As summer approaches, we are seeing a lot of patients in our clinic all wanting a solution for excessive. Botulinum Toxin A injections are a safe, quick and convenient way of normalising sweating for around 8 months.
What is Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is the excessive production of sweat. The condition most frequently affects the underarms, face, hands and feet. Symptoms usually start in adolescence and can cause difficulties with work, school and social relationships. It is estimated that as many as 1 in 10 people may be suffering from this condition and coping in silence
What are the possible treatments?
In medicine we always advise the simple things first. Topical treatments such as frequent showering and drying and using anti-pespirants with high aluminium content are first-line. Oral medication is rarely sufficient as patients usually cannot tolerate dosages high enough to control the sweating (due to the side effects of dry mouth, blurred vision and constipation). Iontopheresis, although time consuming, has been shown to be effective for palmar hyperhidrosis. In the past, the last available option was surgery to destroy the sympathetic nerve ganglia supplying the affected area.
How does Botox work to treat hyperhidrosis?
Botulinum Toxin A works by blocking the communication between the sympathetic nerves (which innervate the appocrine glands) and the sweat glands. The effect mimics surgery without the risks of nerve damage, scarring, and compensatory hyperhidrosis elsewhere in the body. By blocking the sympathetic nerve transmission Botulinum Toxin A stops the over-production of sweat, allowing perspiration to be reduced to “normal”, easily managed levels.
Does it work?
Clinical studies show Botulinum Toxin A injections produce a 90% reduction in sweat production for 6 to 9 months. After treatment, patients can go out with the freedom and confidence in knowing sweating has been drastically reduced to below normal levels.
Botulinum Toxin A is so effective in controlling sweating that many fashion houses make it compulsory for Hollywood actresses to get treated for Hyperhidrosis before they are lent their dresses for the Academy Awards!
Is it safe?
Botulinum Toxin A has a well-documented safety profile. It is now the most popular cosmetic medical procedures in the world. In 2004 alone, over 2.8 million cosmetic treatments were carried out. Botulinum Toxin A also forms an important part of the treatment regime for treating ophthalmologic disorders and rehabilitating children with Cerebral Palsy. The dosage used to treat hyperhidrosis is a fraction of what's used to rehabilitate small children. It is one of the safest medical procedures available.