What it is
Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, affects over one million Canadians. The body naturally produces sweat as a way to regulate body temperature. However, excess sweat can be produced when the nerves that control the sweat glands become overly stimulated. Although this condition is not life-threatening, it can have a severe impact on your self-confidence and leave lasting effects on your social, personal, and professional lives. The use of deodorant or antiperspirant is popular in attempts to control these symptoms, but over-the-counter products simply do not work in many Hyperhidrosis cases.
Botox injections provides a longer term solution to Hyperhidrosis and can quickly relieve you of this embarrassing problem. It works by temporarily blocking the signals from the nerves to the sweat glands, which prevents sweat from being produced in the treated areas.
Essentially any area with excessive sweating is treatable with Botox injections. The underarms account for over 50% of cases, however the hands, feet, scalp, forehead, groin, chest and back can also respond to the treatment. Success rate for underarms is over 95% and for palms is over 75%.
The cost of the Botox treatment for Hyperhidrosis is covered by most third party insurers. Even better, Allergon, the makers of Botox offer a Botox savings program to help you offset the costs of the treatment. Please visit https://www.botoxsavingsprogram.com for more details.
How it works
The Botox neurotoxin treatment helps control the symptoms of severe sweating when topical or over-the-counter medicines do not work well enough by temporarily blocking the chemical signals from the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands. When the sweat glands don’t receive chemical signals, the severe sweating stops.
Botox injections are expected to temporarily stop the production of excessive sweat in the treated areas only. There is no need to worry about the treatments harming the body in any way because the sweat doesn’t go anywhere or get backed up because sweat is simply not produced in the areas treated with Botox. The rest of your body is free to produce moisture normally.
At The Centre for Dermatology, a trained healthcare professional will administer the treatment. The procedure is short and simple, and varies depending on the area being treated. Typically, procedures can be completed within ten to twenty minutes but larger areas may take upwards an hour to perform.
Using a very fine needle, Botox will be injected into the treatment site just under the surface of the skin, minimizing any feelings of discomfort or pain. Your treatment site may require multiple injections for maximum effectiveness, but your doctor will help you determine your optimum dosage based on their assessment of treated areas.
How to prepare
If you are particularly sensitive to pain, you may find it helpful to take acetaminophen one-hour before your procedure to minimize discomfort. Patients who are considering Botox for Hyperhidrosis should be aware of several things before arriving to their appointment. The following are general guidelines that we recommend our patients to follow:
- You will be required to shave the hair off the area being treated
- Patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding, who have a neurological disorder (ie: Myasthenia Gravis or Eaton Lambert Syndrome), or have an allergy to the ingredients (ie: albumin) in the botulinum toxin formulation are not eligible to receive Botox treatment
Please speak to your doctor about the medications that you take, including any prescription and non-prescription medicine, vitamins, or herbal supplements and products during your consultation.
Shortly after treatment, many patients notice that their clothing is drier and within one month of the first treatment, you are expected to experience an 80% reduction in excessive sweating. You may continue to experience some sweating from the areas that were left untreated, as not all sweat glands are reached by the Botox after your first treatment. You should follow up with the doctor if you do not experience a significant reduction in sweating as more treatment may be required. While individual results may vary, treatment for Hyperhidrosis through Botox has a very high patient satisfaction rate.
The treatment area may feel tender and sore for the first 12 hours after treatment. Sometimes, patients describe a feeling of heaviness or tiredness of the muscles if the hands are treated, which normally resolves within a few days. After treatment, it is best to keep the area clean. You may apply antiperspirant or deodorant after the skin has healed and recovered from the injections, which normally occurs within 4-12 hours. For 48 hours after treatment, avoid vigorous exercise or extreme heat.
Side effects from Botox treatment administration are rare, but you may experience temporary and minor bleeding at the injection sites for a few days. To limit the amount of bleeding you may experience, avoid taking any blood thinners such as aspirin and Advil two weeks prior to your treatment.
If you experience any unpleasant and unexpected side effects, or symptoms that may concern you, please do not hesitate to contact The Centre for Dermatology to book an appointment to speak to your doctor.
How long the procedure lasts
Allergan, the makers of Botox, recently conducted a clinical study that demonstrated that one treatment for excessive underarm sweating may last for more than 6.5 months. That’s a whole 200 days! It is important to understand that the results from the treatment are expected to wear off gradually and that it may do so at a different rate that is unique to each individual. Therefore, it can be understood that the effects are not permanent and after your first treatment, a follow-up appointment should be scheduled with your doctor in order to maintain the best results. Eventually, both you and your doctor will learn to best understand the treatment schedule that works the most effectively for you.