Hyperhidrosis. “Sweaty armpits are not pleasant for anyone!”
The medical term for the armpit is the axilla. Excessive axillary sweating (or axillary hyperhidrosis!) can make anyone’s life a misery. There are obviously antiperspirant sprays and in particular Aluminium Chloride based preparations (Anhydrol Forte, Driclor and ZeaSORB). Hand and foot sweating can be helped by Glycpyrronium bromide 0.05% solution (Robinul). They are applied 2-3 times a week at night and washed off in the morning to avoid damage to clothes. Application can be very effective especially for underarm sweating. However they can cause the skin to become irritated over time.
There are treatments that can be taken by mouth:
- Antimuscarinic drugs – these are tablets or capsules that reduce the activity of the nerves supplying the sweat glands. They do affect the body’s entire nervous system and can cause side effects like dry mouth, drowsiness and constipation.
- Beta-blocker drugs also act on the nervous system but their side effects are usually less troublesome. They may help if sweating is made worse by stress and feelings of anxiety. They are not suitable for everyone because some people with certain medical conditions cannot take them.
- Anxiolytic drugs (tranquillisers) may be helpful if anxiety is found to be a problem but there are side effects and they are often not recommended long term.