BOTOX® is an excellent treatment for sweating and for many of or clients has been
life changing. Botulinum toxin is produced by a bacterium and blocks the release
of chemicals responsible for stimulating muscle contraction and sweat production.
Botulinum toxin has been approved by the Medicines Control Agency in the UK for the
treatment of strabismus, blepharospasm, focal spasticity (muscle spasm) and axillary
hyperhidrosis (sweaty armpits!). Botulinum toxin can also be used for the treatment
of excessive sweating of other sites such as the palms, however, injection of botulinum
toxin in this way is termed unlicensed use. The formulation of botulinum toxin used
at Shropshire Skin Clinic is BOTOX®.
Small doses of BOTOX® are injected into the skin where the sweating is greatest,
blocking the action of nerves that supply the eccrine (sweat) glands. This stops
the glands from producing sweat. Treatment totally blocks the nerve ending but in
time new nerve endings start to form. Most patients notice some positive changes
within the first week after treatment. The effects of treatment last for several
months but will eventually wear off, which is when you will need your next treatment;
this usually happens after four to seven months
Prior to administration of BOTOX® the area of excessive sweating is usually defined
using a starch iodine test. It is best not to shave the area for at least 1 day prior
to treatment otherwise the iodine may sting. The iodine will leave some staining
on the skin for a few days. Ladies should wear a black bra if they wish to keep it
on during treatment. BOTOX® is injected around the defined area of sweating. Axilla
(armpit) treatment usually amounts to 10 to 15 tiny injections on each side.
As with any medical treatments, you may experience some unwanted side-effects following
injections with BOTOX®. None are permanent. The manufacturer states that treatment
with BOTOX® may affect the ability to drive or operate machinery in some patients.
If affected, do not drive or operate machinery until the effect has worn off.
Following treatment some patients have felt that sweating in other parts of the body
has increased. A few patients experience transient, mild weakness of muscles closely
related to the injection site.