Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes excessive sweating in one or more areas of the body, most commonly the underarms. It can quickly escalate into a serious problem, but there are numerous treatment options available.
It is generally divided into two types:
- Generalized Hyperhidrosis – In this condition, excessive sweating occurs on the entire body.
- Focal Hyperhidrosis – In this form, excessive sweating occurs on a particular section of the body, such as the underarms, hands, feet, or both the hands/feet.
While there is no obvious cause for the onset of this medical condition, it may result from a specific one. Some of the most commonly known triggers include:
- Various medications
- Menopause or Pregnancy
- Overactive Thyroid Glands
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels)
- When your body’s temperature rises, the nervous system activates your sweat glands – local nerves signal the glands that it is time to produce sweat. This is the body’s natural way of cooling itself; however, in hyperhidrosis, these nerves become overactive, falsely signaling for sweat to be produced at a much higher rate.
Hyperhidrosis can be treated in a variety of ways, depending on the underlying cause and severity of your condition.
While lifestyle changes can help some people see improvement, the majority of patients will require treatment with other, more powerful methods, such as the use of specific topical solutions or oral medications, such as beta-blockers and anticholinergics, which are designed to inhibit the nerves that signal us to sweat. One of the most intriguing new treatments is the use of Botox to treat overactive sweat glands.
Botox for Hyperhidrosis
Yes, the very same Botox that is considered to be one of the most popular and effective treatments for relieving us of wrinkles and expression lines, is now considered one of the best methods for treating hyperhidrosis or overactive sweat glands.
How Does it Work?
The active ingredient in Botox is the botulinum toxin-A, designed to cause temporary paralysis of muscles, preventing them from moving for a period of time. Using the same principle, Botox is able to relieve our overactive sweat glands.
Botox works by blocking the nerves that are responsible for activating our sweat glands. As we discussed previously, the nervous system activates the sweat glands when the body becomes hot. Local nerves signal these glands to produce sweat in an effort to cool the body down. When these nerves become overactive, an individual develops hyperhidrosis.
When Botox is injected directly into the underarm’s nerves (which are supposed to signal the sweat glands), it paralyzes them. Essentially, because the nerves are paralyzed, they can no longer signal your sweat glands and you are prevented from sweating.
The most common areas for Botox treatment of excessive sweating include: