Does Botox for Sweating Really Work?
Botox® is one option often provided by doctors for patients who suffer from excessive sweating. Like many types of treatments, there are pros and cons for this style of treatment.
Read on to find out more about Botox® as an excessive sweating treatment.
What is Botox?
Botox® is brand name of a derivative of the deadly botulism toxin and is produced from the spore forming bacillus Clostridium botulinum. It is supposed to act as an inhibitor for the release of the neurotransmitter that causes sweat production.
Because Botox® is used to paralyze the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands, some relief from excessive may be experienced.
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Benefits of Botox
- It is reasonably effective for those facing excessive underarm sweating.
- Treatments only take about 1 hour and you can go back to work afterwards.
- Various clinical studies have shown patients experience some improvement in excessive sweating.
- It can be applied to help with localized areas of sweating. Botox® targets sweating at its source. Once injected by your doctor, Botox® enters the specific glands in the underarms that cause sweating. There, it blocks the release of a chemical that signals the perspiration.
Disadvantages of Botox treatments for Excessive Sweating
- It is only a temporary solution. You will need to keep coming back for more treatments. Some doctors claim Botox® injections will last for 8 months but they can last for only as long as 2 months. Most people find Botox® injections effective for between 4 and 6 months only.
- It is expensive. You will generally need to pay more than $1000 per session, and may need a few sessions to get it to work the first time. You will then have to pay another $1000 each time you need a new treatment (every 4 months on average). This could add up to between $5000 and $10,000 a year.
- It can be painful. Some patients have required general anesthetic just to deal with the pain of the injections, particularly in the palms of the hands.
- It is not recommended for all types of excessive sweating. While, some people with excessive sweating in the underarms may experience some relief from Botox® treatments, it is far less likely to be effective for those with sweaty hands or face or other areas.
- It can cause compensatory sweating. This is more sweating in other areas of the body, in order to compensate for the paralyzed nerves and sweating being prevented from under the arms. This compensatory sweating can be more distressing in nature for patients than the original problem, especially because of where it might be - usually in the lower body and on the thighs.
- It can cause hot flushes. This side effect can last up to four weeks after the injections, (which could be half the time of the effectiveness of the injections).
- It can cause weakness in the arms. If injected into the underarms, Botox® can cause transient weakness in the arms, because it is a muscle relaxant and it does not let the muscles work as normal.
- Long-Term effects are not known. There have been no studies to prove that Botox® will not have long-term side effects, especially with repeated procedures over a number of years.
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So, Does Botox for Excessive Sweating Really Work?
While some people may experience some (not total relief) from excessive underarm sweating if they undergo the Botox® injections, the disadvantages really outweigh the benefits. Botox® treatments can be painful, expensive and can cause many other side effects. Like other radical and invasive treatments to the body for excessive sweating like ETS Surgery, Botox® can have many side effects, including compensatory sweating. Some people will undergo such treatments only to discover they are in a worse situation than what they started with.
Excessive sweating can be a very distressing disorder to live with and you will need to weigh up the benefits and disadvantages of any treatment you decide on carefully. Myself, I would not risk Botox® but would look at other, more natural treatments.
This article is general in nature and does not represent medical advice. Always consult with a qualified medical practitioner before choosing a course of hyperhidrosis treatment.