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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Excessive Sweating
October 2000

Q. I'm a female and I sweat excessively under my arms all the time no matter what temperature. Deoderant just makes it worse and it is embarrassing to have sweat rings on my nice shirts. Is there anything I can do to remedy this? What could be causing it?

A. Hyperhidrosis is a fairly common condition that causes many people a great amount of distress. Fortunately, there are several treatments that can be used. Before we discuss those though, you might want to look at (http://www.thriveonline.com/health/Library/illsymp/illness283.html) which discusses the condition in general.

If over-the-counter antiperspirants are not working you can try a prescription strength of the antiperspirant aluminum chlorhydrate. This is a liquid that can be applied to your underarms once a day for a few days to a few weeks, after which time the excessive sweating will stop. It also works for people who experience excessive sweating of the palms and the feet. It is a little irritating to some people's skin, but that can be prevented by using it a little less frequently. Usually, once the treatment has worked, it works forever. On occasion a second treatment will be needed months to years later.

Aluminum chlorhydrate works quite well and comes in several different forms. While I am not going to support this one particular form, the Web page associated with it does help educate you about the use of the medication:

<http://www.parsec.it/summit/GF/GFiperidrosiEn.html>

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