Botox for Hyperhydrosis
Hyperhydrosis is a medical condition where sweating is in excess of what is required for normal thermoregulation (heat regulation of the body – to maintain the optimum body temperature for other functions). There is a fine line of difference between perspiration (sweating, normal in humans) and excessive perspiration (a specific, narrowly defined clinical disorder). Hyperhydrosis may begin in childhood or adolescence and has various psychological, emotional and social effects as ‘the silent handicap’.
Any area on the body can be affected by hyperhydrosis but the most commonly affected ones are palms, soles and axillae. Hyperhydrosis is usually a secondary disease, often due to metabolic disorders, febrile illnesses or medication use.
The 3 forms of Hyperhydrosis
Emotionally induced – it affects the palms, soles and axillae, localised hyperhydrosis and general hyperhydrosis. More than the physical discomfiture, hyperhydrosis causes emotional distress and occupational disability for the patient, regardless of how and where they affect.
Though not a critical disease, though severe cases of hyperhydrosis may adversely affect the patient’s quality of life (see Complications). Hyperhydrosis is difficult to treat effectively but with newer hyperhydrosis modalities, there are many options for prognosis and treatment.
Hyperhydrosis Initial Treatment
Antiperspirants also good cures for excessive sweating, or hyperhydrosis. Axillary hyperhydrosis (for the underarm regions) are usually treated using hyperhydrosis gels and improvement can be seen within three to five days. Axillary hyperhydrosis of excess levels can also be treated by sweat gland removal or axilary liposuction.
Higher strength plantar and palmar hyperhydrosis can be cured with higher strength aluminium chloride. Though both palmar and axillary hyperhydrosis are first suggested to go for the antiperspirant hyperhydrosis.
Botulinum toxin for hyperhydrosis
In some cases, Botulinum toxin (type A) or Botox is used, mainly, to block neural control of sweat glands. The Botox hyperhydrosis lasts for 3 – 9 months, depending on the site of injection and how the body responds to it. It has been observed that the duration of the beneficial effects in palmar and axillary hyperhydrosis has increased with repetition of the injection.
Botox hyperhydrosis is used in cases where the antiperspirant hyperhydrosis has failed for people aged 18 and above. It has also been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in case of severe primary axilary hyperhydrosis.
How does Botox work?
Botulinum toxin (Botox type A) is a natural, purified protein that could temporarily block the secretion of the chemical that turns on the body’s sweat glands. Once the triggering chemical that is responsible for sweating is ‘turned off’, the lack of a chemical messenger stops sweating at the site of injection. Botox injections are usually applied superficially, just below the surface of the skin, where it remains.
How effective is Botox
The cosmetic effects of Botolinum Toxin (Botox) are many and varied and mainly since its effects are temporary and do not cause a permanent damage, it is preferred for hyperhydrosis owing to its high success rate. The effects of the Botox hyperhydrosis starts appearing approximately 2 to 4 days after hyperhydrosis with full effects and could last up to a year or more. Repeated hyperhydrosis’s using Botulinum toxin for hyperhydrosis is considered safe and has long lasting improvements in sweating behaviour of thebody. In axillary hyperhydrosis, Botulinum toxin (Botox) shows a 82-87% decrease in sweating while in the case of palmary hyperhydrosis (of the palm) there is a 80-90% decrease in sweating.
Is curbing hyperhydrosis safe?
Since hyperhydrosis is basically the disease of over sweating, all hyperhydrosiss for hyperhydrosis work by cutting down and curbing sweat and destroying sweat glands. Since sweat is primarily a function to regulate the body temperature, and is a naturally designed mechanism to keep the heat under check, people have doubts about taking hyperhydrosis for hyperhydrosis. But since the areas that are prone to hyperhydrosis form a very low percentage of the body’s sweat glands (the underarms account to less than 2% of the body’s sweat glands) there isn’t a huge impact in the overall temperature regulation of the body. The hyperhydrosis, though, will help in the excessive sweating (above the needed or permissible limit) in certain areas that might make people dysfunctional.
How is Botulinum toxin (Botox) administered:
The usage of Botox (Botulinum toxin) is regulated and is effective when injected by a physician who has received special training from the International Hyperhydrosis Society, and who have experience with the procedure.
Botox injections could be administered in the physician’s office and require very less time (some surgeons do it in under 10 minutes for both underarms) and do not have any further restrictions (like post hyperhydrosis guidelines) that require the patient to change their daily activities. But there are a few requirements that include refraining from use of sauna on the day of injection, not shaving the area before the hyperhydrosis, refraining from intensive exercise, etc.
Botulinum toxin (Botox) is injected in tiny portions just under the skin in grid patterns throughout the area where there is excessive sweating. Based on the area or the severity, multiple injections are given. Certain physicians use anaesthetic techniques to reduce potential discomfort. That might include nerve block, ice or analgesia.
Dr. Debraj Shome is an expert cosmetic surgeon who has handled and mastered the use of Botox in the area of health and cosmetic improvements. He specialises in Botox injections to cure various ailments and conditions that require a cosmetic perspective. He is based out of Mumbai and is considered one of the best in the world in the field.