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Everyone sweats. It is a very natural and important way that our body regulates its temperature when we are warm or physically active. But for some, the sweating continues even at rest. And not just in the underarms. The palms of the hands and the soles of the feet can be affected too. This frustrating condition is known as Hyperhidrosis and if it affects you, there are great options to control it.
Hyperhidrosis may not sound all that bad, but if it affects you, you know it can keep you from social activities, and intimate relationships and even interfere with professional occupations. We don’t know why Hyperhidrosis happens, but we know that in those with the condition, sweat glands are extremely active.
There were few options for hyperhidrosis prior to 2004. Common treatments included oral medications to slow down or blunt the part of the peripheral nervous system that stimulate the sweat glands, topical wipes, and solutions that contained aluminum chloride to build plug the sweat duct. But, in 2004, the FDA approved Botox for hyperhidrosis treatment.
Most people think of Botox as only a cosmetic treatment, but it’s used in medicine for several different conditions that involve muscle spasms and overactive muscle activity. It’s useful in treating Hyperhidrosis in a similar way in that it blocks the receptors for acetylcholine which is the major chemical messenger that stimulates sweat secretion.
Treatment involves a grid-like pattern of injections with small amounts of Botox into the areas of the underarms that sweat the most. The needle that is used is extremely small and there is very little discomfort during a treatment session. Most patients require about 50 units of Botox in each underarm, and the entire treatment session usually takes less than 20 minutes.
While this sounds like a lot of Botox, which can be expensive, we always inform our patients that the average duration of the effects of a single treatment session is usually four to eight months (six on average)! And there are no at-home creams, pills, or other tasks to keep up with. Botox treatments are an extremely safe, easy, and cost-effective way to eliminate excessive underarm sweating.
While there is no cure for excessive underarm sweating, Botox offers consistent, long-lasting results, and is much more effective than the alternatives mentioned above – and with fewer side effects. While it may be a financial investment for patients with Hyperhidrosis, in our experience, patients like you consider Botox to be worth every penny.