Most people have heard of Botox (although less are aware of its full name, botulinum toxin) due to its ever-increasing popularity as an anti-wrinkle treatment. For those who are using it for anti-wrinkle purposes, when it is injected into the skin, Botox blocks the signals that your brain sends to nerve endings that control the contraction of muscles. As such, it paralyses the muscles and temporarily smoothes out wrinkles.
This clever ability to restrict nerve signals means that there are other uses for the toxin too – one of which is helping to control excess sweating in the palms of hands or in your underarms.
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating, and it is something that affects 1% of the UK population. Sweating is the body’s natural way of regulating temperature, and is controlled by the nervous system. For people who suffer with hyperhidrosis, this system works too enthusiastically, meaning that people sweat excessively and unexpectedly. This can be embarrassing and cause anxiety.
How can Botox help?
In the same way that Botox can be injected into the skin to help smooth out wrinkles, it can also be injected into the palms or underarms to help block signals to the brain that cause excess sweating. The dose usually comprises between 15 and 20 injections directly into the affected area. The procedure usually takes around three-quarters of an hour to carry out.
The injections provide temporary relief and can be expected to work for several months at a time. Once the effects start to wear off the treatment can be repeated.
Are there any side effects?
As with most treatments, some people will find they experience no side effects at all whereas others will report some. With Botox injections, some people find that they have soreness around the injection sites, which sometimes also itches slightly. Occasionally some will find that they experience headaches, feelings of sickness or heat flushes shortly after the injections have been administered.
The good news is that most of these side effects are temporary and will only last a short time. Many people find that the benefits of reduced sweating out-weigh any short term side effects. For more information, please contact us.