Did you know that as many as 8 million people in America suffer from Axillary Hyperhidrosis, more commonly known as excessive armpit sweating? The most common outcomes of this condition are nervousness, embarrassment and worries; forcing the sufferers to avoid social events or places like parties, discotheques etc.
The body regulates its temperature through the sweating mechanism. As sweat evaporates from the skin, it absorbs heat from the body thereby bringing down its overall temperature. In case of excessive armpit sweating, body's sweat glands, which by the way are more than 3 million in number, produce sweat in larger amounts than what is actually required.
Nearly all people who suffer from this condition suffer from anxiety and tension too. Paradoxically biologists say that more stress causes more underarm perspiration. Hence it is important not to be overtly conscious of armpit sweating and not to worry about it too much.
An important point of note here is that this problem although not confirmed to be hereditary, is seen to be running through family lines.
The diet of a person also affects armpit sweating. For e.g. if alcohol and cigarettes are taken regularly, it causes armpit sweating. Certain type of foods and drinks like coffee which contains caffeine also causes this problem. Certain prescription drugs and illegal drugs have also been related to excessive armpit sweating.
There are a variety of treatments available to treat Axillary Hyperhidrosis. Let us look at some of the common ones:
Contemporary topical treatments. Some mild to moderate cases of excessive armpit sweating can be treated by over the counter and prescription antiperspirants. These drugs plug the pores on the skin and don't allow the sweat to reach upper surface of the skin. However this treatment can cause some side effects due to the chemicals present. For example, the use of drugs can lead to dermatitis in many patients caused by chemical named formalin. Moreover, for these drugs to work, they need to be taken for a long time.
Botox injection. The use of botulinum toxin or botox, a neurotoxin that usually is known for causing food poisoning, has been approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating excessive armpit sweating. They work by stopping the release of acetylcholine. In this treatment, a patient is given 2 botox injections - one under each armpit, after giving him local anesthesia. This treatment shows its effects in two to four days and has a very high success rate. However it is a relatively expensive procedure not recommended for pregnant women. Also if a woman is breast-feeding her child, then also this procedure is not advised. Another problem is that while the first injection is effective for about 6 months, gradually its effectiveness is reduced and the second injection will work for only about 4 months.
Surgery. Excessive armpit sweating can be treated by surgery. However it should be tried only when you don't get desired result from other treatments. Also take the advice of your physician.
Alternative therapy. In this the effected body part is put in tap water and then current is passed through it. Pregnant women, cardiac patients and epileptics should not take this treatment. This method does not work for everyone and better methods to treat excessive armpit sweating are available which should be tried first.
Excessive armpit sweating is a treatable medical condition. So instead of worrying and secluding yourself from all social gathering, consult your doctor so that you live without any stigma - freely and fully.