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January 1976

The Treatment of Axillary Hyperhidrosis

Author Affiliations

Brookline, Mass

Arch Surg. 1976;111(1):13. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1976.01360190015001

Axillary hyperhidrosis is a troublesome condition, particularly in women. The usual history is that of a young woman in her teens or early 20s, who, since puberty, (when the apocrine glands mature) is drenched with perspiration in the armpits but nowhere else. She has undoubtedly tried numerous antiperspirants, has taken anticholinergic medications, and has had all her clothes fitted with axillary pads. Because her sweating is increased under excitement, she may fear heterosexual contact and may seek to combat her anxiety by becoming a chronic consumer of tranquilizers. Sympathectomy might have been suggested to her, but it is less successful for axillary hyperhidrosis than for the palmar and plantar types. Local radiation therapy in a dosage to be effective may be associated with later complications.

Fortunately, the problem of hyperhidrosis can be corrected in a relatively simple fashion by surgery. Unfortunately, most patients have had to suffer many years before