Treatments for hyperhidrosis

Using Botox To Treat Excessive Sweating

Botox is most commonly used to treat axillary hyperhidrosis, less so the other forms. Botox is a product from Allergan Inc. and it comes from clostridium Botulinum type A bacteria. This bacteria produces this toxin, it is incidentally the most common cause of food poisoning. Despite this it has been found that Botox has uses. It is most well known for it use in cosmetic procedures, where it is used to paralyze parts of the face so that frown lines disappear or are reduced. With excessive sweating the nerve endings which communicate to the sweat glands and task them with sweating are paralyzed and thus cannot stimulate the sweating to occur. Currently Botox is approved by the FDA to be used as a treatment for box primary axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive armpit sweating). Strong evidence suggests that Botox works as a hyperhidrosis treatment, as during the trial phase of the treatment prior to approval by the FDA it was found that out of 322 participants with excessive armpit sweating, over 80% reported a 50% or more reduction in sweating. Also 50% of the patients reported there hyperhidrosis was improved for almost 7 months. Other countries have also approved it for this. Botox is a solution which tends to work for six to 10 months so then has to be reapplied, this means that it can end up being quite expensive. The Botox treatment can be reapplied after it has worn out.

What is the treatment procedure for Botox and excessive sweating

Normally Botox is injected using a thin needle under the skin near the sweat glands both underarms. It is possible that more than one injection is given, once the procedure is done it may be that sweat still appears if some sweat glands were missed, in which case another Botox injection is needed in the affected area. The procedure is not very painful and can be done very quickly, not requiring any operating time or overnight stay in hospital.

Side effects and disadvantages of Botox

  • Botox is not a permanent solution for excessive sweating. After 6 to 10 months the Botox needs to be reapplied to get the same effect.
  • 10% of patients get flu like symptoms
  • In rare cases patients have complained about troubles breathing after having the Botox administered
  • Botox is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, or anyone who is allergic to albumen type drugs, or for someone who suffers from other neurological disorders
  • It is possible that the sweating is caused by a thyroid disorder in which case this should be sorted out rather than using Botox which is only masking the problem

Summary

  • Botox is a viable treatment for axillary hyperhidrosis as long you consult with your doctor and he agrees, although it does require constant application every 6-9 months. It can potentially be expensive, but if antiperspirants are not working and the under arm sweating is severely impacting your quality of life it may be an option to consider.