Axillary Hyperhidrosis

Axillary hyperhidrosis occurs when people have a regular number of sweat glands in their underarms but a higher sympathetic response. These overactive sweat glands produce more sweat than is required for temperature control, resulting in obvious sweat marks that leave serious psychological, emotional and social effects. Overactive sweat glands can occur in more places than underarms — such as hands, feet, head/face, groin and torso.

Within the hyperhidrosis umbrella are two overarching types: primary and secondary hyperhidrosis. Primary hyperhidrosis is excess sweat that occurs in one area and is often inherited, meaning a family member has likely suffered from the disorder. In these cases, over sweating can begin during childhood. Axillary hyperhidrosis falls under primary hyperhidrosis because people experience profuse sweating primarily in the underarm area.

Secondary hyperhidrosis can be characterized by generalized sweating — meaning it occurs all over the body and isn't limited to one specific area. Medications or behaviour (like chronic alcoholism, food supplements, obesity, etc.,) activate the disorder, typically in adulthood.

Affected people are constantly aware of their condition and try to modify their lifestyle to accommodate this problem. This can be disabling in professional, academic and social life, causing embarrassments. Many routine tasks can result in a disproportionate level of sweating, which can be emotionally draining to these individuals.

Excessive sweating or focal hyperhidrosis of the hands interferes with many routine activities, such as hiding embarrassing sweat spots under the armpits limits the sufferers' arm movements and pose. In severe cases, shirts must be changed several times during the day and require additional showers both to remove sweat and control body odour issues or microbial problems such as acne, dandruff, or athlete's foot. Additionally, anxiety caused by self-consciousness to the sweating may aggravate the sweating.

Despite the serious negative impact axillary hyperhidrosis has on the lives of those who suffer from it, most never seek treatment. If other treatments such as topical medications and prescription medications have failed to offer relief, then Botulinum injections may be the right treatment for managing axillary hyperhidrosis.

The botulinum toxin A is injected into the skin to treat the symptoms of severe underarm sweating (severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis). Botulinum works by preventing the release of a chemical that signals the sweat glands to activate. You may need to have several Botox injections, but the results can last for 6 months to a year.



If you or someone you know suffers from axillary hyperhidrosis and are looking for a specialist neurologist, please feel free to contact Synapse Neurology for a consultation on 03) 8582 6945.