Treatment for Axillary Hyperhidrosis

Axillary hyperhidrosis is a form of primary hyperhidrosis that causes an individual to produce excessive sweat in the underarm regions. Like most instances of the excessive sweating from axillary hyperhidrosis is believed to be a genetic disorder.
Treatments for axillary Hyperhidrosis

What is Axillary Hyperhidrosis

Axillary hyperhidrosis is a form of primary hyperhidrosis that causes an individual to produce excessive sweat in the underarm region. Like many instances of primary hyperhidrosis, the excessive sweating from axillary hyperhidrosis is believed to be a genetic disorder. This form of hyperhidrosis causes overactive sweat glands in the underarm areas to produce more sweat than necessary to regulate body temperature. For individuals with axillary hyperhidrosis, the overactivity of their sweat glands can be an uncomfortable and embarrassing problem. Fortunately, there are solutions tailored to the specific symptoms that come with axillary hyperhidrosis.[1]

Why Standard Antiperspirants may not Help Treat Axillary Hyperhidrosis

Regular antiperspirants are designed to reduce normal amounts of sweat that arise from environmental conditions, primarily heat. Since an individual with hyperhidrosis sweat significantly more than an individual without hyperhidrosis (often regardless of the presence of heat), many of those with hyperhidrosis need a specialized antiperspirant to reduce their sweat. If you think you might have have this condition it will help to learn everything you need to know about hyperhidrosis.[2]

Treatments

Over-The-Counter vs. Prescription Strength Antiperspirants

For many individuals, a good first step to combatting their axillary hyperhidrosis is applying a stronger antiperspirant specifically tailored to manage hyperhidrosis. It is necessary to understand what antiperspirant does and that it is different than deodorant in order to see why antiperspirant is so important for those with hyperhidrosis. Antiperspirant reduces the amount of sweat a person produces by blocking sweat glands, while deodorant merely masks the smell of body odor. The two classifications of antiperspirants that can help those with axillary hyperhidrosis are over-the-counter antiperspirants and prescription strength antiperspirants. The primary difference between the two groups of antiperspirants is the percentage of the active aluminum compounds that work to reduce sweat; currently, almost all antiperspirants utilize one of these many aluminum compounds to keep the pores from producing sweat. In most cases, an antiperspirant with more than 20-25% aluminum requires a prescription to purchase. It can be confusing when attempting to choose the right over-the-counter antiperspirant, but understanding the type of active ingredient and its strength for each product can make the process easier.

Many individuals begin treating their hyperhidrosis with an over-the-counter topical solution, then seek a prescription from a dermatologist if that method does not reduce their sweating. To help you decide which antiperspirant is going to be most effective we recommend managing your hyperhidrosis with a doctor.[1]

Botox

For individuals that cannot be helped by antiperspirants alone, botox injections into the underarm area can be a helpful treatment. Botox for axillary hyperhidrosis is an effective treatment that was approved by the FDA in 2004.

Typically associated with cosmetic surgeries, Botox is a compound with an impressive ability to reduce sweat in the axillary region. When the botulinum toxin (Botox) is injected into the dermis of the underarms, the neurotransmitters that control the reception and execution of neural messages are essentially paralyzed by Botox. Even though Botox is widely used for a myriad of treatments and surgeries, recognizing that Botox is actually a very strong toxin that can easily paralyze human cells is an important distinction to make. Since it is such a highly toxic compound, Botox treatments should be conducted by experienced professionals only. Repeat Botox injections are needed typically every 6 or 12 months to maintain the paralysis of the neurotransmitters. Botox can also be used as a treatment for palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis.[2]

Electromagnetic Energy

One of the newest technologies to emerge in the fight against hyperhidrosis, electromagnetic energy treatments like MiraDry, utilize electromagnetic energy to eliminate sweat glands in the underarms. They are one of the local permanent treatment options for axillary hyperhidrosis. By cooling the epidermis (the first and most exterior layer of the skin) while using the electromagnetic energy to heat and destroy the sweat glands found in the dermis (the second layer of skin), electromagnetic treatments are emerging as an effective treatment method for individuals with axillary hyperhidrosis. Most individuals undergo either two to three treatment sessions over the course of a year to reap the full benefits of the electromagnetic treatments. Since this technology was developed within the last decade, the long-term results of this technology are still unknown. However, all current tests, studies, and uses have shown that electromagnetic appears to be a legitimate and safe operation.[3]

If one of the previously mentioned treatments are not entirely effective, they can be combined with other treatments to make them more effective. In some cases doctors may prescrible oral medications for hyperhidrosis alonside one of the more targeted treatments. It may also be helpful to look into new products that have come out recently, like Qbrexza, made by the company Dermira. Qbrexza is a medicated wipe that can be used to prevent sweat production on certain areas of the body, inlcuding the axillae region. Future treatments and reserach are actively being developed, and hopefully, in the next several years there will be even more comprehensive treatment options for people who have hyperhidrosis.

Sources
  1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co., 2014. Retrieved
  2. Kamudoni, P., Mueller, B., Halford, J., Schouveller, A., Stacey, B., & Salek, M. (2017, June 8). The impact of hyperhidrosis on patients' daily life and quality of life: A qualitative investigation. Retrieved May 21, 2018, from https://hqlo.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12955-017-0693-x
  3. MiraMar Labs, O'Shaughnessy, K., & Melkerson, M. (2011). 510(k) Summary. Division of Surgical, Orthopedic And Restorative Devices. Retrieved May 23, 2018, from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cdrh_docs/pdf10/K103014.pdf.
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