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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 August 2007, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
'Liposuction' for excess sweating
Applying deodorant
For some people deodorant is completely ineffective
Excessive underarm sweating can be cured by a minimally invasive surgical technique, German doctors say.

Under a local anaesthetic, sweat glands are sucked out of the underarm using methods pioneered by liposuction.

The majority of 51 patients involved in a trial experienced a 75% reduction in sweat, and a "huge improvement" in quality of life, the doctors said.

The results of the trial have been published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The procedure, which involves inserting a cannula under the skin and applying suction, takes 20 minute per armpit. The patient is then monitored for an hour, before they can go home.

"It is easier and faster than any of the other surgical techniques currently used," says Dr Falk Bechara of the Ruhr University, Bochum, "and it really does work".

Staying at home

Studies suggest that around 1.5% of Western populations suffer from excess sweating or hyperhidrosis, an embarrassing condition which stops many people leading as full a life as they would like.
I do think it offers an acceptable permanent solution to this difficult problem and should be publicised
Alan Cameron

Thirty-five of the patients who took part in the trial reported a sweat reduction of 75%, and 13 other reported a reduction of 50-75%. They also noted significantly improved quality of life, Dr Bechara said.

The technique would be offered to those who have exhausted all other options. Initially patients are offered an aluminium "roll-on" which can inhibit sweating, before moving onto pills.

Dr Alan Cameron, a consultant general and vascular surgeon at Ipswich Hospital, said the technique was in fact already being used in some US clinics and so was not wholly new, but that it did "indeed seem very promising".

"I do think it offers an acceptable permanent solution to this difficult problem and should be publicised," he said.

Smelly armpits? Try botox
20 Jan 03 |  Health
In a sweat over midges
08 Sep 01 |  Scotland

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