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What Do You Do When Antiperspirants Don’t Work for Hyperhidrosis?


August 24th, 2016 | Conditions, Treatments

HyperhidrosisDespite the fact that sweating serves the very important function of cooling the body it is considered to be unacceptable in certain social settings. For example a sweaty palm during a handshake is often frowned upon whereas sweaty palms while exercising falls within most people’s tolerance level. Sweat marks under the armpits while dining at a restaurant is socially undesirable whereas arm pit sweat while working in intense heat would be considered understandable.

For those socially awkward situations antiperspirants work for most individuals to control underarm sweating. However there is a condition known as hyperhidrosis where excessive sweating in any circumstance is a problem. The problem may be limited to the armpits, but often the palms of the hands and soles of the feet produce excessive amounts of sweat as well. Antiperspirants fail to work in individuals with hyperhidrosis.

There is no cure for hyperhidrosis. The good news is that there are controls. Sweat inhibiting injections of Botox have proven to markedly reduce sweating for anywhere between 3 to 16 months (average of 6 months) after 1 or 2 treatments.  The injections have been approved by Health Canada for the treatment of excess underarm sweating.

Topical applications of aluminum chloride hexahydrate, may provide satisfactory sweat control for sufferers of hyperhidrosis.  In Canada, a 20% aluminum chloride hexahydrate alcohol solution is available without prescription under the name of Drysol.

Other options may include internal medications (such as acetycholine), electrophoreses, the Drionic machine, or dilute formalin (for sweaty feet).  In very rare cases surgery is necessary to remove the sweat glands or sever the nerve responsible for their stimulation.

If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact our clinic at (780) 482-1414.  Thank you!

Written By Patricia Johnston