Hyperhidrosis is a condition characterized by abnormally increased sweating, beyond what is required to regulate body temperature. It affects approximately 3% of the population. Hyperhidrosis affects work productivity, confidence, social comfort, emotional well being and wardrobe choices. Very few people seek help because they are often unaware that excessive sweating is a treatable medical disorder.
There are two types of hyperhidrosis: focal and generalized. Focal hyperhidrosis, also known as primary hyperhidrosis, has an unknown cause. This type is localized to one or more of the following areas: the armpit, hands, feet, and face. Generalized hyperhidrosis, also known as secondary hyperhidrosis, is actually caused by another underlying condition. This type of hyperhidrosis occurs over the whole body and is usually treated by addressing the underlying condition.
Botox® is able to treat focal hyperhidrosis. Botox® is the brand name of the commercial form of Botulinum toxin (BTX), which is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botox® works to inhibit the release of a chemical between neurons thus interfering with nerve conduction of a signal resulting in paralysis or interference of stimulation of the sweat glands. Although paralysis may sound concerning, the safety margin of Botox® is about 100:1. It would take about 100 times the therapeutic dose to poison someone with Botox®. The safety margin with others common medicines is around 20:1 (Aspirin and Tylenol).
When administered by a medical expert, Botox® can be used safely to treat focal hyperhidrosis. Botox® is injected into the skin of the treatment area using very tiny needles that only feels like a little pinches. It takes about 14 days for Botox® to take full effect. Botox® is not permanent. The results typically last from 3-4 months.