07 Jun Can My Excessive Underarm Sweating Be Treated?
Excessive underarm sweating is referred to as hyperhidrosis, a medical condition that leads to the abnormal production of sweat regardless of the temperature or the activity being performed. Hyperhidrosis can cause a lot of social embarrassment and psychological trauma for the sufferer.
While this blog will be referring to axillary hyperhidrosis (underarms), the condition can also be generalised or localised (hands, feet & face). Localised hyperhidrosis is called primary hyperhidrosis and its cause is largely unknown. Secondary hyperhidrosis has many causes, including cancer, diabetes, thyroid disease as well as the use of certain medications.
The good news is that there are treatments available that can eradicate your sweating condition, allowing you to wear bright or light coloured clothing once again.
Topical antiperspirants containing Aluminium Chlorohyrate are recommended to initially manage this condition but they can cause skin irritation in some users.
There are also oral medications that are occasionally used for axillary hyperhidrosis. These drugs belong to the anticholinergic family (eg. Oxybutynin) and are known to be effective. Unfortunately, some of the side effects associated with these tablets outweigh the benefit of sweat reduction. Side effects include dizziness, dry mouth, urinary retention, constipation, and visual disturbances.
But don’t despair, there is always Botox. This miracle drug has so many uses in the medical field – from eradicating wrinkles on the face and treating migraine headaches, to abolishing excessive sweating.
Botox has a long safety track record and is proven to effectively treat axillary hyperhidrosis. The treatment involves a series of very small needles that are used to inject the drug into the superficial skin of the axilla. The average treatment takes about 15 minutes and is very tolerable. There is no downtime and the treatment usually starts to work after 2 weeks.
The result is a significant reduction or complete cessation of sweating in the axilla for an average of 6 – 9 months. With repeated treatments, the results can last up to 12 months. There are no long term side effects associated with using Botox for hyperhidrosis.
The other treatment option is surgery. One option is to use a liposuction-like method to destroy the sweat glands. The other is a method called ETS (Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy). Both these techniques are known to have a high success rate but there are some risks associated with surgery, including the development of Horner’s syndrome (droopy eyelid) and compensatory sweating.
So, if you’re struggling with excessive underarm sweating, don’t despair. Botox is the most common treatment for this condition and it’s a very quick and successful way to eradicate your problem for up to a year.