While sweating is a natural and necessary function to control body temperature, excess sweating (hyperhidrosis) is an embarrassing but common condition affecting at least 1% of the population. Heavy perspiration in the armpit area is uncomfortable and unsightly, and can create confidence problems and restrict clothing choices.
The condition is quickly and effectively treated using Botulinum toxin type A (Btx A) in the underarm area. Excess sweating affecting other areas, such as the hands, feet, forehead and nose, may also be amenable to treatment following consultation. A series of injections into both armpits will take less than half an hour and will stop excess sweating for three to six months, in most cases. With repeated treatments, results may last even longer.
The hyperhidrosis treatment worked great. It started working within a few days and I no longer sweat apart from in the gym.
Questions and answers
How does the treatment work?
The treatment involves injecting tiny amounts of a muscle relaxant called Botulinum toxin type A (such as Botox®) in a grid pattern over the affected area. This blocks the nerve impulses in the treated area, ‘turning off’ the sweat glands to reduce sweating.
What does the treatment involve?
Following consultation, Dr Rose will perform a painless iodine starch test to map out the area of excess sweat gland activity. The area will then be cleansed and Dr Rose will administer a series of injections of Btx A into the skin of the underarm, using a very fine needle.
How long does it take to work?
Most patients will notice a reduction in underarm sweating within 48 hours, and optimal effects within one week, leading to a significant reduction in the amount of sweating and body odour. Btx A has been shown to reduce sweating in the armpits by up to 87%. Treatment can be life-changing for affected individuals.
Does it hurt?
You may experience a small amount of discomfort during the procedure, but most patients find the treatment virtually painless. Usually, no local anaesthetic is required. You can go back to your normal daily activities almost immediately, although strenuous exercise should be avoided for several hours after treatment.
How long do the effects last?
Typically, improvements last between three and six months, and can be repeated as necessary. With repeated treatments, results may last even longer.
Is Btx A treatment for hyperhidrosis safe? What are the potential side effects?
Btx A is a widely used and well-researched drug with an excellent long-term safety record proven by hundreds of clinical studies; serious side effects are extremely rare. Some patients will experience mild bruising, tenderness or temporary muscle weakness, which will resolve within a few days. It is possible that small persistent areas of excess sweating may require more than one treatment to achieve the desired results.