Excessive Perspiration and BOTOX

What is excessive sweating or perspiration

Sweating is a normal and necessary body process for controlling body temperature. However excessive sweating from anxiety and stress serves no useful purpose. It is not an uncommon disorder and afflicts many people at one time or another in their lives. It most commonly occurs in the armpits, hands, feet and forehead but can occur on any other part of the body and is known as primary hyperhidrosis. Armpit sweating can be very distressing for the sufferer and self consciousness can make the sweating even worse. Sufferers may also have difficulty in controlling the odour associated with this problem as the frequent showering needed throughout the day is sometimes impossible in a busy working life. Occasionally excessive sweating is secondary to some other disorder and usually affects the whole body not just an area like the armpits. The primary cause would then need to be diagnosed and treated.

How effective is BOTOX for excessive sweating

The simplest and most effective treatment for excessive localised sweating in the armpits is with BOTOX. It reduces sweating by well over 90%. Conventional antiperspirants are generally unsatisfactory and block pores but do not stop the production of sweat caused by anxiety or stress. Sweat glands become inflamed and sore from the back pressure of escaping sweat. This results in further anxiety and stress and sweat production increases in a vicious circle. In contrast, BOTOX does not cause any physical blockage – it simply turns off the electrical nerve signal that switches on sweat production. As there is no physical obstruction to the sweat ducts and no sweat is produced the sweat glands do not become inflamed and remain inactive and unaffected. There is no associated discomfort and one treatment lasts for many months. No more daily application of antiperspirants, which really do not work, and no more embarrassing discomfort from wet shirts or bad odours.

Is BOTOX suitable for me

BOTOX antiperspirant treatment is suitable for most individuals.

Is there an alternative to BOTOX treatment

Topical treatments can achieve reasonable control in some individuals with a minimal problem but for individuals with profuse sweating they are rarely effective. There are surgical alternatives which involve the excision of the sweat glands or division of the nerves that supply them – both procedures are major surgical procedures and are associated with various unpleasant and long lasting complications. The risks of BOTOX treatment are minimal and transient.

How long does it take to work and will the benefits last

Once the BOTOX procedure has been completed the effects begin to work after a couple of days and reach their peak 7 to 10 days after this. Sweat reduction is variable but is usually reduced by 90% or more for several months. A proportion of treated individuals report being totally dry during this period. The results of the treatment is not permanent and sweat production usually returns after a period of time. The treatment may be repeated indefinitely until the problem resolves.

What does the procedure involve

The procedure involves multiple injections of small amounts of BOTOX into the skin of the shaved armpit. One armpit is often dominant and produces more sweat than the other and may need more BOTOX proprtionately. Perspiration often occurs around the hair follicles in the armpit but certain areas may produce more sweat than others and these areas need to be identified. This can be achieved with a special staining technique using Iodine and starch.

Is there any pain or discomfort

The procedure involves some discomfort but is relatively painless as the hypodermic needles used are of very small guage. A local anaesthetic cream may be applied if required.

Are there any contra-indications

The doctor will review your medical history during your initial consultation. If you are pregnant or breast feeding or have any of the following – Myasthenia gravis, Lambert-Eaton syndrome, Blood coagulation disorders such as haemophilia – you will not be eligible for this treatment.

Drug interactions can occur when BOTOX is used concomitantly with other medications. Since these medications can alter the effects of BOTOX you must ensure that your doctor is aware of any current medications you are taking, especially – Aminoglycoside antibiotics, anaesthetics and muscle relaxants.

Individuals with HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis or other contagious disease should inform the doctor beforehand.

Are there any complications or risks

BOTOX injection is generally a safe and effective treatment method and relatively free from complications or side effects especially if carried out by an experienced injector. Each year thousands of patients worldwide undergo treatments with BOTOX for both medical and cosmetic reasons and there are presently no long-term safety concerns. Nevertheless, certain side effects can occur but, like the intended treatment effects, they are mostly temporary and reversible. The following is a list of potential adverse effects (side effects):- Bruising or swelling at the injection site, headache, flu like symptoms, temporary weakness in adjacent muscles, skin rash or itching, allergic reactions.

Is there any down time from the procedure

There may be some discomfort in the armpits for a day or so but this usually subsides.