Don’t Sweat It… Try Botox!

In 2004, the FDA approved the use of Botox for hyperhidrosis or severe underarm sweating.

Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition caused by over stimulated sweat glands. People with this condition often produce four to five times more sweat than people who do not suffer from hyperhidrosis.

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Hyperhidrosis triggers:

  • exercise
  • heat or cold
  • alcohol, coffee, tea, smoking , hot or spicy food
  • stress , anxiety, strong emotions

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How to diagnose Hyperhydrosis?

If there is excessive sweating of at least 6 months duration with at least two of the following characteristics then primary Hyperhydrosis is present and this can be treated with Botox.

  • Bilateral and relatively symmetrical sweating
  • Impairs daily activity
  • At least one episode per week
  • Onset before the age of 25 years
  • Positive family history
  • Cessation of sweating during sleep

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What can be done:

BOTOX®  has proven to be an effective hyperhidrosis treatment. When injected into the underarm area, BOTOX® helps to control hyperhidrosis.

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How does it work?

A small volume of BOTOX® solution is injected through a very fine gauge needle into the underarm area.  BOTOX® works by temporarily blocking the chemical signals from the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands. When these glands no longer receive the chemical signals, the excessive underarm sweating stops. The procedure takes about 5-10 minutes, is relatively painless, and the effects of the treatment have been reported to last 6-9 months (Results vary from person to person and eventually will wear off).  Depending on the severity of the hyperhidrosis, multiple injections may be needed.

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Within 1-2 weeks of the initial treatment there will be significant reduction in underarm sweating. There is a possibility that some sweat glands may be missed during BOTOX® hyperhidrosis treatment. If this occurs, underarm sweating may continue from the untreated areas and a touch-up treatment may be needed.

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How much does it cost?

For optimal results, 100 units of BOTOX® (50 units under each arm) is needed, which can run anywhere between $1000-$1500.

Pre Treatment Instructions:

  • Shave underarms 24 hours prior to procedure.
  • 2 hours before procedure avoid hot beverages or going to gym (if doing “The Starch Test”).
  • Abstain from use of over-the-counter deodorants or antiperspirants for 24 hours (if doing “The Starch Test”).
  • Do not consume a alcoholic beverages for 24 hours prior to the procedure.
  • Avoid taking Aspirin or Ibuprofen 24 hours prior to the procedure (please check with your Primary Care Physician if you take either medication on a daily basis for an existing condition)

The Starch Test:

The “Starch Test” is sometimes performed to view where the affected areas of perspiration are located.  Not all providers perform this test, as it has been said to be  unnecessary.  Most providers inject into the area of hair growth, since sweat glands lie just next to each hair follicle.

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Starch Test Info:

Patients should shave underarms and abstain from use of over-the-counter deodorants or antiperspirants for 24 hours prior to the test. Patient should be resting comfortably without exercise, hot drinks, etc for approximately 30 minutes prior to the test.

Here’s what to expect:

Iodine solution will be painted on.

Starch powder will then be sprinkled and allow to settle for 10 minutes.
A blue-black mark will identify affected area of persperation.
The area will then be circled and marked.
BOTOX® is then injected just beside each pen mark.

Post Treatment Instructions:

  • No deodorant for 12 hours
  • No heavy exercise for 24 hours
  • After Botox injections gently clean and dry your underarm using a mild soap/cleanser.
  • You may begin to experience results within 7 days, full effectiveness is achieved at 14 days.
  • Until the maximum effectiveness of the BOTOX® injection is achieved you can continue to use over the counter antiperspirants.
  • Contact your injector, if you are still experiencing sweating in the treated area after 14 days.

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