What is hyperhidrosis, or also known as excessive sweating?
Hyperhidrosis can either be generalized or localized to specific parts of the body. Hands, feet, armpits, and the back area are among the most active regions of perspiration due to the relatively high concentration of sweat glands; however, any part of the body may be affected.
Hyperhidrosis can be found to start during adolescence or even before and seems to be inherited. Alternatively hyperhidrosis may be secondary to other disorders, like disorders of the thyroid or pituitary gland, diabetes mellitus, tumors, gout, menopause, certain drugs, or mercury poisoning.
Nervousness or excitement can exacerbate the situation for many sufferers. Other factors can play a role; certain foods and drinks, nicotine, caffeine, and smells can trigger a response.
A common complaint of patients is that they get nervous because they sweat, then sweat more because they are nervous.
Can it be treated?
Hyperhidrosis can often be very effectively managed. There are options involving medicines or surgery:
At the Centre of Wellness, the Doctor inserts injections of botulinum toxin type A, under the brand name Botox®, which is used to disable the sweat glands. The effects may persist from four to nine months depending on the site of injection. This procedure has been approved by the U.S FDA to treat underarm sweating.
This is not usually the first line of treatment. Many options may be tried before this.
Very strong antiperspirants may provide relief. Several anticholinergic drugs, such as oxybutynin (brand name Ditropan), reduce hyperhidrosis.
Sweat gland removal or destruction is one surgical option available for axillary hyperhidrosis. It is best to contact specialists in this field for further information.
Absorbent shoe insoles decrease the sweat in shoes. Relaxation and meditation and weight loss have also been proposed to be of help.
What does the treatment entail?
After an initial discussion and assessment, the doctor will map out the areas needed in the hairy area of your armpit that would benefit from injections with Botox®. A series of tiny painless injections precisely place the Botox in the correct position. The injections take about 15 minutes.
How long does it take to work and how long will the effects last?
It takes approximately 4 days for Botox® to start to affect the sweat glands, although many sufferers report effects after the first day. The results last approximately 4-9 months, depending on individual response. The response may be dramatic with the armpits remaining completely dry.
Who can administer BOTOX®?
It is administered by a healthcare professional (Doctor) only as a simple, nonsurgical treatment that is injected directly into the areas where it is needed. Expert training is required to perform the procedures to ensure a good result.
Is the procedure painful, and how long does it take?
The procedure is very non-invasive and is usually as painful as feeling a mosquito bite!
The entire consultation takes between 30 to 45minutes. It is considered to be an outpatient procedure and people may return to their normal activities immediately.
Is Botox® safe and what are the possible side effects?
Botox turned 21 years old in 2010! It has been used for many years in other areas such as treating people with cerebral palsy and squint (strabismus), and in very small children. It was first registered by the FDA in the United States in 1989 and in South Africa in 1993. Its safety profile is tested and proven, and as long as a properly qualified medical doctor is injecting it, the results are predictable. The Doctor will ask you some medical questions to make sure Botox® will be safe and effective in you.
Before your treatment the Doctor will also discuss any rare side effects which are possible, and answer any of your questions.
Are there other uses for BOTOX® other than Aesthetic treatments?
Yes, BOTOX® can also be used for:
- To treat increased muscle stiffness in elbow, wrist, and finger muscles in adults with upper limb spasticity.
- To treat the abnormal head position and neck pain that happens with cervical dystonia (CD) in adults.
- To treat certain types of eye muscle problems (strabismus) or abnormal spasm of the eyelids (blepharospasm).
Facts about Botox®…
- Botox® (botulinum toxin), used for both cosmetic and medical interventions, is a purified and diluted form of the clostridium botulinum bacteria toxin (a protein).
- It is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles and used to improve the look of moderate-to-severe wrinkles caused by underlying muscle movements.
- Its beauty lies in its ability to relax the muscle that has been injected, resulting in a serene and unworried appearance.
- If the word Botox® makes you feel slightly nervous, that’s because it reminds you of botulism, derived from the same bacteria, which you probably associate with food poisoning and paralysis. Happily, scientists have found a way of using the protein to human advantage for safe, controlled weakening of the muscles.