to other treatments. These are rather excessive and expensive and reserved for the most extreme cases.

Alternative Therapy

Herbal remedies such as sage tea or sage tablets, chamomile, valerian root, and St. John’s wort, as well as biofeedback, acupuncture, hypnosis, and relaxation techniques, are sometimes suggested as treatments for severe underarm sweating.

BOTOX® Treatment

BOTOX® is approved by the FDA to treat the symptoms of severe underarm sweating when medicines used on the skin (topical) do not work well enough. BOTOX® is injected into the affected areas to help control this condition by temporarily blocking the chemical signals from the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands. When the sweat glands don’t receive chemical signals, the severe sweating stops. During a simple non-painful procedure, the BOTOX® is injected superficially under the skin surface to stop the stimulation of the nerves to the sweat glands.  Usually one treatment is all that is necessary to last 6 to 9 months while some people need a partial retreatment.*

Contact the Blume Skin Centre for your Hyperhidrosis treatments.

* Results may vary from person to person.