Sweating is essential functions of the body that help maintain body temperature and is perfectly normal. Most people tend to sweat during summer, exercise, or when they are nervous. However, when excessive sweating occurs without any triggering factors, that’s abnormal and it is called hyperhidrosis. Common site of excessive sweating may be underarms, palm and soles. In this article we’ll discuss the management of excessive underarm sweating.
Excessive underarm sweating, also called as axillary hyperhidrosis, may lead to social embarrassment for many people. It stains your clothes and you may have serious consequences both physical and emotional. While there are several anti-perspirants available in the market, these products may not help you. But you don’t worry anymore; recent advance in dermatology has opened the door for many safe and effective treatments that can control your excessive underarms sweating. Here we’ll discuss few of those.
Strong prescription anti-perspirant products containing 10-15% or more strong aluminum chloride hexahydrate are the initial treatment for excessive underarms sweating. Over the counter anti-perspirants may not usually help in this case, but still worth a try. Deodorants do not prevent excessive sweating but will help reduce the odor.
Oral anticholinergics medications will help prevent the stimulation of sweat glands. However these drugs have some side effects like dizziness, dry mouth and urinary problems. Talk to your doctor before starting these drugs. If your sweating is due to stress, benzodiazepines or beta-blockers may help.
This procedure was previously used widely for the treatment of hand and feet sweating, currently it has also been used to treat underarm sweating. It uses electricity to block the sweat glands and reduce the stimulation of sweat glands. Several treatment sessions are required to get a desired result. Side effects may be blistering and cracking at the site.
Botulinum toxin or commonly known as botox have gained wide reputation for the treatment of various neuro-muscular disorders. It is now approved for the treatment of excessive underarms sweating. Intradermal injection of botox into the underarms temporarily blocks the nerves that stimulate sweating thus providing long term relief from excessive sweating. As this is not a permanent solution and may only lasts for 6 months to a year, repetitive treatment intervals are required. Common side effects may include pain at the injection site and flu-like symptoms. Talk to your doctor about your medical history if you have any before undergoing this procedure.
If you are looking for permanent treatment you may consider a surgery. Surgery may involve sweat glands resection where sweat glands that stimulate excessive sweating are removed and endoscopic sympathectomy where the sympathetic nerves that communicate with sweat glands are destroyed. During endoscopic sympathectomy, the second, third and fourth ganglia that communicate with sweat glands are destroyed.
Percutaneous techniques like radiofrequency ablation and thermo-coagulation have also been used to disrupt the communication of sympathetic nerve supply to sweat glands. Though it might be a permanent treatment for your excessive underarms sweating, this may have some serious adverse consequences. Talk to your doctor before planning to go for surgical treatment.