Botox for excessive sweating
Botulinum Toxin, “Botox”, is most well known as a cosmetic treatment for dynamic facial wrinkles, or lines created from muscle activity. It is a medication that is injected into the forehead, glabellar, and periorbital muscles to block nerve signals, which consequently weakens the muscles and reduces the appearance of dynamic wrinkles (the kind that occur when you make various facial expressions like smiling, frowning, and straining your eyes to see something far away).
Botox is also FDA-approved for therapeutic indications such as axillary hyperhidrosis, or excessive underarm sweating. The treatment involves Botox being injected into the underarms where it sits at the junction between the nerve and muscle and blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from being released. Acetylcholine is an important component of the neuromuscular system and plays a role in muscle control. Since Botox prevents some of acetylcholine’s release, it reduces the effects of overactive muscles and therefore the amount of sweat produced in the underarms.
In addition to the underarms, there are “off-label” areas that can be treated with Botox for hyperhidrosis such as the hands and feet. Unlike the underarm area, these areas have not gone through the same amount of testing to ensure its safety and effectiveness in treating excessive sweating.
One benefit of Botox as a treatment for hyperhidrosis is that it is a safer, less invasive option to surgery. There is also no “downtime” associated with the procedure. Patients can expect to see the full effects 2 weeks after injection. Innovations in needle technology have resulted in thinner needles, which means that there is minimal pain with underarm injections.
The effects of Botox injections for hyperhidrosis can last up to 4-6 months, so patients should expect to receive the treatment 2-3 times per year. Botox will not permanently improve this condition, so it is important to note that keeping results requires a level of upkeep!
>> Click here for more information about receiving Botox and related facial treatments at our Midtown, Manhattan office.