IYAC sub-05

Treatments for Sweaty Underarms

 

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By Dr Chung Wan Ling

 

Ever sweat so much that you get embarrassed by wet underarm patches, soaked clothes or wet drippy hands? It may be a common occurrence in hot and humid Singapore, but if this happens too frequently for you, even when you are not running for the bus or doing an intense workout, then you might have hyperhidrosis.

 

Hyperhidrosis is abnormal excessive sweating that may not occur with heat or exercise and can be triggered by anxiety or even while doing nothing special. This sort of excessive sweating often disrupts normal daily activities and causes social stress and anxiety. Areas that are affected are usually the hands, underarms, feet or face, with at least one episode a week, during awake hours. The sweating typically occurs on both sides of the body.

 

While there is often no underlying cause, it’s always a good idea to consult a doctor first to make sure your health is in order with some basic lab tests.

An easy-to-access treatment is an antiperspirant, which is commonly found at the local pharmacy. Some cosmetic deodorants also contain antiperspirant. If antiperspirants don’t do the trick, here are some of the treatment options.

 

More commonly:

 

Botox injections

 

Botox is an FDA-approved treatment for underarms hyperhidrosis. It temporarily blocks chemical signals from the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands, thereby reducing sweating in the injected area. At IYAC, most patients achieve a 90% reduction in sweating after one treatment, with dryness lasting six months or more, at which point, the treatment may be repeated. Botox for sweaty areas carries minimal downtime and normal activities may be resumed the next day.

 

Oral medications

 

Certain drugs can also reduce the chemical signals between nerves that stimulate the sweat glands. These drugs are generally titrated to the lowest possible dose and need to be taken daily. Possible side effects include dry mouth and constipation. Get your doctor to assess what’s suitable for you.

 

Less commonly:

 

Surgical and other procedures

 

Other hyperhidrosis treatments include:

  • Microwave thermolysis - Microwave energy is delivered to destroy sweat glands. A few treatments may be required. Possible side effects include a change in skin sensation.
  • Sweat glands removal - Sweat glands may be removed surgically to treat hyperhidrosis. Suction-curettage is a combination method that cuts, scrapes and suctions out the sweat glands.
  • Sympathectomy - During this nerve surgery, the surgeon targets and destroys the spinal nerves that stimulate sweating. This can treat sweaty hands, underarms, face and facial blushing that don’t respond to other treatments.

 

Be confident and say bye-bye to sweaty underarms and body odour. Speak to us at IYAC to understand more on Botox for excessive sweating.