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Help! I Am An Excessive Sweater

Dear Sugar
I am an 18 year old girl who suffers from excessive sweating in my armpits. I sweat through all my t-shirts and have sweat stains that are embarrassing and impossible to hide. When it is warm outside, I am too embarrassed to raise my arm in class because my sweat stains are so noticeable.

I have gone to see my doctor and have an appointment to meet with a surgeon, but in the meantime, is there anything I can do to keep my sweating under control? I would like to be able to wear a t-shirt without feeling grossed out or self conscious. Sweat Stained Stella


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Dear Sweat Stained Stella
The technical term for excessive sweating is called hyperhidrosis. In your case, sweating under your arms is specifically called axillary hyperhidrosis where your body sweats beyond what the body needs.

This condition can be quite embarrassing, but there are ways to treat it. Since you have already made an appointment with your surgeon, there are a few non surgical options I suggest you look into before going under the knife.

A few different brands of antiperspirant are marketed towards mild to moderate cases of excessive sweating. Drysol is available only with a prescription and Maxim, a new product, is available without a prescription. There is also DriOff Gel. These antiperspirants contain aluminum hydrochloride to help put an end to the excessive sweating under your arms.

There is no specific medication targeted to combat axillary hyperhidrosis, but Ditropan as well as Robinul and Probanthine have been known to block the neuro transmission responsible for the production of sweat. These medications also have a side effect of dryness which helps target the problem area as well.

Another quick fix is Botox believe it or not. Injecting Botox in your armpits blocks the chemical transmitter that causes sweating. This is not a permanent solution, but can temporarily help for three to six months at a time.

The only permanent solution for axillary hyperhidrosis is surgery so I am glad you have consulted a doctor. Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS) and Superficial Liposuction, which has a 95% success rate, are the two surgical options to cure your problem. I hope these more conservative methods tie you over. Good luck with your surgery.

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