Botox for Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating)
BOTOX (onabotulinumtoxinA) has been approved for the treatment of severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating of the underarms) in patients unable to obtain relief using antiperspirants. BOTOX is the most studied brand of botulinum toxin in the world. It received its first FDA approval in 1989. Over the years it has been used to treat millions of patients with various conditions, including spasticity and movement disorders. At least 20 countries have approved BOTOX for the treatment of underarm excessive sweating.
OnabotulinumtoxinA is a natural, purified protein with the ability to temporarily block the secretion of the chemical that is responsible for “turning on” the body’s sweat glands. By blocking, or interrupting, this chemical messenger, botulinum toxin “turns off” sweating at the area where it has been injected. Botox injections are very shallow, meaning that the medicine is injected just below the surface of the skin, where it remains.
Research demonstrates that treating excessive sweating of the armpits, hands, feet, head and face (craniofacial), and other relatively small body areas (like under the breasts) with onabotulinumtoxinA is safe and effective. When used to treat underarm excessive sweating, Botox has been shown to result in an 82-87% decrease in sweating. Results start to be noticeable approximately 2 to 4 days after treatment with the full effects usually noted within 2 weeks. Dryness typically lasts 4 to 12 months but some studies have found it can last as long as 14 months. Additional statistics from published research studies have shown that repeated treatment with Botox is safe and effective for hyperhidrosis and consistently results in meaningful, long-lasting improvements in an excessive sweating patient’s symptoms, daily functioning, and quality of life. Botox treatment for hyperhidrosis has also been scientifically proven to improve on-the-job productivity. While sweating is an essential body function for temperature-control, localized body areas house only a small percentage of the body’s sweat glands (the underarms, for instance, are home to less than 2% of the body’s sweat glands.) The temporary cessation of these sweat glands’ functioning, therefore, has little to do with body thermoregulation. Compensatory sweating (sweating on other body parts, common after ETS surgery) has not been found to be a concern.
In the case of palmar (hand) excessive sweating, research shows that Botox is 80-90% effective. Repeat injections are needed after 6 months.
Botox injections work well on the head and face but the injection technique requires skill, so patients should always use experienced practitioner such as Dr. Patodia. A potential side effect of Botox injections in the face as a treatment for sweating is asymmetry, particularly of the forehead. This can happen if some of the Botox diffuses into the facial muscles. Such asymmetry, however, is always temporary and can, if necessary, be balanced-out by additional Botox injections.
Injections are administered by Dr. Patodia and do not demand any restrictions in work or leisure activity (aside from refraining from intensive exercise or the use of a sauna on the day of the injections). During the procedure, a very fine needle is used to inject tiny amounts of Botox just under the skin intermittently throughout the area of excessive sweating. Multiple injections are given based on your doctor’s assessment of the area that needs to be treated.
After you receive Botox injections for any focal area, it’s recommended that you follow-up with Dr. Patodia in approximately 2 weeks. This follow-up is highly useful because it enables him to ‘touch-up’ any sweating areas that may have been missed during the first round of injections and ensure that you are getting the treatment’s full benefit.
The cost of Botox treatments for hyperhidrosis will vary depending upon the size of the body area you need treated and whether insurance will cover any of the price for you. Botulinum toxin injections do not cure hyperhidrosis; your symptoms will go away gradually (usually in about a week) and return gradually. Follow-up injections are required to maintain dryness. These repeat injections may be necessary at intervals varying from 7 to 16 months.
Have you talked to Dr. Patodia about excessive sweating? If not, now is the time! Learn more about how you and he can work together to find the right treatment, or combination of treatments.
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