We know sweating is a normal physiologic response to increased body temperature. However, when underarms sweat excessively for no apparent reason, a medical condition known as primary axillary hyperhidrosis (HH) may be the problem. Not only can uncontrollable sweating interfere with daily activities, it can have significant emotional and social impacts. Patients report a lack of confidence, feeling depressed, refraining from meeting new people, and avoiding intimate activities. The onset is usually in adolescence, affecting about 3% of men and women.
Common strategies used to contain underarm HH include: prescription antiperspirants, changing clothes often, avoiding sleeveless shirts or certain fabrics, and limiting work-related, social, and intimate activities that might expose the condition. Some people have tried Botox injections to the underarm area to treat HH. Although this is an effective treatment, the results wear off after 3-4 months and ongoing treatment is expensive.
Fortunately, excessive underarm sweating can also now be treated with a simple, minimally-invasive procedure proven to effectively treat excessive sweating in one treatment with permanent results. PrecisionTx™ for hyperhidrosis is performed in-office with local anesthesia and typically takes about an hour. This procedure applies a very small cannula (a special tube about the size of the tip of a pen) directly under the skin of the underarm. This cannula delivers focused laser energy to ablate the offending sweat glands of the underarm. As a result, the sweat glands are permanently destroyed in the treatment area. An additional benefit of this procedure is the destruction of hair follicles that contact the laser, which results in permanent hair removal.
Since this is a minimally invasive surgical procedure, some swelling and bruising are to be expected. We find that most of our patients can return to normal activities almost immediately. The treatment area may be sore for a week or more. The incision sites are tiny and hidden in a skin fold of the underarm. Therefore, if scarring should occur, it will not be generally noticeable.
If you would like more information about severe underarm sweating, visit the International Hyperhidrosis Society Web site at www.SweatHelp.org.
If hyperhidrosis is causing you anxiety and you no longer want to sweat the small stuff, make an appointment with a Board Certified Aesthetic Surgeon who treats hyperhydrosis with PrecisionTx™ and see if it would be appropriate for you.