Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating that does not relate to heat or exercise. If you experience hyperhidrosis, you sweat so much that it soaks through your clothes or drips off your hands and face. This type of sweating may disrupt your normal daily activities and cause social embarrassment and anxiety. Hyperhidrosis usually affects your hands, underarms, feet, or face with at least one episode a week during waking hours. The sweating generally occurs on both sides of your body.
The FDA has approved Botox injections to treat excessive underarm sweating. Clinical studies find that Botox blocks a chemical in the body that activates the sweat glands, and Botox injections reduce underarm sweating by up to 87%. Botox is also injected “off-label” to treat the palms, the face, and soles of the feet. Botox injections are placed directly into the areas of your body that excessively sweat. Once injected, your overactive nerves are paralyzed. When nerves cannot signal your sweat glands, you don’t sweat. Botox prevents sweating in the specific areas where it is injected.
Studies have found that Botox injections can last up to six months or more in the underarms. However, studies on the other body areas for Botox and excessive sweating are not conclusive.
It generally takes about 20-30 minutes to inject Botox into areas of excessive sweating. Botox is injected below the surface of your skin using a thin needle. You may receive 15 to 20 injections to form a pattern around your areas of excess sweating.
Injections can be painful since the injections go into somewhat sensitive areas. Your practitioner will give you a numbing agent or ice to help make you more comfortable.
After your treatment you can go about your daily activities. However, it may take 2 to 4 days to notice any results and up to two weeks for the injections to be fully effective.
Injections are temporary, and your will need more injections in the future. For underarm sweating, injections are needed every 7 to 16 months. For hands, feet, and face, you may need repeat treatments after about six months.
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