Affected Areas

Hyperhidrosis of the armpits (axillae)

Excessive sweating from the armpits is not just irritating, it can have a major effect on people's lives. Sufferers are constantly aware of trying to hide embarrassing wetness or sweat stains on clothes, and this can interfere with work or social activities.

Avoid man-made fabrics and tight clothes, and reduce obvious signs of sweating by wearing black or white. Wash with emollient washes and moisturisers rather than soap-based cleansers.

Antiperspirants containing aluminium chloride are the first line of treatment, such as Aluminum Chloride, Anhydrol Forte (roll on), Odaban (spray) or Driclor.(roll on), which are available on prescription from your GP or over the counter. Treatment consists of applying the medication onto the skin and leaving it on overnight and washing off again in the morning. The skin must be dry and clean upon application. If the skin is moist, severe skin irritation may occur.

These antiperspirants must not be applied to broken, irritated or recently shaven skin. It may cause irritation, which can be alleviated by the use of a weak, corticosteroid cream.

Disposable Axillae Pads or sweat pads can be worn under clothing to absorb moisture. There are several different brands, try www.esteemclothingprotectors.co.uk

Iontophoresis machines can be used to treat armpits, using Axillae pads.

Botox: Axillary hyperhidrosis can be treated by Botulinum Toxin A. This is only available in a few NHS hospitals, but is performed in many private hospitals and clinics throughout the UK.

Surgery: If these treatments have failed to control the symptoms, there are surgical procedures. Laser Sweat Ablation (see http://www.armpit-sweating.co.uk), Retrodermal Curettage and Vaser are procedures carried out privately, under a local anaesthetic, by only a handful of surgeons in the UK. Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS) is not recommended for axillary hyperhidrosis.

For more information on the specific treatment options available, please follow one of the links below:

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