Excessive sweating can be distressing. You might unknowingly be suffering from hyperhidrosis if your excessive sweating is interrupting your daily activities, embarrassing you to no end. If that’s the case, Botox can come to your aid and change the game.
Sweating is a natural, biological function of the nervous system in which the body cools down and regulates its temperature. However, some people experience excessive sweating, which is higher than the normal amount based on the climate they are living in. This condition is commonly referred to as hyperhidrosis, a common disorder where you sweat excessively.
Although changing your lifestyle and habits will not completely cure hyperhidrosis, it can give you more confidence and slightly improve your condition. Avoiding triggers such as spicy foods and alcohol, wearing breathable and loose-fitting clothes, using topical antiperspirants rather than deodorants, using armpit shields, wearing socks that absorb moisture, and shoes made of leather rather than synthetic materials all can relatively put you at ease and significantly reduce the amount of sweating.
Excessive sweating or Hyperhidrosis is either generalized or localized. Generalized or secondary hyperhidrosis can begin at any age and involve the whole body (hence the name generalized). It can be due to the consumption of a specific medication or certain drugs, or could be an indicator of some other underlying condition, such as menopause, infections, tumors, chronic diseases, or thyroid disorders.
When the sweating is localized, involving a specific area of the body such as the scalp, palms, underarms, or face, it is referred to as focal hyperhidrosis or primary hyperhidrosis. This disease typically begins during childhood and worsens after puberty.
Based on studies, in almost two thirds of the cases primary hyperhidrosis seems to have a genetic predisposition. Many people with this type of hyperhidrosis have family members who also suffer from excessive sweating. Problems with the nervous system are also associated with this condition. However, the exact cause of focal or primary hyperhidrosis still remains unknown and there seems to be no apparent reason for this disease.
Excessive sweating that leads to increased wetness on the surface of your body is the primary sign of hyperhidrosis. However, thorough physical examinations and medical tests still need to be performed to determine the presence of excessive sweating and rule out any underlying conditions. If your physician suspects that your condition stems from other medical complications such as thyroid problems or diabetes, then a blood test could help determine the exact cause of your disease and help you manage and treat it effectively.
Hyperhidrosis could also be diagnosed through sweat tests. One such test is the starch-iodine test where an iodine solution is applied to the affected area and left to dry completely before starch application. If a dark blue color appears on the area, your doctor can safely diagnose your condition as hyperhidrosis.
Paper test is another way to diagnose hyperhidrosis. A special paper is placed on the affected area to absorb sweat. Your physician will then weigh the paper to determine how much you have sweated.
Though there are various treatments for hyperhidrosis, particularly the focal hyperhidrosis, finding the proper treatment could still be challenging. You are generally recommended to start with a minimally invasive treatment. Some of the popular treatments for hyperhidrosis are listed below:
This type of treatment is administered to target mild cases of hyperhidrosis. It might cause very minor irritation, including burning or stinging. Specific prescriptions that reduce sweating can cause such side effects as increased heart rate, dry mouth, sedation, and blurry vision.
An antiperspirant is often used to treat hyperhidrosis by plugging the sweat glands. You should apply aluminum chloride at night before you go to sleep and wash it off in the morning. Be careful if you apply aluminum chloride to your face; the most common side effect of aluminum chloride is mild skin irritation.
Iontophoresis is an effective treatment for excessive sweating of the hands or feet.
In this method, you place your hands or feet in a bowl of water with a weak electric current passing through the water to block the sweat glands. It is still unclear how this treatment functions, but it is very effective and the discomfort is relatively short-lived.
Video-assisted thoracic sympathectomy (VATS) is a type of surgery that helps treat those cases of hyperhidrosis that have not responded well to other therapies.
This procedure involves removing the nerve tissue that goes from your sympathetic nervous system to the affected sweat glands. Treating excessive sweating of the feet with the help of surgery may lead to permanent sexual dysfunction as it may impair the nerves connected to the genitals.
The other common effect of VATS is excessive sweating in other body parts. If you do not respond well to the minimally invasive procedures, surgical destruction of nerve pathways can be an alternative, but this process poses serious risks such as bleeding, nerve damage, infection, and compensatory hyperhidrosis.
Botulinum toxin injection is a modern method to treat various skin conditions. Botox is used in small doses to treat severe cases of hyperhidrosis.
If you are struggling to find a solution for your excessive sweating, Botox could be the answer. When your body’s temperature rises, your nervous system activates your sweat glands, and your body starts cooling itself through sweating. Botox helps with hyperhidrosis by blocking the nerves that cause sweating. The blockage of these nerve causes a significant decrease in sweat production. Botox is injected just beneath the skin surface and into the sweat glands. As subepidermal injections tend to be too close to nerve endings, intracutaneous injections are generally recommended. The patients usually need multiple injections spaced 1 to 2.5 cm apart from the target area. Botulinum toxin injections can be painful, therefore a topical anesthetic is administered to ease the discomfort during the procedure. However, using ulnar and median nerve blocks or intravenous regional anesthesia is proven to be more beneficial than applying a local anesthetic.
Botox has been FDA-approved as a safe and effective treatment for hyperhidrosis and excessive sweating. Therefore, you do not need to worry about severe reactions or side effects. Potential side effects of botulinum toxin injections are transient and include slight weakness in the muscles and the appearance of small hematomas on the injection sites.
Once the procedure is done, you can go back to your daily routine. The outcome will be fully visible within two weeks of treatment. Keep in mind however, that the effects will wear off six to seven months after the treatment. To ensure long-lasting results, Botox injections must be repeated regularly.
If you are looking for a solution for your stains, our professional staff can deliver you the best results with Botox.