When most of us hear the word “Botox®,” we think about its effect on facial wrinkles. But did you know that it has been used for other medical purposes as well?
In addition to being used to smooth wrinkles, Botox® can also treat excessive sweating of the underarm (primary axillary hyperhidrosis).
Botox® is composed of onabotulinumtoxinA, a natural protein material that has the temporal ability to hinder the secretion of chemical compounds responsible for stimulating the sweat glands. By interrupting the chemical messenger, the botulinum toxin present in onabotulinumtoxinA decreases the ability of the sweat glands to produce sweat in the region it has been injected, therefore reducing sweat production.
In other words, when onabotulinumtoxinA is injected into the skin, it affects or blocks the transmission of signals between the nerve ending and the sweat glands. This means that there will be no signals transferred from the nerve ending to stimulate the sweat glands to produce sweat. In doing so, onabotulinumtoxinA ensures that the excessive production of sweat is controlled.
Aside from treating axillary hyperhidrosis, some doctors recommend it for treatment of palmar hyperhidrosis and plantar hyperhidrosis—commonly referred to as severe sweating of the palms and feet, respectively. Each treatment includes several injection points in the affected area, which can take up to six months to be complete and effective.
Administration of Botox® has to be performed by a well-trained and experienced physician, especially considering its complexity while injecting it to the affected area. This is because during the procedure, a fine needle is used to inject little amounts of Botox® just below the skin surface around the area experiencing excess sweating, which if not checked properly, can cause unwanted infection.
Multiple injections might be administered, based on your doctor’s assessment. However, after the first injection, you are advised to follow up with your doctor in order to ensure that all areas of concern received treatment during the first round.
Although using Botox® is the most effective method known to cure severe sweating, its use has some side effects such as causing temporary weakness and even pain on the palms and feet. To learn more, consult with your doctor.
This article was originally published by Murray Riggins, M.D. on MyMASC.com. Dr. Riggins offers cosmetic medical treatments at his Gadsden, Alabama practice, and he provides beauty and health products to customers across the country. Learn more about Instantly Ageless and FGXpress PowerStrips.