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How to cure sweaty underarms?

By September 24, 2017 No Comments
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How to cure sweaty underarms?

 

Sweaty under arms is also known as axillary hyperhidrosis.  This is a common condition occurring in up to 5% of the population, and with summer around the corner, effective treatments under Medicare are available.

Here are some tips in regard to decreasing underarm sweating and the attempt to cure sweaty underarms.

  1. How to cure sweaty underarms with antiperspirants?

To cure sweaty underarms one can trial antiperspirants such as Driclor.  This antiperspirant is brought over-the-counter, it contains aluminium hexahydrate in a high concentration.  How this works to cure sweaty underarms is by blocking the sweat glands with aluminium.  The best way to use Driclor is to apply this at night.  Your sweaty armpits should be dried out using a hair dryer on a cool setting.  This will take away any sweat to the area and evaporate any moisture.  You can trial a small amount of Driclor to be applied in the axillae (armpits).  This should be washed off in the morning.  If you develop irritation, use this every second day.  Additionally, the use of hydrocortisone, which can be brought over-the-counter can counteract any skin irritation.

 

  1. How to cure sweaty underarms with mediation and de- stressing?

In the majority of cases the cause of sweaty underarms is genetic.  This is called primary axillary hyperhidrosis and affects up to 5% of the population.  In many cases there is a family history of this condition as one in four family members will suffer from hyperhidrosis of some sort, namely sweaty underarms, sweaty hands or sweaty feet.  Some patients have what is known as the trifecta, namely sweaty armpits, hands and feet.  The sweat-stress cycle is significant, patients often thinks about their sweating, which evokes even more sweating.  To break this cycle, a natural treatment is known as CBT or cognitive behaviour therapy.  Cognitive behaviour therapy has been shown to be effective in the treatment of sweaty underarms.  I work with a psychologist known as Tammy White who is located in South Brisbane.  Her technique of CBT can cure sweaty under arms, especially if there is stress involved. Relaxation, mediation and de-stressing, combined with medical treatments often gives the best cure for sweaty underarms.

 

  1. How to cure sweaty underarms by avoidance of flare factors? 

Certainly, there are flare factors which may increase underarm sweating.  These include medications.  Additionally energy drinks, coffee and drugs such as pot/marijuana can worsen sweaty underarms.  Other drugs which can increase sweat production include cocaine as well as ecstasy/MDMA. If you on these recreational drugs, ceasing this will decrease your sweat production and may offer a cure for sweaty underarms.

 

  1. How to cure sweaty underarms with Botox?

Botox does not offer a cure for sweaty underarms; however, it offers a temporary relief which may last anywhere up to 12 months.  This treatment is partially subsidised by Medicare providing it is performed by a specialist.  Treatment takes approximately 1 minute to perform.  The sweat production from your underarms will decrease within two weeks.  Botox is my favoured method for treating sweaty underarms as it is cost effective (before the Medicare rebate it used to be $1400, now with the Medicare rebate patients are out of pocket only $420).   Essentially this means that you can have sweat free underarms for as little as two dollars a day.  Botox is also reliable, the efficacy rate is in the order of 96%.  The average, patient will have sweat free underarms for a period of six months, often extending to eight months or even beyond with repeated injections.  Medicare subsidises three injections per calendar year. This is the best method as to how to cure sweaty underarms at this moment in time.

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  1. How to cure sweaty underarms with miraDry?

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MiraDry offers a cure for sweaty underarms.  This is the only FDA/TGA proven method for a cure for axillary hyperhidrosis.  This device uses electromagnetic energy, namely microwave technology to decrease the eccrine glands permanently.  What this means is that it offers a cure for sweaty underarms which is permanent unlike Botox.  The downside of this treatment is that downtime is significant.  Unlike Botox whereby patients resume normal activities immediately after injections, MiraDry has a downtime of between four to five days depending on the treatment intensity.  Other side effects from MiraDry include prolonged swelling and also nerve damage known as neuropraxia.  This occurs in approximately 3% of patients and is more common if you have less fat in the underarm area.   In my opinion, MiraDry is an excellent treatment for select patients, it offers a 60% to 80% permanent sweat reduction for the majority of patients.  The downside of MiraDry is the downtime and the side effects.  I was the first person to be involved with MiraDry training in Australia in 2013.  I also found that the MiraDry website together with the Sweatfree portal which is a collaboration of dermatologists, neurologists, vascular surgeons and psychologists in Australia to provide gold standard treatments for patients who suffer from all forms of hyperhidrosis.  I also found that the Sweatfree Clinic at Westside Dermatology the only private clinic in Australia which offers sweat free solutions for all sufferers of hyperhidrosis including compensatory, craniofacial, underarm sweating, as well as palmar and plantar sweating.

I know for a fact that MiraDry is working on a second generation device.  Do I advise patients to undertake MiraDry now?

This is hard question to answer.  I do know that with any second generation devices, that they will be better than the first.  I do advise if you are after a permanent cure for sweaty underarms, that you possibly wait another 12 to 18 months for the second generation devices to appear on the market.  With these newer generation devices, side effects will be less and efficacy rate will be higher.

MiraDry is also working on an electromagnetic delivery to decrease sweaty feet as well as hands.  The future looks bright as finally we have a cure for sweaty underarms.  In my opinion, patients should undergo a trial of Botox as it is much more cost effective ($400 compared to $3700 for MiraDry). If you are one of the fortunate patients who receive between 6 to 12 months of anhidrosis, this may be the ideal treatment for you.

Sweating or hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that has significant impact physically- apart from the appearance of sweat patch, sweat destroys clothing and can discolour garments- that is why the favourite colour of a true sweater is black! Once sweating stops, are you in for a wardrobe change. Apart from the physical impact of sweat, the psychologically impact is even more significant. Sweating can impair relationships, and create unbelievable stress on the sufferer. I know this as I have been treating sufferers for over 15 years, and yes, once the sweat stops, it can be LIFE CHANGING. Most GPs do not understand the impact of this condition, and most do not even know treatment exists. Some GPs I know even consider sweating as ‘trivial’- this is far from the truth. Effective treatments do exist, and under the current Medicare and PBS scheme, Botox is by far the cheapest, most reliable treatment of the cure of underarm sweating, failing anti-sweat lotions like Driclor.

If you suffer from excessive underarm sweating, call 07 3871 34 37 and book a treatment with Dr Davin Lim. Our reception team will guide you through the mine field of Medicare paperwork and referrals. Treatment really does take 60 seconds, and is life changing.

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