BOTOX has proven to be an effective treatment for hyperhidrosis. This condition of severe and excessive sweating affects over 8 million people in the U.S. alone. If you think you may have hyperhidrosis, visit Allergan's Botox site for a Self-Assessment.
Excessive or heavy sweating, called hyperhidrosis, is a medical condition that can be devastating. Abnormal sweating effects every moment of every day. And all too often, suffering from hyperhidrosis is a silent struggle — avoiding social situations and trying to disguise the excessive sweating with clothing, powders, and pads.
The condition is caused by hyper-function of the sweat glands. In the hyperhidrosis sufferer, sweat glands appear to overreact to stimuli and may also be generally overactive.
Areas of the body typically affected by hyperhidrosis:
- Under arms
Why We Sweat:
- Physical activity or exercise
Treatments for Hyperhidrosis
Often considered the "first line" of treatment for severe underarm sweating, over-the-counter and prescription antiperspirants work by blocking sweat ducts, thereby reducing the amount of perspiration that reaches the skin. The most widely used ingredients in antiperspirants are metallic salts, including aluminum chloride hexahydrate. Antiperspirants can cause skin irritation, and higher concentrations of aluminum chloride can be destructive to fabrics. Dr. Sedgh may first prescribe RX-level antiperspirants if you have not yet tried them for sweat control.
Deodorants help control body odor, which is caused by a reaction between bacteria and sweat. The deodorants work by making the skin more acidic, and hence less attractive to bacteria. They are often used in combination with antiperspirants to help control sweating in addition to odor.
BOTOX Cosmetic is FDA-approved for severe underarm sweating that is inadequately managed with topical agents. BOTOX helps control this condition by temporarily blocking the chemical signals from the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands. When the sweat glands don't receive chemical signals, the severe sweating stops.
What Is Treatment with BOTOX Like?
The procedure is relatively straightforward. A small volume of BOTOX® solution is injected into the affected underarm area through a very fine needle. The needle is placed just under the skin, so you may experience some injection-related discomfort.
You will receive multiple injections based on your doctor's assessment of the area that needs to be treated. You will notice effects in 24 to 72 hours.
How Long Does the BOTOX Last?
With a 201 day duration response, 1 to 2 BOTOX injections were sufficient for most patients who responded to BOTOX® treatment in the 52-week pivotal clinical study (Source: Clinical Study Response - Allergan)
BOTOX treatment is very effective. One clinical study involved 322 patients with severe underarm sweating.
57 out of 104 BOTOX treated patients (55%) achieved an effective response—compared to only 6 out of 108 treated without BOTOX (6%).
84 out of 104 treated patients (81%) achieved a greater than 50% reduction in sweating—compared to only 44 out of 108 treated without BOTOX (41%).
This procedure involves sending a small electrical current to the surface of the affected area while it is submerged in water. In general, treatments must be repeated 3-4 times per week.
The procedure can be done at home using a home device. Although this procedure can be used for treating severe underarm sweating, it is usually more useful for controlling sweating in other areas of the body, such as the hands and feet.
A variety of surgical approaches have been used to treat severe sweating, but they are usually reserved for the most severe cases that do not respond to other treatments. If you consider surgical intervention you should only do so with a surgeon who is specially trained.
Herbal remedies such as sage tea or sage tablets, chamomile, valerian root, and St. John's wort, as well as biofeedback, acupuncture, hypnosis, and relaxation techniques, are sometimes suggested as treatments for excessive sweating. However, there is little research at this time to indicate the effectiveness of such treatments.
Every Day Tips for Non-Medical Help in Controlling Excessive Sweating
- While only a doctor can prescribe or perform certain hyperhidrosis treatments, there are things you can do to help make excessive sweating less of a burden on your everyday life:
- Bathe daily to keep the amount of bacteria on your skin in check.
- Dry yourself thoroughly after you bathe. Bacteria and fungi (which can cause body odor and infections on irritated skin) thrive in damp spaces, like between your toes. If you have sweaty feet, use foot powders to help absorb sweat.
- Apply antiperspirant products in the evening. Antiperspirants may be used on hands and feet as well as on underarms. Gently massaging them into the skin may be useful. Follow instructions carefully if using prescription antiperspirants.
- Wear natural fabrics, such as cotton, wool, and silk, which allow your skin to breathe. When you exercise, you might prefer high-tech fabrics that wick moisture away from your skin.
- "Dress shields," small pads that go in your armpits to absorb sweat, may be an option for you. You may also want to keep an extra shirt with you for emergencies.
- Launder your clothes and/or change your shoes and clothing often.
- If you have trouble with sweaty feet, rotate your shoes. Your shoes may not dry out overnight, so try not to wear the same pair two days in a row. If you have shoes with removable insoles, change those often. Many athletic shoes can be machine washed and dried in the sun to reduce odor causing bacteria buildup.
- Moisture-wicking athletic socks are a good choice. These may be made of merino wool (which doesn’t itch) or a synthetic blend sometimes called "polypro."
- Change your socks often. Change socks or pantyhose once or twice a day, drying your feet thoroughly each time. Women should try pantyhose with cotton soles.
- Air your feet. Go barefoot when you can, or at least slip out of your shoes now and then.
- Avoid hot beverages (such as coffee), alcohol, and spices, which can make you sweat.
- Try relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or biofeedback. These can help you learn to control the stress that can trigger perspiration.
- Change your diet. Make note of any foods or beverages that cause you to sweat more than usual. Consider eliminating caffeinated drinks (like coffee and cola) from your diet as well as alcohol, certain “hot” spices, and foods with strong odors, such as garlic and onions.
Join a support group or online discussion board for moral support and to learn more about new treatments.
While it may sometimes seem like no one understands what you’re going through, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Many people suffer from excessive sweating. Read some of their personal stories here. If you have a loved one who you think has hyperhidrosis, there are ways you can help. Visit the For Family and Friends page to learn more.
Learn more about treatment for excess sweating by calling 888-333-2515 today.