Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. Sweating is one of the most important ways in which your body loses heat. However people with hyperhidrosis produce sweat in amounts far greater than needed to control their temperature.
It is estimated that between 1-3% of the population has excessive sweating.
What causes excessive sweating?
1/2 of people with hyperhidrosis have a relative with a similar problem, suggesting a genetic link.
Hyperhidrosis is caused by over activity of the sweat glands. People with hyperhidrosis can produce a large volume of sweat. This may make normal activities more difficult to carry out and can cause embarrassment at work or socially.
How does Botox work?
Botox is a treatment given by injection into the skin. It is licensed by Allergan since 2001 for hyperhidrosis.
Botox is a purified protein, when small doses are injected just into the skin in the armpit it blocks the action of the nerves that supply the eccrine glands, which prevents the glands from producing sweat. Botox blocks the nerve endings for several months and eventually wears off.
What happens during a treatment for excessive sweating?
After a brief medical consultation I go straight ahead to the procedure which lasts 20 - 30 minutes. A very fine needle is used to inject a small amount of a solution of Botox into 15 places about 1 cm apart and spread evenly in each armpit. All my clients have the option of a local anaesthetic cream. However, due to fine needles and using a bacteriostatic saline which takes the sting out of the injection my clients are all pleasantly surprised that this is a procedure with minor discomfort.
How quickly does it work and how long will the effects last?
Within 1 week you should see a reduction in underarm sweating. In clinical trials, sweat production was reduced by 83% one week after treatment. My clients responses are that they often don't need to use deodorant after treatment, and their sweating is reduced by 95%. Treatment is usually given 1-2 times a year.
It can also be given as a one off treatment if you have an important day like a wedding or have to give an important work presentation.