What is it?
Excessive sweating or perspiration (hyperhidrosis) can be extremely embarrassing and affect your self-confidence and social interactions. It can affect up to 3% of the adult population.
Having non-surgical treatment can help alleviate this condition.
Sweating is your natural way for your body to cools down and regulate temperature – we all do it. However, if you regularly experience excessive sweating, which is more than normal for the environment, then you may suffer from hyperhidrosis.
For some people, their hyperhidrosis may be linked to some underlying condition such as diabetes or an overactive thyroid gland. For them, treatment of the underlying cause may also resolve their hyperhidrosis.
What is Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is a physiological problem that has nothing to do with cleanliness. It is not known why some people are affected and others are not. However, studies show that between a third to a half of people with hyperhidrosis have a relative with a similar problem, suggesting that there may be a genetic cause.
Botox® injections have been proven to effectively help to manage excessive sweating conditions and are approved by NICE for use on the NHS, however few NHS authorities provide the service.
Botox® injections are used to temporarily block the chemical signals that stimulate your sweat glands in the affected area and thus stop the sweating.People usually find that their excessive sweating normally diminishes substantially within 48 hours of having an anti-sweating injection, and that the results can last from 6 to 12 months.
What is Botox?
Botulinum toxin type A is commonly known as ‘Botox’. This is a treatment which is given by injection into the skin. It is licensed in the UK for treating localised hyperhidrosis of the armpits (axillae). This drug has been used for many years to treat muscle spasms affecting the face, eyes and neck and for foot problems in children with cerebral palsy. It is also used widely used for cosmetic purposes.
Botox is a preparation of protein which when small doses are injected into the skin, blocks the nerves that supply the eccrine glands which in turn prevents the glands from producing sweat.
The treatment is not a cure for hyperhidrosis – it only provides temporary relief. It needs to be repeated approximately every six months for maximum effect.
How does it work?
Sweat glands are actually in the skin, not underneath it. When you sweat, a chemical messenger is sent to the sympathetic nerves that meet your sweat glands, turning the sweat ‘on’.
When Botox is injected, the toxin blocks the chemical messenger sent to your sympathetic nerves and so it does not reach the sweat glands. Without the chemical message, the glands cannot turn on the sweating.
Botox blocks the nerve endings and so sweat cannot be produced. Within 6-12 weeks, your body starts to produce new nerve endings. These new endings can receive the message to turn those particular sweat glands on, so mild sweating returns. Within 4-12 months, all of the new nerve endings have been produced and the chemical message can be received, turning all of the sweat glands on again. Sweating returns to normal and the treatment has finished.
What is involved in the procedure?
Our trained pharmacists will have an initial consultation with you before the treatment. This helps to determine where sweating occurs at its worst and to ensure that you have no health problems that Botox may interfere with or worsen. You will then be told the possible side effects of the procedure to forewarn you of any unwanted symptoms. It is important to note that you will be awake during the procedure and this is perfectly normal and common practice.
2 weeks before Botox:
Make sure you schedule your Botox appointment at least 2 weeks prior to any special occasions such as a summer holiday or a wedding.
You should also avoid blood thinning medications and anti-inflammatory medicines for the 2 weeks leading up to your treatment.
All of these can thin your blood which increases the likelihood of you experiencing swelling or bruising after botox injections. Discuss with your doctor any concerns you may have. It may not be prudent for you to stop taking certain prescription medication.
Two days prior to your treatment:
Recent studies have found that people deficient in the mineral zinc do not get optimal results from botox, since the mineral is required by the body to bind with botox. Therefore, to get the best results, you are advised to ideally take a zinc supplement for a couple of days prior to your treatment, and on the day of treatment.
One day prior to treatment:
For optimum results when being treated under the arms, the area should be free from hair. Shaving should therefore be carried out at least 24 hours before the day of treatment.
Post Treatment Advice:
After treatment, please avoid extreme facial expressions, alcohol consumption and applying make up for 12 hours. Please avoid extreme sun exposure, UV light, freezing temperatures and saunas for 2 weeks after treatment.
4 hours following your treatment:
- Do stay upright and do not bend over.
- Do not take vitamin E, aspirin or consume alcohol.
- For treatments under the arms, do not apply deodorant or anti-perspirant until the morning following treatment.
24 hours following your treatment:
- Do not rub or massage the treated area.
- Do not have any other treatments in the same area.
48 hours following your treatment:
- Do not go to the gym or undertake any strenuous physical activity.
- Do not travel by airplane.
1 week following your treatment do not have any of the following treatments:
- Laser treatment or any electrical beauty treatments.
Wait for up to two weeks for treatment to work fully.
You may still experience sweating in the treated area.
Are there any patients that Botox is not suitable for?
You would not be considered a candidate for Botox® if you have any of the following:
- Myasthenia Gravis or Lambert-Eaton syndrome
- Allergy to Botulinum Toxin
- Neuromuscular disorder
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- Allergy to human albumin
If you are a new patient we will carry out an initial 30 minute consultation costing £30 to discuss your medical history an ensure the treatment is appropriate to you.
A hyperhidrosis treatments is £250 per session (both underarms), and you wont need more than 2 a year, which means it costs just over £1.50 per day to remove the discomfort and fear of embarrassment. This service is carried out by our team of trained pharmacists.
- No more having to carry clean, dry clothes to change throughout the day.
- No more fear of sweaty palms when having handshakes.
- No more having to avoid social events or feeling self-conscious.
Select your preferred pharmacy to visit their page and enquire about this service or just pop in when it suits you.