Don’t Sweat It…
Does underarm sweating interfere with your daily activities? Are you worried about raising your arms in public because of underarm sweat stains? Do you hesitate to buy new clothes because they might be ruined by underarm sweat? Do you worry someone will notice your sweat stains? Well, don’t sweat it anymore! There are treatments that can help!
The human body has 2-4 million sweat glands which function to cool the body by perspiration. In most cases, it is perfectly natural. People sweat more in warm temperatures, when they exercise, or in response to situations that make them nervous, angry, embarrassed, or afraid. However, excessive sweating occurs without such triggers. Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating. Those with hyperhidrosis appear to have overactive sweat glands. The uncontrollable sweating can lead to significant discomfort, both physical and emotional.
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. The most widely used ingredient in antiperspirants is aluminum chloride hexahydrate. Your doctor may prescribe a stronger antiperspirant for your severe underarm sweating, available from your pharmacist.
Anticholinergics drugs, such as glycopyrrolate (Robinul, Robinul-Forte), help to prevent the stimulation of sweat glands. Although effective for some patients, these drugs have not been studied as well as other treatments. Side effects include dry mouth, dizziness, and problems with urination. Beta-blockers or benzodiazepines may help reduce stress-related sweating.
Botulism Toxin Type A 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. Neurotoxin 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. The use of Botox can help eliminate the need for more invasive treatment options which include iontophoresis and surgery. During the procedure at the doctor's office, a small amount of neurotoxin is injected into the affected underarm area through a very fine needle. In a short appointment with your doctor, about 15 injections are made to the underarm area. The actual procedure takes about 10 to 15 minutes and lasts up to 201 days or 6.7 months. If you are interested in learning more about neurotoxin injections for hyperhidrosis please contact our Santa Barbara office at (805) 898-0700.
Jessica Barker, PA
Pacific Plastic Surgery