Hyperhidrosis Botox Treatment
At The Laser Beautique, our Aesthetic doctors offer this treatment to successfully treat localised hyperhidrosis. This drug has been used for many years to treat muscle spasms affecting the face, eyes and neck and for foot problems in children with cerebral palsy. It is also used widely used for cosmetic purposes.
Known as hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating is an inconvenient and embarrassing condition. For sufferers, it is a daily struggle just to stay dry and for some, excessive sweating requires changing clothes or taking an additional shower in the day simply to freshen up.
Excessive sweating may be a congenital condition, one with which you are born, or one that is acquired later in life.
There are two basic types of excessive sweating – localised hyperhidrosis (primary focal hyperhidrosis) and generalised hyperhidrosis (secondary general hyperhidrosis).
Protein, when injected into the skin in small doses, blocks the nerves that supply the eccrine glands; this prevents the glands from producing sweat.
The treatment is not a cure for hyperhidrosis – however it does provide temporary relief. It needs to be repeated every three to six months for maximum effect. The skin in these areas is sensitive, and the treatment can therefore be uncomfortable unless an anaesthetic is applied
Botox is usually considered when non-invasive treatment options have been unsuccessful. Botox is only effective in treating small areas and is therefore not a viable option for treating generalised hyperhidrosis. Sweat glands are actually in the skin, not underneath it. When you sweat, a chemical messenger is sent to the sympathetic nerves that meet your sweat glands, turning the sweat ‘on’.
Frequently asked Questions
When Botox is injected, the toxin blocks the chemical messenger sent to your sympathetic nerves and so it does not reach the sweat glands. Without the chemical message, the glands cannot turn on the sweating. Botox permanently blocks the nerve endings and so sweat cannot be produced. Within 6-12 weeks, your body starts to produce new nerve endings. These new endings can receive the message to turn those particular sweat glands on, so mild sweating returns. Within 4-12 months, all of the new nerve endings have been produced and the chemical message can be received, turning all of the sweat glands on again. Sweating returns to normal and the treatment has finished.
The Laser Beautique’s aesthetic doctors will consult with you before the treatment. This helps to determine where sweating occurs at its worst and to ensure that you have no health problems that Botox may interfere with or worsen.
Firstly, the site of injection will be cleaned to avoid infection. Secondly, any anaesthetic that is required will be administered, but this is generally not necessary in the axillae. Thirdly, you will be injected with a very fine needle which will introduce the Botox. Botox is used most frequently with sweating under the arms (axillae), with each armpit administered around fifteen injections which are completed relatively quickly.
Treatment for the hands and feet is a bit different in that injections can be rather uncomfortable and the treatment will take longer. Most Botox procedures are over within 15-45 minutes, depending on the site of injection.
Although Botulinum A is a natural protein derived from a toxin (Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium that gives us food poisoning, or botulism), it has been purified and refined, and is deemed safe and effective to use when administered by a specialist. It presents no major harm to the body when treating hyperhidrosis, and is only active in the specific area where it is injected; it does not spread throughout the body.
To help relieve the pain and discomfort, physicians can offer anaesthetic creams such as Emla, which contains lidocaine. If discomfort is still intolerable you may be offered a nerve block which will take away most of the feeling in the area to be injected. The sensation usually returns to normal within 3-8 hours, and may prevent you from using your limbs as normal for that period of time. Some people, although few, feel that they can put up with the pain and do not opt for anaesthetics – it is totally your choice, which should be informed by your physician.
Medical studies and patient testimonials have confirmed that Botox reduces sweating and improves lifestyle; of course the level of reduction depends on each individual. However, Botox is not a cure for hyperhidrosis. As the nerve endings regrow, the sweating returns but at this stage you should receive top-up injections to start the cycle again, keeping the area dry. Sometimes sweat glands can be missed out and so you may experience a small level of sweating in some areas of your hands, feet or armpits. This is easily solved with top-up injections at your next appointment and you can bring it to the physician’s attention so they can concentrate on these areas.
Botox for hyperhidrosis is not recommended for pregnant women or mothers who are breastfeeding. It is also unsuitable for those with muscle or nerve disorders or on medications for nerve or muscle problems. Those with neuromuscular disease, Myasthenia Gravis or Lambert-Eaton syndrome are also unable to have this treatment.