Botox for Hyperhidrosis
What is Hyperhidrosis?
The condition which causes a person to sweat excessively is known as Hyperhidrosis. This condition is also known as polyhidrosis or sudorrhea. The sweating can either be limited to one part of the body or may affect the entire body.
Generally, this condition is not life threatening but can become the cause of severe embarrassment to the patient. It can have psychological implications too. If a person is suffering from Hyperhidrosis, the excessive sweating occurs in the area where the sweat glands are most active like the feet, hands, groin and armpits etc. This condition can either be congenital or can be acquired. Mostly, people develop this condition during their teenage.
What are the types of Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis can be of two types:-
What causes Hyperhidrosis:-
Depending upon the cause, Hyperhidrosis is divided in to two categories; primary Hyperhidrosis and secondary Hyperhidrosis.
Primary Hyperhidrosis is idiopathic in nature which in other words means that the cause of this type of Hyperhidrosis is not known. Generally, this type of Hyperhidrosis, affects one particular area of the body.
Secondary Hyperhidrosis is present due to a health condition such as menopause, hyperthyroidism, mercury poisoning, tumor etc.
What are the symptoms of Hyperhidrosis?
A person with Hyperhidrosis sweats so much that his/her daily activities and social life can be disrupted. Episodes of excessive sweating can be either frequent or spaced apart but are severe. Some of the signs and symptoms of Hyperhidrosis can be:-
In addition to the symptoms, a person with Hyperhidrosis may also experience:-
Diagnosis of Hyperhidrosis
To rule out any underlying medical condition a doctor may take up a blood and urine. These tests are done to determine the possibility of diabetes and hyperthyroidism which can cause Hyperhidrosis. The patient will be asked various things like the frequency of episodes of sweating, the body parts of the body where the sweating occurs etc.
What is the treatment for Hyperhidrosis?
There are many temporary solutions to the problem of Hyperhidrosis. But one of the most popular as well as effective solution to this problem is Botox. Botox is Botulinum toxin type A and is given through injections. It is considered to be one of the most effective treatments for Hyperhidrosis. In addition to Hyperhidrosis, Botox is being used for various other cosmetic purposes, for treating muscle spasms and also is being used to aid in treatment of children with cerebral palsy.
When Botox is injected in to the skin in small doses, it serves to block the nerves that are connected to the sweat glands and hence prevents the glands from producing sweat. Botox is not a permanent solution to Hyperhidrosis and has to be taken every 3-6 months to be completely effective.
Botox has its limitations. Firstly, it can be only used to treat localized Hyperhidrosis because it can be given only in small doses. Therefore, it is of no use in general Hyperhidrosis.
Botox is considered to be the last treatment option in case where other solutions such as antiperspirants, medications, and iontophoresis have failed to work.
How does Botox work?
When Botox is injected, the toxin blocks the nerves that run to the sweat glands. This prevents the chemical message from reaching the sweat glands and without this chemical message the glands do not produce sweat. The Botox blocks the nerve endings for two-three months after which the body automatically begins to produce new nerve endings. As these new nerve endings are healthy, the chemical message can now reach the glands slowly and hence sweating resumes but in mild quantity. After four to twelve months the nerve endings begin to function fully hence the sweat glands return to normal production of sweat. The Botox does not produce results immediately and the results may take up to a week to show.
Side effects of Botox treatment
Some people may experience weakness of the muscles but that is a temporary side effect. In some cases, a patient may experience an increase in amount of sweat in some other part of the body. Possible aches in neck and hand and mild flu like symptoms may also occur.