Sweating is part of life and everyone sweats to a lesser or greater degree. Some people experience excessive sweating of the underarm, a condition medically referred to as axillary Hyperhidrosis. Many people sweat a lot, particularly during exercise or when the weather is hot. Sweating is essential as it allows the skin to release excess heat and cools the body. Excessive sweating
, however, often causes embarrassment and people search for any kind of help to alleviate the problem.
Why Does Underarm Sweating Occur?
The apocrine glands, which are responsible for the release of sweat, are situated in the armpit. In most cases, underarm sweating occurs during exercise or even vigorous activities. Underarm sweating can also be caused by hot weather conditions triggering the skin to release sweat in an effort to cool off. The aforementioned cases of underarm sweating are normal occurrences in people who are healthy.
On the other hand, excessive underarm sweating may occur as a result of systemic and metabolic diseases. When systemic or metabolic conditions are involved, individuals are often advised to consult a healthcare professional for appropriate diagnosis as well as treatment. The good thing is that there are quite a number of remedies that can be used to improve the condition and there is usually no need to be overly concerned over the condition.
What is The Impact?
Quite often, people experiencing excessive axillar sweating have to deal with a number of social issues. Many people experience some social awkwardness and embarrassment. It may be difficult for people who suffer from excessive axillar sweating to engage in social activities that require them to mingle closely with others. Sufferers are often worried about smelling bad or embarrassed about walking around with stained underarms.
Underarm sweating may affect not only a person's social life but also their personal and professional life. A person's social life may be adversely affected due to the fact that most people experiencing excessive sweating tend to suffer from low self esteem and, consequently, prefer to isolate themselves from others.
Excessive underarm sweating also affects ones personal life because the effected individual is always cautious about his or her body. One may constantly live with the fear of walking around smelling unpleasant or having stained clothing by the end of the day. As a result of excessive underarm sweating, one may avoid social situations or activities likely to trigger sweating. The idea of walking around with wet underarms coupled with the foul odor that accompanies wet underarms is typically annoying, even to the person sweating excessively. Individuals concerned must always use the highest level of personal hygiene in order to be confident and comfortable.
How to Treat Underarm Sweating
As annoying as underarm sweating may be, the good thing is that there are several options one can use to treat the condition. The method that everyone tends to try out first is the use of antiperspirants
and deodorants. The affected person applies an antiperspirant or deodorant just before they leave the house to help them control underarm sweating and the possible embarrassment of odor that may accompany underarm sweating.
One must first decipher the difference between antiperspirants and deodorants. Deodorants date from ancient times when they were used in the form of scent infused natural oils that camouflaged body odor. Generally, deodorants are used to cover up body odor emitted from the bacteria that grows in the underarms once it is mixed with sweat.
Antiperspirants, as opposed to deodorants, are designed to specifically combat sweat. Antiperspirants contain aluminum chloride as an active ingredient which works to prevent production of sweat. Antiperspirants were initiated in the early 20th century and have quickly caught on. Antiperspirants are available in a variety of forms, including sprays, roll-ons, sticks, gels, squeeze bottles and creams.
There are over the counter antiperspirants as well as prescription antiperspirants. Over the counter antiperspirants are often tried first because they are readily available. Some over the counter antiperspirants are natural containing no active ingredients. In most cases, the natural antiperspirants are not quite as effective for individuals experiencing excess sweating. Some antiperspirants contain aluminum chloride and, work better than the natural ones. When over the counter antiperspirants fail to work, people often resort to prescription options. These prescription products contain aluminum chloride hexahydrate and are quite efficient.
Today, antiperspirants on the market are designed for various groups. Manufactures consider different skin types and, one can opt for the one that is appropriate for them without fear of side effects. On the other hand, some are designed to fit varied age groups, and there are specific antiperspirants designed for men, women and teenagers. The market is also constantly inundated with newer and stronger options so you will need to decide which works best for you.
Another option for people who suffer from underarm sweating is oral medications. Medications from the anticholinergics group have been proven to reduce sweating significantly. For instance, Robinul works by obstructing the function of the neurotransmitter- aceltylcholine which is responsible for stimulating sweat glands and a person can expect to see improvement in just a few weeks. It is, important to note that the medication can have an adverse effect on other body functions causing side effects such as constipation, dry mouth or blurry vision.
Botox injections have proven effective in treating excessive underarm sweating. Botox has been approved for treating excessive underarm sweating in the US. Botox is a protein released by bacteria that cause botulism. Botox is injected under the arms in order to obstruct the nerves that trigger sweating. It has been proven that botox injections work for about 5 to 6 months.
Surgery has also been proven effective in combating excessive underarm sweating. Commonly referred to as cervical sympathectomy, surgery should only be considered as a last option. There are different forms of surgery. One procedure is called surgical tumescent liposuction, which involves removal of the sweat glands on your armpits. The other procedure, known as endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy, entails the clipping of the nerves that transmit messages from the sympathetic nerves to the sweat glands. It is important to note that both procedures are likely to routinely cause compensatory sweating. Compensatory sweating means that there is the possibility that after either procedure, sweating may increase in other parts of the body even though it sweating of the underarms is reduced.
Another option a person may consider is the use of anti-depressants or tranquilizers. Even though not commonly used, the two methods are often effective for individuals who sweat excessively as a result of emotional triggers. A doctor may prescribe tranquilizers or anti-depressants that will to assist in controlling stress related symptoms and prevent, excessive sweating caused by stress.
As a general rule, the most important step one must take, regardless of the treatment procedure you choose, is to maintain cleanliness and proper hygiene. As obvious as it may sound, it is vital to shower frequently to eliminate bacteria that may cause body odor. You dry your underarms well and consider using antibacterial soap. Try and wear natural fabrics such as cotton, linen and wool to enable your skin to breathe and this will help keep your underarms dry.