Axillary hyperhidrosis is not a serious or life-threatening medical condition, but it definitely is upsetting and socially embarrassing. People suffering from this condition sweat too much and there may be no obvious reason for that. The condition can be classified as axillary hyperhidrosis only if it lasts more than 6 months without interruption. These patients do not only have problems with excessive armpit sweating but they also may have problems with oversweating of other body parts such as palms, soles etc. There are several approaches and treatments for axillary hyperhidrosis and they include patient's education, elimination of the underlying cause/ causes, topical medications, injections and surgery.
Causes of Axillary Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis in general (including axillary hyperhidrosis) may run in families. Unfortunately, the actual cause of the condition has not been fully understood and identified yet. However, it has something to do with excessive stimulation of the eccrine and apocrine sweat glands by the autonomic nervous system. Some believe that the condition is associated with stress and anxiety. However, the connection has not been established and the theory regarding increased reaction of the sweat glands once they are stimulated by the autonomic nervous system seems to be the logical explanation.
Axillary Hyperhidrosis and Its Negative Effects
The biggest problem of people suffering from axillary hyperhidrosis is social embarrassment. The problem can be so serious and interfere in everyday activities both at home and work. Axillary hyperhidrosis seems to be even worse during hot summer days when our bodies normally sweat more than during other seasons. Since sweating simply cannot be controlled a person gradually starts to abstain from personal and social relationships. The condition can make a person change clothes several times per day. The very trace of sweat on the person's shirt can make him/ her feel quite embarrassed even though there is no bad body odor.
Treatment for Axillary Hyperhidrosis
The first thing a patient must learn is how to properly use anti-perspirants. Many people do not know that deodorants are not antiperspirants. Unlike antiperspirants, deodorants simply cannot help controlling excessive armpit sweating.
Patients suffering from axillary hyperhidrosis can benefit from chlorine hexahydrate 10-25% solution. The substance is supposed to be applied before going to bed and it stays for 6-8 hours. The entire process is repeated each and every day until the excessive sweating is brought under control. The obtained results are maintained with application of the solution once a weak. One more topical medication is 1% Hydrocortisone cream. It is supposed to be applied only for short period of time because of its dangerous side effects.
More aggressive treatment includes injections of botulinum toxin. The sweating is in this case successfully controlled for a period of 7-16 months and it has to be repeated. And finally, surgery (endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy) is the last treatment option for these patients.