What is it?
Botulinum Toxin (Botox) is used in cosmetic treatments and it is extremely safe. Botox injections are a quick and simple procedure carried out in a clinical setting. These injections are used to treat a variety of conditions such as migraine, muscle spasms etc. It is a drug that works by temporarily paralyzing muscles to treat conditions such as reduction of wrinkles or preventing excessive sweating, also known as, axillary hyperhidrosis. It is a highly effective treatment for excessive underarm sweating, and also the soles of feet and palms of hands. Botox has become a well-accepted treatment for axillary hyperhidrosis. It has gained the FDA’s approval in 2004.
How long it will last and other information:
Although the longevity of the treatment can vary. We will experience dry armpits for around 4 to 14 months.
How it works:
Botox works by blocking the secretion of acetylcholine; a neurotransmitter responsible for activating the sweat glands. Although sweating is the body’s natural mechanism of cooling down, in people with hyperhidrosis, the sweat glands are overactive causing excessive sweating. When the Botox is injected into the armpits The nerves are essentially paralyzed causing less sweat in that particular area of injection.
We may be considered as a good candidate for Botox if our sweating fails to improve with prescription antiperspirants. Botox has been FDA-approved for underarm sweating, but it can also be used to treat sweat from other areas such as feet, hands, head and face. Botox is used to treat sweaty palms and has a success rate of 80-90%, and a success rate of 95% in the treatment of sweaty forehead, which may last for 5 months. In addition, it can also treat sweaty feet but in this case, the injections are far more painful compared to the other areas. Also, data suggests that it has a 50% patients’ dissatisfaction rate.
During the procedure, there will be an application of some numbing cream, ice or vibration analgesia to reduce sensitivity. Then the Botox which is usually in the powdered form, is mixed with saline to make a liquid solution and around 50 units of Botox are injected into each armpit. This treatment requires a full bottle of Botox. Your practitioner will start by drawing a diamond shape and then inject the Botox just below the surface of the skin using fine needles. We may feel a slight prick when the needles hit the skin surface, but it’s only mild discomfort. We’ll receive several injections in a grid pattern approximately every 1 to 2 centimeters apart around the targeted area. The more units of Botox injected, the longer the drying effects lasts. The entire procedure can take 10 to 30 minutes to complete.
Immediately after the treatment, there is potential bruising or feeling of tenderness. But we can resume our normal activities as soon as we’re done with our Botox injections. After the injections, exercise, alcohol and stress can accelerate the body’s metabolism causing the Botox to break down faster. Therefore, it is advised to refrain from intensive exercise, consumption of alcohol and use of sauna for a few days. About two weeks after the treatment. Once the full effects of botox are visible, we should see our practitioner for a follow-up appointment. Where the practitioner will inject the botox into any spots that have been previously missed to ensure we get the treatment’s full benefit.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Most people require 100 units of Botox, 50 units per armpit to stop sweating. This typically costs around £600 – £750
Possible side effects of this treatment include: Flu-like symptoms, headache and pain or bruising at the injection site. Serious but rare side effects include: Trouble seeing, muscle weakness in the entire body, loss of bladder control, difficulty breathing. It’s not recommended to get Botox injections if we already have difficulty swallowing, breathing or speaking. Botox can also cause muscle weakness and drowsiness so it isn’t recommended for people with muscle or nerve conditions.
Luckily, Botox isn’t the only solution to axillary hyperhidrosis. Before opting for botox, we can try the non-invasive and affordable methods such as taking natural supplements, topical over-the-counter and prescription products such as antiperspirants or oral anti-cholinergics. We can also wear sweat proof undershirts to temporarily stop our armpits from soaking in sweat. Follow-up injections are required to maintain dryness. They may be necessary at intervals varying from 7 to 16 months.
Botox is a quick, simple, effective treatment for axillary hyperhidrosis. If we’re are okay with needles then this method can keep us sweat-free for quite a long time without the daily use of products to keep the armpits dry.