Many people suffer from excessive sweating, a condition known as “hyperhidrosis” that affects around 3% of Americans. Hyperhidrosis leads to excessive sweating of the underarms, palms, soles of the feet, or of the face and head. This condition causes severe distress in many patients, and can lead to major embarrassment or the appearance of extreme anxiety. Symptoms of hyperhidrosis usually begin prior to adulthood and often patients have suffered for years prior to seeking help for their condition.
Most physicians recommend that patients start with conservative medical treatment for hyperhidrosis. This includes antipersperiants, oral medications, and iontophoresis. Each of these treatments has side effects, and many patients find that their symptoms cannot be controlled with these conservative measures. Surgical treatment for hyperhidrosis is an option, but is associated with major side effects in a small number of patients. Many patients are wary of potential side effects, and are not comfortable with surgical treatment even though their symptoms remain a major problem.
For patients who fail conservative therapy, Botox treatment for excessive sweating is an effective option to control symptoms. Botox® injections have become the treatment of choice for many physicians who treat hyperhidrosis. Botox is derived from Botulinum toxin, a protein produced by the bacteria clostridium botulinum. Botox is used to treat a variey of medical conditions. Botox is also used for cosmetic purposes. For excessive sweating, botox is most useful in localized areas of hyperhidrosis, such as the underarms. The treatment requires multiple small injections to the affected area, with injections spaced 1-2 cm apart. 50 units is the typical dosage showen to be adequate for one axilla or one palm. Recent studies have shown patients can expect a 70 to 80 percent reduction of sweat excretion in the axillae and 26 to 31 percent in the palms. The duration of effect varies from 3 to 8 months, depending on the patient and the dose used. Generally, treatments of the axillae tend to be well tolerated.
Please see below for a recent comment from a patient treated with Botox® injections to the underarmsl:
“Since the Botox treatment everything has changed. In a matter of 3-4 days with absolutely no discomfort or side affects, I was experiencing new found level of comfort and confidence that I have not experienced in a very long time. It is so nice to be able to hug someone and not worry what they might think. Just last week I received compliments on how my speaking and presenting skills improved from various peers. Without a doubt I contribute it to my new found ability to concentrate on what I am saying rather than on how to hide my condition in front of clients.”
Useful Information on Botox for Excessive Sweating from hyperhidrosis
• Hyperhidrosis Information from the National Institute of Health