Understanding Hyperhidrosis and How Botox Can Help


Understanding Hyperhidrosis and How Botox Can Help

January 16, 2022

Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, may not be a life-threatening condition, but it can cause issues in your daily life. Besides the inconvenience of having sweat soak through your clothes and drip off your body, it can be downright embarrassing, causing you to hold back or withdraw completely from social situations.

While some people can get their hyperhidrosis under control with prescription-strength antiperspirants, others must seek out other options, like Botox.

Yes, that Botox. It turns out that Botox isn’t just for those wishing to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles - it’s for those excessive sweaters too.

So, how can Botox help those with hyperhidrosis? Let’s take a look.

What is Hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis is a condition characterized by excessive sweating that may not be related to an increase in body temperature. The most common form of it is called primary focal hyperhidrosis, and Botox tends to be more effective for this type.

Typically, when our body temperature rises, our nervous system sends a signal over to our sweat glands. These nerves activate the sweating response, which helps to cool the body down.

However, this isn’t necessarily how it works for those with hyperhidrosis. They tend to have overactive sweat glands, meaning their nerves are signalling for that sweating response even if there has been no increase in body temperature. It most commonly affects the armpits, face, feet, and hands.

What is Botox?

Botox is a neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum, the same toxin that causes botulism. Now, botulism is a type of food poisoning, but when it’s administered appropriately by a professional it can be perfectly safe.

Botox is probably best known for its ability to smooth wrinkles and other fine lines by temporarily paralyzing muscles. However, it is also used to treat neuromuscular conditions such as muscle spasms, migraines, and, of course, hyperhidrosis.

How Does Botox Help with Hyperhidrosis?

When Botox is injected into the especially sweaty areas of the body, it paralyzes or blocks the overactive nerves. This means the nerves are no longer able to signal those sweat glands, thereby preventing any sweating. 

It’s important to keep in mind that Botox only prevents sweating in the injection area. For example, Botox injections in the armpits won’t stop excessive sweating in the feet. Injections will be needed in both affected areas to achieve the desired results.

How Effective is Botox for Hyperhidrosis?

The exact numbers depend on the treatment area, but overall, Botox can be quite effective for hyperhidrosis. Research shows that it is extremely effective in treating axillary hyperhidrosis, which is excessive sweating in the armpits. To date, this is the only FDA-approved use of Botox for any kind of hyperhidrosis, though it is often used “off-label” to treat the condition in other areas of the body.

For example, researchers have found that 80 - 90% of those with excessively sweaty palms have found success with Botox treatments. And those who have received injections in the forehead can see about a 75% reduction in sweat for around 5 months.

Thinking about Botox for your hyperhidrosis? Click here to book a consultation with Lyft Medical Aesthetics today!