BOTOX® Cosmetic - Control Excessive Sweating
In addition to its use for the treatment of facial wrinkles, BOTOX® Cosmetic is also used to control excessive sweating of the armpits and palms (Hyperhidrosis), and occasionally other parts of the body.
BOTOX Cosmetic treatment for excessive sweating (Hyperhidrosis) is a simple office procedure with little discomfort or risk; and can be much less expensive than surgery. Some people will only want BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment before an important event (for example, a wedding). Others, whose sweating is mainly a problem during hot weather, may have BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment at the start of every summer. BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments can be safely continued year-round if necessary to maintain control of your sweating.
Before your BOTOX Cosmetic treatment, a simple iodine solution will be applied to the area of excessive sweating. This solution is dried with a small fan, then powdered starch (of the sort found in most kitchens) is sprinkled on the area. Where there is excess sweating, the moisture of the sweat allows starch to combine with iodine, producing a dark blue color. This starch-iodine test indicates the precise areas of excess sweating, and allows us to concentrate the BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment where it is needed — reducing both the number of injections and your costs.
The blue marks from the starch-iodine test will be wiped off after your BOTOX Cosmetic treatment.
It is important NOT to apply any local anesthetic creams (for example, EMLAG) before your BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment for excessive sweating, because these local anesthetic creams interfere with the accuracy of the starch-iodine test.
When used to reduce sweating, BOTOX Cosmetic is diluted to 25 units per ml (in order to increase the spread of BOTOX® Cosmetic around the treated area). Usually, 2 units of BOTOX® Cosmetic are injected every 1 - 1.5 cm in the area of excessive sweating identified by the starch-iodine test. When it is used to control excessive sweating, BOTOX® Cosmetic is injected into the top layer of the skin (where the sweat glands are) rather than into the muscles under the skin (as is the case when we are treating dynamic wrinkles, muscle tension headaches and some migraine headaches).
Treatment of the armpits is easy, and no anesthetic is needed. Both armpits can be treated at the same time.
A simple local nerve block is usually used before treatment of the hands, to ensure your comfort. Because there can sometimes be a bit of weakness of the treated hand for a week or two, it is generally best to treat one hand at a time. After several weeks, the other hand can be treated.
If small areas of troublesome sweating persist, they can be identified with a starch-iodine test for $75 and then treated at relatively low cost with BOTOX® Cosmetic when you return for follow-up several weeks later.
After BOTOX Cosmetic treatment, excess sweating starts to decrease within a couple of days, and the full effect in reached in a week or two. The goal of BOTOX® Cosmetic is reduction of sweating to a normal level, but not total elimination of sweating to the point where the treated area becomes abnormally dry.
The effect of the BOTOX Cosmetic treatment for excessive sweating usually lasts for 4-6 months, but in some cases can last for up to a year. Because you continue to sweat normally in other areas, there is no concern about overheating.
Patients usually report very high satisfaction with BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments, return for additional treatments, and would recommend BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments to their friends.