Okay, so we all sweat. When it’s hot, when we exercise, when we are nervous or anxious. But some people sweat all the time. An estimated 2%-3% of Americans suffer from excessive sweating of the underarms (axillary hyperhidrosis) or of the palms and soles of the feet (palmoplantar hyperhidrosis). This type is called Focal Hyperhidrosis. Most cases occur in people who are otherwise healthy. Heat and emotions may trigger hyperhidrosis in some, but many who suffer from hyperhidrosis sweat nearly all their waking hours, regardless of their mood or the weather. It typically starts in adolescence, so we see it at The Acne Treatment Center. It is usually harmless medically, but it can seriously undermine the quality of life Sometimes excessive sweating is not medically harmless. Sometimes people sweat over their entire bodies at once instead of just in localized places. This is called Generalized Hyperhidrosis. It's frequently caused by diseases affecting the whole body. Infections, hormone problems, cancer, or nerve problems can be responsible. It often occurs during sleep, unlike focal hyperhidrosis, which occurs only when awake. Anyone with all-over body sweating should see a doctor as soon as possible. Sweating is embarrassing, it stains clothes, ruins romance, and complicates business and social interactions. If you find you have to frequently change clothes due to underarm sweat, if you are embarrassed in social gatherings or uncomfortable in romantic relationships, hyperhidrosis can lead to psychological issues. Untreated, these problems may continue throughout life. But you don’t have to suffer with it. There are a variety of treatment options:
- Over-the-counter antiperspirants containing a low dose of metal salt (usually aluminum) are usually tried first because they are readily available. Antiperspirants containing aluminum chloride (for example Certain Dri) may be more effective when other antiperspirants have failed.
- Prescription strength antiperspirants, which contain aluminum chloride hexahydrate.
- Iontophoresis, a device which passes ionized tap water through the skin using direct electricity.
- Oral medications, Anticholinergics reduce sweating.
- Botox (botulinum toxin)-A, has been approved in the U.S. by the FDA for treating excessive axillary (underarm) sweating.
- Microwave Therapy (miraDry), a technique uses microwave energy to permanently kill sweat glands.
- Lasers can target and kill the underarm sweat glands.
- A procedure called thoracic sympathectomy may be considered as a last resort.
BOTOX® Cosmetic is FDA approved to treat hyperhidrosis, and The Acne Treatment Center’s Collette Evrard offers treatment for excessive underarm sweating. In about an hour you can be free of the problem for roughly six months to a year. The more treatments you have the longer they last, with patients reporting 18 months of freedom from excessive sweating.* The injections temporarily inhibits the release of acetylcholine, preventing the hyper-stimulation of eccrine sweat glands that leads to excessive sweating. If you suffer from excessive sweating under your arms, give us a call.
* Results may vary from person to person