help me stop the sweating, please
April 18, 2010 2:37 PM   Subscribe

summer is coming around and I'm ready to give up on hoping deodorants will finally work for me. please tell me about the various surgical treatments. I heard of botox, I heard of suction, I even heard something about lasers, but I have not heard from anyone who has done anything more drastic. any recommendations?

so yes, I do suffer from excessive armpit sweat from time to time. no wait, all the time. let's not kid around. it gets worse when I get nervous or excited. I've tried all the deodorants, I've been through powder treatments and I'm ready to begin searching for a doc who will really do something about it. alas, I don't know what to ask for. I want something that just stops my armpits from producing sweat. as in cold, as in completely, if possible. I'm drawn to the "deal with this once and be done with it" kind of solutions.

I would like to hear your recommendations or experiences.
posted by krautland to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have you been diagnosed with hyperhidrosis?
posted by 6:1 at 2:50 PM on April 18, 2010

posted by krautland at 2:56 PM on April 18, 2010

A lot of people seem to swear by Certain Dri.
posted by mollymayhem at 2:58 PM on April 18, 2010

Just to be clear, you say deodorant, but you mean antiperspirant, right? Because you can buy both in stores, but only the antiperspirant helps stop sweating.
posted by sbutler at 3:03 PM on April 18, 2010

Have you tried Drysol? Because regular anti-perspirant does nothing for me and the Drysol was a life-changer. I get it here.
posted by olecranon at 3:22 PM on April 18, 2010

yeah, I am way past drysol. I'm thinking surgery.
posted by krautland at 3:57 PM on April 18, 2010

We're big fans of Lavilin chez Zombie-Monkey. It won't stop you from sweating, which is a natural body function that you don't necessarily want to eliminate.

What the Lavilin does is kill off the bacteria that cause pit-stank that thrive in the moist, hot environment. If you've been using regular deodorants/anti-perspirants, you need to go a few days without so your pores get rid of the residue of the previous stuff you've been using, aluminum salts et al.

Then apply a thin layer over Lavilin to your freshly washed pits before going to bed, and you're good for a week (ymmv). I personally shave my pits as well. This stuff is the goods

It also works on your stinky feet.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 4:04 PM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

What the Lavilin does is kill off the bacteria that cause pit-stank that thrive in the moist, hot environment. If you've been using regular deodorants/anti-perspirants, you need to go a few days without so your pores get rid of the residue of the previous stuff you've been using, aluminum salts et al.

I think the OP's problem is not that they smell, it's that they have big sweaty wet spots on their clothes, which is why they want to stop sweating. This is my guess, because I've known others with this problem, and they didn't smell bad, they just sweat too much and it annoyed them.

OP-- I would ask your GP for a referral to a dermatologist who has experience in this area. That way you can get information on all of the newest, latest treatments. They should be able to provide you with information verbally but also pamphlets and things about your options.
posted by ishotjr at 5:15 PM on April 18, 2010

Do you have a dermatologist? Where do you live?
posted by radioamy at 5:59 PM on April 18, 2010

Krautland, we are armpit-twins. The only antiperspirants that work for me also give me a nasty rash, so I tried Botox. It stopped the sweating stone cold dead, but the effect started to wear off in about 3 months (as advertised). It also wore off very gradually, so it would have taken either repeated visits to the dermatologist to knock out the sweat glands as they came back to life one by one, or several sweaty months waiting for them all to come back before repeating the full-armpit treatment.

So I opted for surgery. There are various approaches that involve severing nerves that control the axillary sweat glands, but that was a little too scary for me. The method I opted for was basically liposuction for sweat glands - a dermatologist who normally does ordinary liposuction (for fat) made a single small incision in each armpit, slipped a curette in there and scraped/aspirated out the sweat glands. He treated it as a surgical procedure - operating room, general anesthesia, the works - although a bit of googling suggests that some dermatologists may do it in an office visit. The worst part was having ridiculously huge wads of gauze taped into my armpits for 4 days, to keep some pressure on the skin so it would re-adhere to the underlying tissue.

He warned me that he would not get 100% of the sweat glands and said to expect about an 80% reduction in sweating, which seems pretty accurate. For me, this is enough to be comfortable in most situations, and if I need a little extra help I can use an antiperspirant (a single dose doesn't usually trigger a rash).

I don't notice extra sweating anywhere else, which sometimes happens with the nerve-severing surgeries. This "liposuction" cuts way down on the constant "background" sweating and the nervous sweating, but if I'm really hot I sweat heavily all over. But that's OK - if it's a hot day it's not so embarrassing to have wet armpits. My armpits look and feel totally normal - no numbness, ridges, or scar tissue (except the tiny little scar of the incision). There was a little numbness for a few weeks after the surgery but it wasn't distressing and it went away quickly.

A dermatologist who specializes in liposuction would be the person to see about this procedure. The procedure has a name but I can't for the life of me remember and a bit of googling doesn't turn it up. It's named for the surgeon who developed it as a refinement on an earlier procedure that some (Swedish?) surgeon invented. The earlier procedure has some problems, so if you come up with a name that's associated with a whole bunch of procedures (this Swedish? guy was pretty prolific with surgical innovations), keep looking for the new improved method. If you want any more information, Me-mail me and I'll see if I can dredge up anything useful.
posted by Quietgal at 6:34 PM on April 18, 2010

I live in hamburg, germany, where I can just go to a dermatologist. should do that.

and yes, it's the stains, it's the sensation of wetness, that just gets worse when I put anything out of it. it's a damn pool sometimes and I want it to stop. just those two places but damnit, stop.

thank you, Quietgal. that was really helpful. it sounds like the suction method would be of interest to me.
posted by krautland at 8:57 PM on April 18, 2010

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