Bromhidrosis is a chronic condition in which excessive odor emanates from the skin.
The simple treatments for the rarer cases of poor personal hygiene are simply to wash, shower or bath twice a day and to wear clean clothes particularly underwear everyday.
The next treatment would be to wear a suitable deodorant or talcum powder whichever suits the person best. This is usually found by trial and error.
If bromhidrosis or body odour is still a problem after these measures, then it is worth having a medical consultation to see if there is an underlying problem or if there is a treatment that could be recommended.
It is rare to find an underlying condition, but occasionally doctors who specialise in this area do identify certain rare conditions such as fish odour syndrome which is a metabolic abnormality in some people, or occasionally dietary habits that cause bromhidrosis or body odour.
Are there any new treatments for bromhidrosis or body odour?
Generally, once other causes of bromhidrosis or body odour have been looked for, if the simple routines of washing, changing clothes and deodorants do not work, there is little available for most people. However, there is an exciting new development for underarm body odour – or axillary bromhidrosis.
Laser sweat ablation (LSA) for axillary bromhidrosis (or armpit body odour).
In March 2009 Mark Whiteley introduced a new technique into the UK from Dr Blugerman in Buenos Aires. He has modified this original operation and it is now called laser sweat ablation or LSA (www.lasersweatablation.co.uk).
Although this operation was invented for excessive sweating of the underarms called axillary hyperhidrosis, early results suggest that it improves axillary bromhidrosis (bromhidrosis or body odour in the armpits).
The procedure is a local anaesthetic operation using a walk-in walk-out surgery (or office based surgery) technique.
In a sterile operating theatre, the skin in the armpit is firstly numbed with an anaesthetic. Two tiny holes approximately 3 to 4 mm long are made and through these, the skin is gently lifted off the underlying tissue. An instrument is then placed under the skin, using a suction method to remove as many of the apocrine and eccrine glands as possible.
Once this has been done, a laser is then used to try and destroy any remaining glands, reducing the output from both the eccrine and apocrine glands. In addition, it appears that the nerves that control the glands are also destroyed in this process.
With hyperhidrosis, it is easy to measure the success of the procedure. Our one year experience shows that we can reduce the underarm sweating or axillary hyperhidrosis by 82% on average.
With axillary bromhidrosis or body odour, there is no good measurement to be able to measure how much the bromhidrosis or body odour is improved. However by careful questionnaires to our patients, and by asking them about the reaction of their close friends and loved ones before and after the procedure, it appears that most of the first few patients that we have operated on have had an improvement – with a couple of them now not noticing any bromhidrosis at all.
Laser sweat ablation for axillary bromhidrosis (armpit body odour) is new and we cannot be certain that every patient will get a good result. However, in patients who have tried all the simple treatments and who still have a problem, there is very little else on offer that works at all.
Therefore, we offer laser sweat ablation for patients who have axillary bromhidrosis (body odour from the armpits), who are finding that other people are noticing the smell and if it is changing their life by making them more self-conscious and less confident, even though they have good personal hygiene, change their clothes at least once a day and who have tried every sort of deodorant they can but have not managed to hide the smell.
Like all operations, there are some risks with laser sweat ablation and these are outlined on www.lasersweatablation.co.uk.
No one should consider putting themselves forward for this procedure unless the problem they are getting from their axillary bromhidrosis (underarm body odour) is sufficiently bad for them to accept the risks of the laser sweat ablation surgery.
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