How to Control Underarm Sweating

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Underarm sweating is a problem that can be helped by wearing breathable clothing and losing weight, but excessive sweating can be treated with further topical preparations. Discover how Botox injections can be used to control excessive sweating with help from a dermatologist in this free video on skin care and sweating.

Part of the Video Series: Dermatology Treatments
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dr. Raphael Darvish with Skinpeccable Dermatology and Cosmetic Laser Center here in Los Angeles, California. And, today, I'm going to be speaking with you about how to treat underarm sweating. Underarm sweating is a annoying problem. Most of us sweat a little bit under our underarms, and we use antiperspirants and deodorants. But, there are a subsection of people who sweat a tremendous amount, and it really creates a problem for them in their daily lives. So, what are some things that you can do to help with that? So, firstly, if you're overweight, losing weight will help. Wearing breathable fabrics such as cotton, will also help to aerate the area a little better, and make that sweating not as intense as it would have been had you worn made of polyester or wool. Obviously, antiperspirants and deodorants are helpful, but in the case when somebody has an excessive amount, those just aren't going to do the job. So, there are some topical preparations that you can get from your physician. The best one is going to be Drysol. It's a 20 percent aluminum chloride preparation that is put on nightly, and it does a very good job at reducing the amount of sweating on the underarms. If Drysol doesn't do the job, or if it just, you still have, ongoing sweating, and it's annoying, there is Botox. Botox is commonly used for facial wrinkles, but it is also a magnificent treatment for hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating on the body. So, generally, when we do a Botox injection, we first use the iodine starch kit here. It's a special powder that we put on ahead of time. And, when the patient sweats, that area or the area with the powder turns purple, so we can tell exactly where the area of sweating is, so we don't really go beyond that area of sweating, and inject Botox into areas that aren't sweating. We generally use 50 units per underarm. That's shown t be successful, and keeps the sweating away for generally around six months, but it can be a little less, can be more. Beyond Botox, there are two other options. There are pills that one could take, anticholinergic pills, they're very poorly tolerated, a lot of side effects. Most people hate them, so I really don't prescribe it very much. But, in the case where the patient fails Drysol or topical preparations, and doesn't do well with Botox, that is an option. If one has failed the topical agents, Botox, and the oral pills, there's a last option, and that's surgery. The main surgery that's done for axillary or underarm hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating, is a sympathectomy, in which a surgeon cuts those nerves responsible for the excessive sweating in the underarms. But, that surgery does have some complications, an a lot of people who do that surgery have issues that arise from the surgery, and those include sweating in other areas of the body, and some other problems that really can be quite annoying. So, for that reason, we really reserve surgery as a last, last option. I'm Dr. Raphael Darvish, and that is a brief overview of how to treat underarm sweating.

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