Ask an expert

09 Jul 2005

sweat problem
hey doc, i'd asked a question earlier (19467), got this irritating problem of continuous sweating under my arms! a lot of the times i could just sit on the computer and i'd be dripping with sweat. i think my nerves are a bit faulty and this plays a big roll but if so or if not is there anyway of preventing this? anti-persperant doesn't help, i think it actually makes it worse!
please help or advise?
Answer 427 views

01 Jan 0001

Les, did you get my reply? Just in case you didn’t, here it is again. BTW, it sounds like you’re a candidate for a sympathectomy, so why don’t you see a good general surgeon and hear what he has to say? Good luck.

"7/7/2005 8:23:00 AM

can't take it anymore!
hey doc, hoping you can help me? the problem i have is that i'm continuously sweating under my arms whether it is hot cold weather! it's frustrating cause it makes me so aware of sweat patches on my shirts and eventually gives off the odour. it does feel like nerves alot of the time but surely there's something else to it? is there anything i can do about it or take?
Posted by

Les, assuming that you’re not overweight, don’t suffer from a thyroid problem, adhere to the accepted hygiene regimens and that you’re in good general health, you might suffer hyperhidrosis. This is basically excessive perspiration due to over activity of the sweat glands. It usually occurs in otherwise healthy persons and is confined to the palms, soles, axillae, inframammary regions, or groin.
Hyperhidrosis may be a contributory factor in various skin diseases (fungal or pyogenic infections; contact dermatitis). Generalized hyperhidrosis frequently accompanies fever. An endocrine dysfunction (eg, hyperthyroidism) or, occasionally, a CNS disorder may also cause generalized sweating. Excessive sweating of the palms and soles may be psychogenic.
For generalized hyperhidrosis, the underlying systemic disease must be treated, yet the hyperhidrosis may be refractory. Systemic anticholinergic drugs have only a temporary effect, and side effects (eg, dry mouth, blurred vision, difficulty with urination) are problematic. For localized hyperhidrosis, a 20 to 25% solution of aluminium chloride hexahydrate in absolute ethyl alcohol applied at night to the dried axillae, palms, or soles and covered tightly with a thin polyethylene film is usually effective. In the morning, the polyethylene film is removed and the area is washed free of salt. Two applications usually protect the area for 1 week. If the aluminum chloride under occlusion is irritating, it should be tried without occlusion. This solution should not be applied to inflamed, broken, wet, or recently shaved skin. In some patients, tap-water iontophoresis may be effective. A 5% solution of methenamine (available in some countries) in water may also be effective. Topical solutions containing glutaraldehyde or formaldehyde may be effective but can be irritating. If the anhydrous aluminium chloride treatment fails, extreme axillary hyperhidrosis may be relieved by surgically excising the concentrated group of glands in the axillary vault or injecting the area with Botox®. An operation called a sympathectomy can also be done where the nerve supply to the offending glands is cut off and keeps them from secreting any sweat. This operation is not possible for excessive sweating of the head.
All this said, the easiest would be to see a dermatologist and if he can’t help, a surgeon. Good luck.”
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
33% - 9362 votes
67% - 19330 votes