Axillary Hyperhidrosis

Excessive sweating from the underarms is also known as axillary hyperhidrosis. This condition is characterized by abnormal production of sweat from the underarms over an acceptable amount necessary to control body temperature. The condition can be socially uncomfortable and patients often seek help for its control. These patients are often sweating sometimes even profusely in situations where it is not even acceptable to be sweating.

A brief review of the anatomy of the skin and sweat glands will help elucidate how the problem can be treated and the sweating is consequently reduced.The skin has eccrine and apocrine sweat glands. The eccrine portion of the gland which is also more superficial produces the thicker and more viscous portion of the sweat which primarily works to lubricate the skin. The apocrine portion of the sweat gland which is deeper also produces the more liquid watery portion of the sweat. It is the overproduction or hypertrophy/enlargement of these apocrine glands that is primarily responsible for the axillary hyperhidrosis or excessive axillary sweating.

A temporary solution which exists, and is currently used, is with Botox, Dysport, and the other paralytic agents that are also commonly used to temporarily erase wrinkles. These agents paralyze the pumps of the sweat glands and the sweat can no longer be moved to the surface of the skin from the deeper layer of the skin where it is produced. These agents are expensive and their effects last for a short period of time, 3-5 months in the best of circumstances.

An alternative and more permanent and more cost effective solution is through the actual excision or reduction of these apocrine glands. This can be done through a small incision in the armpit or axilla. Using liposuction with specially designed cannulas that can disrupt or remove these glands this problem can be permanently improved. If the glands are large or thick and hard to disrupt with the cannulas they can still be removed through an equally small incision sharply or with a laser or heat. Using any or all of these techniques will result in destruction of the number of glands and a reduction in the number of glands that actually connect with the skin surface therefore reducing the amount of sweat that is produced and that is secreted to the surface of the axilla or armpit.

This procedure is performed in the comfort of a certified surgical facility at my office located at 1035 Park Ave. You will have the additional care and support of my nursing staff and an anesthesiologist to provide you with sedation which will make the procedure even more comfortable for you.

Disruption of these glands has two additive benefits. Profuse sweating which is associated with hypertrophy of enlargement of these sweat glands can often cause a proliferation of bacteria within these glands. This can result in a malodorous discharge. Reduction of the number of the glands will consequently result in a reduction in the number of bacteria and therefore the odor.

Since the shafts of the hair follicles are also located in the base of these sweat glands, they are also disrupted with the surgery. You can expect to have less hair growth in your armpits after the surgery. Please call the office at 212-289-9191 or send me a message at to schedule your evaluation.