How is hyperhydrosis (excess sweating) treated?
Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) is a very common condition, which has two main types. Focal hyperhidrosis is the more common type and involves excessive sweating on the feet, hands, armpits and occasionally, the face. Generalised hyperhidrosis is less common. Excessive sweating affects about 4% of the western population; it often interferes with the individual's life by causing physiological problems, such as cold and clammy hands, dehydration, and skin infections secondary to maceration of the skin, as well as emotional consequences due to embarrassment, limiting daily activities, interfering with interpersonal relationships, necessitating frequent changes of clothes, etc.
Botox is one of the trade names for Botulinum toxin. There are other brands available which are not as well known as Botox, but contain the same active ingredient and have the same effects; these are:Azzalure, Xeomin, and Dysport.
A solution of tiny amounts of the protein is injected just below the skin surface into specific muscles. Strange as this may sound, many medicines are derived from bacteria and fungi - penicillin being the best example. The bacterium produces a protein which blocks messages to the muscles telling it to contract. Once messages are blocked, muscles relax and smooth out.
Botox is used in large amounts medically to relieve muscle spasm in conditions including strokes and cerebral palsy. Botox has been used cosmetically for many years. The effect is temporary and reversible.
Are the effects immediate?
It takes between 4 - 14 days for Botox to take effect. The treatment itself takes only minutes.
Does it hurt?
It is an injection and so there is some associated mild and short lived discomfort.
Are there any side effects?
Botox has been use medically in much larger amounts for decades for treating muscle spasm in children and adults. Cosmetic doses are much smaller and so have reduced side effect profile. As it is an injection, there is a risk of bruising but they are small and easily disguised. Avoid alcohol, aspirin and St JohnÕs Wort before treatment to help reduce the risk of bruises.
How long does it last?
The results can last for 3 - 6 months, with the average first treatment lasting about 4 months. After this time, the line starts to gradually form again as the muscles start to react again. With time, it lasts longer as you break the habit of frowning.
Who can carry out the treatments?
Only health professionals should carry out these procedures - pharmacists, nurses, doctors and dentists. Do not go to anyone who is not medically qualified
What are the risks?
If the Botox is injected into the wrong areas or diffuses into the wrong areas, you may get a temporary loss of function of nearby muscles. To prevent this, all that needs to be done is to avoid those areas. Although very rare, there is a risk of allergy. Please ensure that you see a medically qualified practitioner. All of our practitioners are medically qualified and experienced in injecting Botox.
Who cannot have the treatment?
You should not have dermal fillers if:
- you are pregnant or breast feeding
- you are on antibiotics
- you have a known allergy to botulinium toxin
- you have a bleeding or muscle disorders
You will be advised individually if you have active acne or broken skin or are prone to cold sores.