Axillary Hyperhidrosis

What is Axillary Hyperhidrosis?

Axillary Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition characterized by excessive sweating of the axillae (underarm) region. It may also be referred to as primary focal hyperhidrosis. It is an extremely common condition that affects over 8 million Americans. It can cause severe psychological and social distress for those who suffer from it. Furthermore, the affected area can become frequently wet and irritated due to sweat.


The exact cause of Axillary Hyperhidrosis is unknown, however the condition is believed to be an overactive sympathetic nervous system. This part of the nervous system typically responds to emotional states and helps control the sweating process. In addition, genetics may play a role, with some individuals having a family history of the condition. Lastly, environmental factors such as certain medications, foods, and stress can trigger episodes of excessive sweating.


The main symptom of Axillary Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating of the axillae. The sweating is usually more noticeable at night or when the individual is feeling anxious. Other symptoms include:

  • Itching and irritation of the affected area
  • Musty smell caused by the sweat
  • Chapped and wrinkled skin
  • Redness or rash
  • Blotchy or dark patches on the skin


The primary treatment for Axillary Hyperhidrosis includes ointments and topical creams that contain aluminum chloride hexahydrate. These creams are applied directly to the affected area and help reduce sweating. Additionally, there are a number of other treatments available, including:

  • Iontophoresis – a procedure involving passing a mild electrical current through the affected area to reduce sweat production
  • Botulinum Toxin – a type of toxin (botox) injected into the affected area to block nerve signals
  • Anticholinergics – drugs that block the nerve signals which trigger sweat production
  • Surgery – a procedure involving removing sweat glands in the affected area


Individuals with Axillary Hyperhidrosis may find relief by avoiding certain triggers such as stress, certain foods, and medications. They may also find relief by wearing loose, light clothing made of cotton or other breathable fabrics. Additionally, it is important for individuals with Axillary Hyperhidrosis to keep the affected area dry and clean. Applying antiperspirants and using deodorants may help reduce the amount of sweat produced.