Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating is a common but troubling condition. Many people face excessive sweat even when they are not in the heat or exercising, which can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. If you face hyperhidrosis, you may be interested to learn that Botox injections can help. While most people are only familiar with Botox for cosmetic purposes, the product has a wide range of medical uses that includes treating hyperhidrosis. At Cerulean Medical Institute in Kelowna, BC, Dr. Praven Chetty offers Botox injections for the underarms to treat axillary hyperhidrosis. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about this treatment option.
What is Axillary Hyperhidrosis?
Axillary hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes excessive, severe sweating in the underarms. Everyone sweats a different amount, so it is usually unhelpful to compare yourself to others to see if you sweat too much. Instead, consider whether excessive sweating interrupts your quality of life because you have to change your clothes often or avoid certain fabrics, colors, and clothing styles. A dermatologist can diagnose hyperhidrosis and will probably suggest that you try prescription or clinical-strength antiperspirants. When these do not work or insufficiently treat your hyperhidrosis, Botox injections can be a great option.
Does Botox Work to Stop Sweating?
Botox is an effective treatment option for excessive sweating for many patients. For those with hyperhidrosis, even prescription antiperspirants may not be enough to stop severe sweating. While deodorant can help limit odor, excessive sweating can still cause discomfort or be visible through clothing. Botox decreases overactive glands from producing excessive sweat, resolving the issue for most patients. On average, patients see a reduction of about 80-90% in sweating where they receive Botox injections.
How Does Botox for Hyperhidrosis Work?
The active ingredient in Botox is a purified form of botulinum toxin, which blocks sweat gland receptors. This is why it is effective in its most common use, decreasing extreme facial expressions to soften wrinkles and lines. In the same way, Botox can block nerve signals that trigger sweat glands in the treated area. Occasionally, patients choose to have Botox injected to stop sweating in the brow, hands, or feet, but most often to the underarms.
Is Botox for Hyperhidrosis Safe?
Botox for hyperhidrosis in the underarms is safe. Some patients have concerns that decreased sweating can lead to overheating or other issues. However, Botox does not stop you from sweating altogether, just decreases excessive sweating in the areas where you receive your injections; your body can still sufficiently cool itself by producing sweat in other areas. Only about 2% of your body’s sweat glands are located in the underarms, so this does not affect the overall thermoregulation. At the same time, you should not see increased sweating in other areas of the body after receiving Botox injections in the underarms.
Botox for excess sweating in areas other than the underarms, palms and soles has not been sufficiently studied, so it is unknown whether it is effective or proven to be safe. Injecting Botox to these areas is possible, but not guaranteed to have the results you are looking for. It is usually recommended that you only receive injections in the underarms, palms and soles.
There are some potential side effects of Botox for hyperhidrosis. This can include minor and temporary symptoms like redness or slight swelling at the injection site. Before you undergo treatment, it is important to share any medical conditions, allergies, and your health history with Dr. Chetty so he can determine whether Botox is a safe option for you.
How Long Does Botox for Hyperhidrosis Work?
On average, Botox works to stop sweating for about six months. This is because the body will naturally and safely metabolize the product over time. The overall longevity of your results can vary depending on your personal metabolism speed and other factors. Some patients may see results subside at about four months after their treatment. You can have repeated maintenance injections to keep up your results and enjoy reduced sweating long-term. During a consultation, you can discuss a treatment plan including routine maintenance injections with Dr. Chetty.
What is the Botox for Hyperhidrosis Treatment Like?
Prior to your Botox injections, you will likely receive a topical numbing agent to keep you comfortable through the process. Dr. Chetty will then perform a series of injections into each underarm. Botox injections are placed near the surface of the skin and are completed using very fine needles. The process can be completed in as little as 10-15 minutes and typically you can receive injections the same day as your initial consultation.
Botox injections usually begin showing results within a few days after treatment. You will likely begin seeing some results about 2-4 days after your treatment, with full results noticeable within two weeks. In some cases, Dr. Chetty may ask to see you for a follow-up appointment about two weeks after your initial injections to check on your results.
Do Botox Injections to the Underarms Require Downtime?
After receiving your Botox injections, you can go about your routine as normal. Many patients return to work, school, or other normal activities immediately after their appointments. You may notice some slight redness, swelling or tenderness where you received your injections, but this should resolve within a day or two. You should also avoid strenuous exercise or using saunas for at least 24 hours after receiving your Botox injections to avoid any complications.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in reducing excessive sweating and improving your quality of life through Botox injections, the first step is a consultation with Dr. Praven Chetty. During your consultation, Dr. Chetty will evaluate your health history and review your symptoms to determine whether Botox is the best solution for your hyperhidrosis.
To schedule your consultation at Cerulean Medical Institute in Kelowna, BC, call (778) 402-3696 or contact us online.