Excessive sweating is known medically as hyperhidrosis, and is where the body produces excess sweat which interferes with a person’s daily life. The most commonly affected area are the underarms. There are many hyperhidrosis treatments currently available, some are more effective than others, this article will outline the different treatments available and discuss the pros and cons each treatment.
Most hyperhidrosis sufferers have tried normal antiperspirants and found them to be ineffective, if this is the case, you can ask your General Practitioner (GP) to prescribe a stronger antiperspirant called Aluminium Chloride. These stronger antiperspirants work best for excessive underarm sweating by blocking the pores of the sweat glands. These strong antiperspirants may also be available over the counter at your local pharmacy, some well known brands include, Anhydrol Forte® which is available as a roll-on, Driclor® and ZeaSORB® which is available as a powder. It can take a few weeks before you notice sweat reduction from Aluminium Chloride antiperspirants and they can often cause irritation of the skin.
It is very rare that drugs such as Propantheline Bromide are prescribed by a doctor for excessive sweating, this is because these drugs often do not work well and it is very common to experience unwanted side effects from these drugs such as dry mouth and blurring of the vision.
Iontophoresis uses electrical stimulation to treat excessive sweating, more recently this treatment has become less available due to the increasing popularity and effectiveness of Botox injections. Iontophoresis works by using an electrical current to block the sweat glands. The downside of this treatment is that it requires around eight sessions lasting thirty minutes each before you will notice sweat reduction and after this you will need regular maintenance sessions every four weeks to maintain the effect. The treatment is also not always successful and may cause short lived side effects such as a dryness and soreness in the mouth and throat.
This is often a last resort for sufferers of excessive sweating, where they have tried other treatments and they have not worked or have caused many side effects. For excessive underarm sweating the sweat glands can be removed surgically by making an incision in the armpit. The obvious downside of surgical treatment is that is has an increased risk of surgical complications such as scarring, bleeding, including risks from having an anaesthetic and rarely reduced function of the treated arm.
Botulinum toxin injections
By far the most effective and hassle free treatment for underarm sweating is Botulinum Toxin (Botox®) injections. The treatment can be performed at medical and cosmetic clinics and takes around twenty minutes and involves having lots of small injections just under the skin of each underarm. The injections are relatively painless and can feel like a small sting. Botox injections work by blocking the nerves in the underarm that control sweat glands. The main benefit of this treatment compared to the alternatives is that the treatment is very straightforward and there are relatively few side effects which may include a little soreness in the area treated and very rarely allergy to the injections. The treatment is very effective, usually resulting in a 90% reduction in underarm sweating that and can last for up to six months from just one treatment session.
Face Clinic London offer Botulinum Toxin (Botox®) injections for underarm and forehead sweating treatment at their Soho clinic in Central London. To book a consultation please book online, or email us at [email protected] or call us on 02078516624. Please read our excessive sweating treatment page to find out more about hyperhidrosis.