What Is Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is a chronic medical condition that results in excessive, sometimes severe sweating. The word “hyperhidrosis” parses out to mean “too much” (hyper) “sweating” (hidrosis).Of course sometimes it is necessary to sweat. Sweating cools the body, which keeps us from overheating. But people with hyperhidrosis sweat even when the body does not need to be cooled. Excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis occurs when a person sweats more than is necessary, sometimes much more than is necessary, and for many people it is incredibly distracting, embarrassing, and uncomfortable and interferes with their daily lives, productivity, and ability to enjoy themselves.
Many people who suffer from hyperhidrosis sweat profusely from just one or two spots on their body, usually from their palms (palmar hyperhidrosis), their feet (podal hyperhidrosis), their underarms (axillary hyperhidrosis), or their head (craniofacial hyperhidrosis). So while the rest of the body remains dry and sweats a normal, healthy amount, one or two areas may be dripping with sweat. This unnecessary, profuse sweating can be very uncomfortable and distracting, and may interfere with your daily routine. Sweaty palms can make hands so sweaty that it becomes a challenge to turn a doorknob, remove the lid off a container, or use a computer. Excessive sweat from the underarms can often soak through clothes, causing obvious, unsightly sweat marks, and sometimes creating an unpleasant odor. Because the skin in the affected areas is frequently wet, skin infections and irritation can develop as well.
What Is Botox® for Hyperhidrosis?
Botox® is a drug that has been FDA approved for many medical and cosmetic uses because of its ability to temporarily and safely paralyze muscles to treat certain muscle conditions, as well as reduce wrinkles and provide relief from excessive sweating.Since 2004, Botox® has become a widely used and very popular treatment for hyperhidrosis after receiving a stamp of approval for this purpose by the Food and Drug Administration. To put a stop to severe sweating in the armpits, feet, hands, or face, Botox® treatment works by a mechanism that blocks the secretion of a certain chemical that the body uses to activate sweat glands.
During the Botox® injection procedure for axillary hyperhidrosis, to use an example, the nurse injector will use a syringe to inject around 50 units of Botox® into each armpit. The more units injected into the affected area, typically the longer the duration of the drying effect of the treatment. Overall the procedure is very non-invasive, relatively quick and convenient, and mostly painless.
More About Botox®
Botox® (OnabotulinumtoxinA) is a naturally occurring, purified protein with the ability to temporarily block the secretion of a chemical that the body uses to activate its sweat glands, which can provide great relief to people who suffer from hyperhidrosis.By interrupting the mechanism of action involving this chemical “messenger” to the sweat glands, OnaobtulinumtoxinA effectively works as an “off” switch for sweating in the affected sites where it is injected by a trained professional, under the guidance of a cosmetic care provider. Botox® treatments for this purpose are performed with very “shallow” injections, meaning the syringe stops and injects the Botox® just below the surface of the skin, where it remains for a period of months and acts as an effective treatment to prevent excessive sweating. In 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Botox® (onabotulinumtoxinA) for the the treatment of severe hyperhidrosis in patients unable to find relief using antiperspirants.
Botox® is produced by Allergan, Inc. headquartered in Irvine, California, and it is the most clinically studied brand of botulinum toxin in the world. Botox® has been approved to treat eight different medical conditions in the United States and received its first FDA approval in 1989. It has been used to treat millions of patients for various conditions, including muscle spasms, movement disorders, cosmetic defects, and persistent, excessive sweatiness in one or more area of the skin.More than 20 different countries have approved Botox® for the treatment of hyperhidrosis.
How Long Do Botox® Results Last?
Botox® injections do not cure hyperhidrosis, which is a chronic condition, but they have been found in clinical studies to be highly effective in treating it.What you’re likely to experience with Botox® treatment for hyperhidrosis is your symptoms will gradually go away (usually disappearing in about a week), and then return gradually again as the Botox® wears off over a period of months. Follow up appointments for more injections are required to maintain the results and relief obtained through Botox® injections. Every person’s body breaks down and absorbs Botox® at different rates, so the duration of the results from treatment will vary. Typically, however, patients find that they will experience dryness for around six months. Different factors such as exercise and stress can accelerate the body’s metabolic pathways that process out the Botox®, so the results can diminish faster as a result of these factors.
How Effective Is Botox® Treatment for Hyperhidrosis?
When used for the treatment of axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweating) Botox® has been shown in clinical studies to result in an 82 percent to 87 percent decrease in sweating. For palmar hyperhidrosis (excessive hand sweating), research has shown Botox® to be 80 to as much as 90 percent effective in reducing sweating.
The results of Botox® treatment start to become noticeable about 2 to 4 days following the procedure with the maximum effects usually achieved within 2 weeks. This Botox®-induced dryness usually lasts anywhere from four to twelve months, and some studies have found the effect can last as long as 14 months.
Other statistics from published research into the efficacy of Botox® for treating hyperhidrosis have shown that long term, repeated treatments with Botox® are safe and effective for excessive sweating and consistently result in significant, long term improvements in the hyperhidrosis patient’s symptoms, their daily comfort and ability to function, and their overall quality of life.Scientific studies have also found that Botox® treatment for people suffering from hyperhidrosis measurably improves on-the-job productivity, meaning higher earning potential and greater satisfaction with work.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Botox®?
To be a good candidate for Botox® injections for hyperhidrosis, you must be at least 18 years old, and experience heavy, persistent sweating in one or more problem areas with little effective relief from other alternatives like anti-perspirants. Although Botox® injections are a non-invasive procedure, you may want to or have already explored other even less invasive alternatives such as sweat proof clothing and prescription anti-perspirants. Botox® is advised for severe, treatment-resistant cases of hyperhidrosis that cannot be alleviated with topical based solutions. People taking certain medications should not receive Botox® for hyperhidrosis. Contact a qualified Botox® injection specialist to get a complete list of restrictions and get a consultation on whether you are a good candidate for Botox® treatment.
Risks and Side Effects of Botox® for Underarm Sweat
Botox® is safe and FDA approved, but patients still face some risks of mild to potentially more serious side effects from Botox® treatment. Although Botox® is only injected at the affected site, the effects of Botox® can spread and be experienced in other parts of the body. Some side effects from Botox® for palmar sweating may include minor and temporary pain and weakness in the hands. For axillary sweating, some extremely rare side effects can include problems swallowing, speaking, or breathing.If you suffer from a condition in which you already experience difficulty swallowing, speaking, or breathing, it is not recommend that you receive Botox® injections as the compounding side effects can be severe.You may also experience minor muscle weakness or tiredness. Botox® can cause muscle weakness and drowsiness, so it is not recommended for people who have muscle or nerve conditions.
There is the potential for an allergic reaction to Botox® injections, which includes itching, redness, wheezing, asthma like symptoms, dizziness, or a feeling of faintness.Botox® can have unwanted interactions with other medications, so be sure to consult a trained expert about Botox® treatment and thoroughly disclose all your medications, vitamins, and supplements during your consultation.
What to Expect During the Procedure
The use of Botox® injections in the treatment of hyperhidrosis is safest and most effective when performed by a qualified health care practitioner who has received special training in the injection of Botox® and has extensive experience with the procedure. The treatment can be administered by a nurse injector in our clinic, requires relatively little time (usually less than an hour), and does not interfere with your work or leisure activities for recovery time (except for refraining from intense exercise or the use of a sauna or bath on the day of the procedure).
To perform the procedure, a very fine needle is used to inject tiny amounts of Botox® just under the surface of the skin throughout the area affected by excessive sweating (usually in a grid pattern, with roughly 1 to 2 centimeters between injections).The number of injections given is based on your practitioner’s assessment of the area that needs to be treated. To ease any possible minor discomfort, the injector may use a topical anesthetic to numb the area.After you receive Botox® treatment for hyperhidrosis, it is recommended that you follow up with your healthcare provider after 1 to 2 weeks to get any areas touched up that may need it, and to ensure your overall best health and safety.
How Do I Schedule a Consultation?
If you’re considering Botox® treatment for hyperhidrosis you should find a qualified, experienced health care provider to assess your needs and health, and perform the procedure. Located in the heart of the Financial District in downtown Toronto, Skinjectables Cosmetic Clinic has a team of highly-skilled practitioners who can assess your needs and provide the results you desire.
To book a consultation, contact us here