What Is Hyperhidrosis? Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. Hyperhidrosis, which can affect the Underarms, face/forehead, and palms of the hands. Problems tend to start in late adolescence and untreated may continue throughout your life. Excessive sweating can be embarrassing, it stains your clothes, ruins romantic situations, and complicates business and social interactions.
What Causes Hyperhidrosis? Although neurologic, endocrine, infectious, and other systemic diseases can sometimes cause hyperhidrosis, most cases occur in people who are otherwise healthy. Heat and emotions may trigger hyperhidrosis in some, but many who suffer from hyperhidrosis sweat nearly all their waking hours, regardless of their mood or the weather.
Botox as a Treatment for Hyperhidrosis 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, botuli-num 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 with onabotulinumtoxinA is safe and effec-tive. 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 sci-entifically 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 in-stance, 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.
What to Expect The injections take less than 30 minutes, and do not demand any restrictions in work or leisure activity (aside from re-fraining from intensive exercise or the use of a sauna on the day of the injections). Do not shave your underarms the day of your treatment. If you have long underarm hair you may either trim it short or shave one to two days prior to your appointment. 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 (in a grid pat-tern, approximately every 1 to 2 centimeters.) Multiple injections are given based on her assessment of the area that you need to be treated. Botox (botulinum toxin)-A, has been approved in the U.S. by the FDA for treating excessive axillary (under-arm) sweating. In 2004, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ap-proved BOTOX (onabotulinumtoxinA) for the treatment of severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating of the underarms) in patients unable to obtain relief using antiperspirants. BOTOX is produced by Allergan, Inc., of Irvine, California, and it is the most studied brand of bot-ulinum toxin in the world. BOTOX is approved to treat a to-tal of eight medical conditions in the United States and re-ceived its first FDA approval in 1989. Over the years it has been used to treat millions of patients with various condi-tions, including spasticity and movement disorders. At least 20 countries have approved BOTOX for the treatment of underarm excessive sweating.