Hyperhidrosis is noted to occur more commonly
in children and young adults.
What is Hyperhidrosis? /
With so many people suffering through daily, excessive sweating issues, the news that effective, non-surgical treatments are available is really life-changing.
There are 3 million sweat glands which cover the surface of our bodies and these behave as a natural thermostat which is regulated by the hypothalamus gland. Hyperhidrosis is term used to describe the abnormal and problematic excessive sweat production in one or more areas of the body. This affects more than 2% of people and though it is not physically painful or life-threatening, it can be deeply upsetting for the person dealing with it and its interference with social, professional and personal life. Excessive sweating may occur in the hands, armpits, and feet, although the armpits area represents at least 50% of cases. Because the sympathetic nervous system controls sweating, exercise, stress and spicy foods have been indicated as triggers.
Some medications including pilocarpine, acetaminophen, aspirin, physostigmine, insulin, antidepressants, opiates, meperidine, tamoxifen, niacin, alcohol, and cocaine have also been linked as causes for excessive sweating. Hyperhidrosis is noted to occur more commonly in children and young adults. Studies also suggest that hyperhidrosis may be genetic because those who have it report that it run in the family. There are about 8 million people estimated to suffer from hyperhidrosis in the USA and roughly 800,000 in Canada. Of those surveyed, over 60% stated that they haven’t talked to a medical professional about their problem.
What are treatments for Hyperhidrosis? /
No one wants to offer a wet handshake, or consistently wear wet socks but this is the reality for many people until they meet with an experienced, cosmetic medical professional to talk about Botox cosmetic and what it can do for them.
There are strong, medical grade antiperspirant products available which contain extremely high levels of aluminum chloride, however true hyperhidrosis is often too overpowering for antiperspirant products and many people wish to find an aluminum-free solution for sweating. There are also medications which can be prescribed to control excess sweating but anti-cholinergic side effects that they cause can feel worse than hyperhidrosis itself. These may include increased heart rate, a dry mouth, and GI upset. Special, absorbent inserts may be worn inside of clothing to protect the armpit area but these are inconvenient and they do not help with sweating of the hands, feet or face.
How Does Botox help with excessive sweating? /
Botox cosmetic is one of the safest drugs available in Canada with an over 30-year track record of efficacy.
It consists of a purified protein that works to temporarily reduce nerve communication to muscle tissue which results in reduced wrinkles and facial furrows, as well as treatment for other medical issues involving muscle function. It has been researched more than any other Canadian drug and is approved for several non-cosmetic medical issues including muscle spasms, strabismus, contractures, migraines, incontinence and a variety of others. The injection is currently Health Canada and FDA approved for treatment of severe, hyperhidrosis in the underarms.
Botox® Injections are able to provide an excessive sweating solution by blocking nerve signals that regulate sweat glands. When the sweat glands are unable to receive the nerve signals, the glands stop creating sweat. Normal sweating is often thought of as a healthy body function so people sometimes worry that preventing sweating could be unhealthy or unsafe. Thankfully, this is not the case. Sweat will not, “back up” or be unable to leave the body after Botox treatment- it simply isn’t created for a time in the treatment area.
What is involved in treating Hyperhidrosis with Botox? /
When you have an experienced and well-trained physician performing your Botox hyperhidrosis treatment, you can rest assured that the medication is being handled and administered correctly.
Excessive sweating treatment with Botox is quick and straightforward, requiring about 1 hour to complete in office. Botox is administered through a series of injections with a fine needle into the underarm tissue. There is minimal discomfort experienced with this procedure, however patients are able to have a topical anaesthetic applied pre-treatment so that they don’t feel a thing and are as comfortable as possible. The best results are often achieved with multiple injection sessions based on sweat gland response in the area and 1-2 weeks is often required after each treatment for the medication to take effect.
How effective is Botox at treating Hyperhidrosis?
Sweating is expected to be reduced by roughly 80% within one month of the first treatment. Not all sweat glands will be affected with the first Botox treatment, but patients usually notice that their clothes stay drier directly after treatment. We recommend follow up appointments so that ongoing assessment can be done and your treatment can be fine-tuned to give you the best, possible results. One treatment can provide results that last for up to 200 days, and a recent study from the makers of Botox indicated that 81% of patients treated with Botox for hyperhidrosis had more than a 50% sweat reduction after treatment and satisfaction rates for this safe, non-surgical and minimally invasive approach are quite high.
Effects will eventually wear off and the expected timeline will be different for each individual as everyone metabolizes Botox uniquely. Often, people are able to maintain results with two treatments per year, once the first series of sessions has sufficiently reduced sweating.
What are potential side effects of using Botox to treat Hyperhidrosis? /
Adverse effects related to Botox treatment for underarm hyperhidrosis are rare but may include temporary bleeding the site of injection. During the week before their appointment, I recommend that patients avoid aspirin, Advil, and Ginseng along with other herbal formulas which may increase the risk of bruising during treatment. Receiving Botox not be right for those who are pregnant or planning to be pregnant. The possible effects of Botox on an unborn baby are not known at this time. It is also not known if BOTOX® is transmitted through breast milk.
During your complimentary, in-person consultation, I welcome you to bring your questions and concerns so that we can discuss considerations for this treatment and see how it may be a great fit for you. Please mention any medications or supplements that you take prior to treatment.
Is treatment of Hyperhidrosis with Botox covered by my insurance plan? /
In Toronto, hyperhidrosis treatment prices will typically be offset by health insurance plans. For those who do not have health insurance, Botox offers a program called BOTOX® Drier Days™ which aims at reducing individual, private pay costs for this popular treatment. Visit BOTOXSavingsCard.com.
To learn more about hyperhidrosis treatment, please call to book your complimentary consultation.