Sweat Stories:
Wardobe Worries

Liz K. from Darwin - Age 25

You should see my wardrobe, it’s either black or white. Talk about a limited selection. Underarm sweating is no big deal – unless you suffer from it. It first started before my 14th Birthday, I remember it clearly because I wore black. Living in Darwin, you sweat all year round, but my underarm sweating was something else. It limits what you do, what you wear and when you want to go out. I tried this new injection technique a year ago and can’t be happier. I get injections once every 8 months. It starts to wear off after 6 months or so.

Specialist comment

Now more than ever, patients have a myriad of choice in regards to treating underarm sweating. Axillary hyperhidrosis can impact on every aspect of a patient’s life- from work through to social events. I usually ask two questions to assess the severity or impact of sweating. Firstly, are patients self-conscious in regards to raising their hands up? Secondly I ask them about the colours they have in their wardrobe. Most patients tend to wear black or white, it’s the norm for real sweat suffers. Injections are now available on Medicare to treat excessive underarm sweating. Treatments are quick, well tolerated and effective in over 95% of cases.

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Geraldine G. from Cairns - Age 31

My sweating stared around 13. I was in grade 8. I remembered my hands being sticky, then the sweating stared in the underarms in grade 10. Funny enough my hands got better, but my underarm sweating got worse. I tried all the things from the chemist, but the lotions, roll-ons and sprays didn’t work at all. I had so many of my favourite shirts and suits ruined from sweating. I was frequently at the dry cleaners every other week. I stared with sweat stopping treatments injections 2 years ago, and come to Brisbane every 7 months for a top up. The Medicare listing has made a real difference- its almost a $1000 saving. Well worth it if you suffer from bad underarm sweating.

Specialist comment

Geraldine’s case is somewhat unusual in the sense that her hands got better with time. A significant percentage of patients who suffer from sweaty hands will also have sweaty underarms. Regardless of severity and onset we recommend patients follow the ‘treatment ladder’. This involves trying out over the counter antiperspirants such as Rexona and Driclor. A significant percentage of mild hyperhidrosis will respond to this simple treatment. Patients who suffer from moderate to severe sweating will usually need Specialist intervention. Now that injections for sweating are covered under Medicare, it makes this an affordable treatment for everyone.

(Note: Reimbursement applies if this procedure is carried out by Specialists accredited by Medicare to perform this procedure.)

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Jordan F. from Gold Coast - Age 29

Black and that’s it. I am glad that the Supercheap uniform is black, because if I had to wear any other colour than I would be conscious. 90% of what I wear is black, because it is the best colour to hide excessive sweating under my arms. It doesn't help living down the Gold Coast because it’s hot for 10 months of the year. I used to get injections down the Coast, but the drive to Brissy takes 45 minutes, and saves me over a grand. Well worth it. Just watch the speed cameras! Funny how you start wearing different colours after treatment.

Specialist comment

It’s the usual story of black, black, black as the colour of choice for HH patients. That one of the very first questions I ask hyperhidrosis patients- what colour do you wear? Even though true (primary) hyperhidrosis occurs all year round, the hot weather can make this condition more unbearable. I notice an influx of hyperhidrosis patients during Summer. It’s not uncommon for patients to drive from Noosa, Toowoomba, and the Gold Coast for treatment. In fact we have quite a few patients from Darwin who make the trip twice a year for their underarm treatments. It just goes to show how effective underarm sweat treatments are, and the impact on patient’s lives.

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Jessica D. from Gold Coast - Age 17

I got treated just before my formal. I put it off for 2 years cause I was scared of the injections, but it was less painful than I ever expected. The procedure took less than 3 minutes. My sweating stopped within 5 days, that’s kind of weird cause my specialist told me it may take up to 10 days before I noticed a difference. I do recommend this treatment if you’re thinking about it, just do it- you won’t regret it.

Specialist comment

We get patients of all ages for the management of hyperhidrosis. Most cases of primary axillary (underarm sweating) occur in the early teens, and persists in adult life. The first step is over the counter Driclor, applied in the correct manner. For mild cases of underarm sweating, Driclor can be effective. The use of injections is only reserved for cases that do not respond to Driclor, and if the condition has a significant impact on the patient. The Medicare rebate effective as of 2012 has brought down the price of this treatment to less than $2 a day.

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