- Best Results2-7 days
- Treatment RecoveryNA
- Procedure TimeNA
- Skin SpecialistNurse Practitioner
- Duration of Results18 to 90 hours
- Back to WorkNA
Compounded Creams for Excessive Sweating
Special compounded creams can be tailor made for patients with excessive sweating. These creams can be used in areas such as the hands, feet, face and focal (spots) that exhibit excessive sweat glands. The concentration and type of the agent used depends on many factors including the location of sweating, the skin sensitivity of the patient, and the side effect profile.
FactsFacts on Compounded Anti-sweat Creams
- Anticholinergic creams can be useful for treating excessive sweating
- They are best used on focal areas including hands, feet & facial sweating
- Topicals are limited by absorption over a large surface area
- Compounding pharmacists can provide bespoke concentrations
- A typical formulation consists of 0.5 to 2% glycopyrrolate in aqueous cream
- Lotions can be used for scalp sweating
- Anti-sweat injections are best for underarm sweating/axillary hyperhidrosis
What areas respond best to anti-sweat creams?
Anti-sweating creams can be used in almost every area of sweating, however certain factors limit their use. Firstly, skin irritation may occur if they are used in places such as the armpits, and groin area. Secondly, if these creams are used in large areas of sweating, then absorption may occur. This can lead to side effects such as sedation and dry mouth.
In summary, anti-sweating compounded creams are best used for isolated areas including the hands, feet, face & scalp (glycopyrrolate lotion).
How do formulated creams reduce sweating?
Formulated anti-sweating creams are specially made creams that contain anticholinergic properties. In summary, these family of drugs block the production of sweat by the sweat gland.
The idea behind creams is to deliver the drug to the localised areas of sweating, such as the hands, feet & face, and avoid systemic absorption of the drug. This in theory can decrease any side effects from anti-cholinergic drugs.
Can I buy these creams from any pharmacy?
No. These creams such as glycopyrrolate are highly specialised in their formulation, in addition most patients will require a customised concentration to obtain the best results, whilst minimising side effects. Special pharmacies known as compounding pharmacies can help formulate anti-sweating creams.
Contact MySkin Pharmacy in Taringa for more information. You will require a prescription from a doctor or nurse practitioner.
What about antiperspirants for sweating?
The best ones contain aluminium chloride hexahydrate. Dermatologists endorse brands such as Driclor & NMS or No More Sweat.
View our Treatment Gallery
Are facial wipes effective?
Yes, in some cases facial wipes that contain 1% glycopyrrolate can be effective. DryDerm is an overseas brand. There are many online pharmacies in Canada that can supply off label compounded solutions. Just Google.
When are lotions preferred over creams?
Excessive sweating of the scalp or head can be particularly difficult to treat, simply because the scalp can be more difficult to reach. For most of us, the scalp is a hairy region, making application of a high-strength anti-perspirant more challenging – not to mention sometimes messy. DryDerm solution is specially formulated to help those with craniofacial HH. The solution can be applied directly to the scalp.
The solution comes in a convenient dropper bottle that can also be applied to specific areas such as the hairline. For more information on the product goto drypharmacist online.
How do you correctly use these creams & lotions?
Anti-sweat creams such as glycopyrrolate can be used up to twice a day, but we advise all patients to start once at night. It is best applied to dry, clean skin, avoiding the eyes and mouth areas. Remember to wash your hands after application of any anti-sweat creams!
- Leave the cream on for 3-4 hours before washing off. If you do not experience any side effects, patients can leave overnight, before washing off in the morning.
- Twice a day application is the maximal application recommended for Glycopyrrolate.
- If side effects occur, decrease the contact time with the skin. Titrate according to side effects & efficacy.
What are the side effects of creams?
Anti-sweating creams, such as compounded glycopyrrolate and propantheline are usually well tolerated, however side effects can occur. They include-
- Skin irritation: especially if used in skin folds of excess sweat areas such as the groin and armpit. (Armpit areas respond best to Driclor or sweat stopping treatments injections).
- Systemic absorption: This means the drug gets sufficiently absorbed through the skin, leading to drugs in the bloodstream. This may cause side effects such as dry mouth, sedation (feeling tired), blurred vision and constipation.
- Side effects are usually dose related. The trick is to find a concentration that will deliver the necessary results, at a certain concentration, whilst minimizing side effects. Your dermatologist will come up with a solution for you.
What is the best treatment for underarm sweating?
Botox. Why? Because-
- It is effective in over 96% of cases.
- It takes 2 minutes to perform.
- It last up to 6-8 months
- It is subsidised under Medicare (under arms only)
What are other treatment options?
If creams are of limited value, or if side effects occur there are other treatment options available.
Iontophoresis involves blocking the sweat gland with ions and minerals. Additionally this method can be used to deliver drugs such as glycopyrrolate directly into the sweat gland areas. It is best used for sweating of the hands and feet, and less useful for excessively sweaty armpits.
Anti-sweat injections can block sweating for up to 7 months. This procedure involves multiple small injections into the area of maximal sweating. Over a period of 7-14 days, sweat stopping treatments block the function of sweat glands. This treatment can be used to treat excessive sweating of the underarms, face, feet, hands, and focal areas of compensatory hyperhidrosis. It is subsidised by Medicare for the treatment of severe underarm sweating not responding to over the counter antiperspirants.
ETS or Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy is a surgical procedure that transects or destroys the nerves in the chest wall. This procedure has a very high success rate, and can be considered for treatment of excessive sweating of the hands and cases of facial sweating associated with blushing. It can not treat sweaty feet. ETS for underarm sweating has largely been replaced with sweat stopping treatments injections.
Systemic agents are tablets used to decrease sweating. They can be useful for generalised sweating, but may help localised areas such as sweaty hands and feet, as well as facial sweating. Most commonly used tablet is propantheline bromide. The limiting side effect is sedation, dry mouth, blurred vision and constipation.
Davin’s Viewpoint on the use of Creams for Sweating
Formulated anti-sweating creams can be useful for certain types of sweating, including excessive sweating of the hands, feet and face. Formulated anti-sweat agents such as glycopyrrolate can be customised to different concentrations depending on skin irritation and side effect profile.
I prefer the use of Iontophoresis for hands and feet, whilst underarm areas respond most predictably to anti-sweat injections. The challenge is to find the correct concentration whereby the patient receives benefit, whilst minimising side-effects such as sedation and dry mouth syndrome.
Disclaimer: I do not provide medical management of HH, please consult your dermatologist for compounded creams.
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