Botox for hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating is an FDA-approved treatment that has an impressive safety record. While it is more commonly used in the underarms, other areas of the body such as the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, face, and can also be treated.
How Botox for Hyperhidrosis Works
Botox is derived from botulinum toxin that paralyzes muscles and blocks the secretion of a chemical responsible for sweating. The longevity of its effect varies significantly from patient to patient, from three months up to a year, because each person metabolizes the substance differently. Exercise, stress, and other lifestyle factors also determine how long the effects can last.
Are You a Good Candidate for Botox for Hyperhidrosis?
It might be tricky to tell the difference between normal sweating and hyperhidrosis. After all, sweating is a critical body function for temperature-control during hot weather.
However, there are signs that indicate that your sweating is more than normal. In a nutshell, if it interferes with your life and body functions and causes embarrassment, then you might be suffering from hyperhidrosis.
- You perspire a lot even when the temperature is mild, forcing you to change clothes multiple times a day.
- Your skin remains wet for long periods of time, which may cause non-healing irritation, poor hygiene, foul odor, or worse, frequent infection.
- Your sweating interferes with your everyday life.
- You sweat even when you remain sedentary.
How Is It Done
During the treatment, your doctor injects about 50 units of Botox into each armpit (or less if it involves smaller areas of the body). In general, the more units injected beneath your skin, the longer the drying effects would last.
Be sure to have your treatment done by a licensed professional (usually a board-certified dermatologist who performs it on a regular basis). In the hands of an experienced medical provider, underarm injection can be completed in less than 10 minutes, with no or very little discomfort.
To ease discomfort, your doctor will use a very fine needle to inject small units of Botox beneath the skin throughout the treated area, about 1-2 cm apart. For additional comfort, he may use numbing techniques such as icing, nerve blocks, and/or vibration analgesia.
Some patients may need a touch-up 1-2 weeks after treatment so any sweating areas that have been missed during the first round of injections can be treated.
High Patient Satisfaction Rate
The vast majority of patients can expect improvement a few days after treatment, although full effects can take up to two weeks. According to studies, Botox for hyperhidrosis affecting the armpit and hand results in a significant decrease in sweating.
Many patients have also reported improved quality of life. This is particularly true for someone with sweaty hands that make it hard to perform even the simplest tasks; and someone whose excessive underarm sweating causes body odor and poor hygiene, which often results in emotional and psychological distress.