Hyperhidrosis Treatment In NYC
Excessive sweating may not be painful, but it is a pain for millions of people. It’s estimated that between two and three percent or Americans suffer from excessive sweating.
At Laser & Mohs Dermatology of New York, we can now treat the condition with Botox injections.
What Is Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating that is not related to heat or exercise. A person with this condition may sweat so much that it soaks through his or her clothing and drips off of their hands. Hyperhidrosis can affect the underarms, palms, face, and soles of the feet.
When a person has hyperhidrosis their underarm sweating problems usually start in their late adolescent years. Sweating on the palms and soles of the feet often begins earlier, around age 13.
Excessive sweating disrupts the person’s daily activities and can lead to social anxiety and embarrassment. People with this condition have at least one episode a week, occurring during waking hours.
What Causes Excessive Sweating?
Sweating is our body’s air conditioning system. When our body temperature rises, the nervous system automatically triggers the sweat glands to produce sweat and send it to the surface skin to cool it down. Also, when a person is nervous or anxious, the same mechanism can happen, especially on the palms.
When a person has hyperhidrosis, the nerves responsible for signaling your sweat glands become overactive, even though there isn’t the usual trigger of physical activity or temperature rise. For these people, stress or anxiousness exacerbates the problem. This is known as primary focal hyperhidrosis, and there is no medical cause. There is thought to be a genetic component, as excessive sweating tends to run in families.
Secondary hyperhidrosis occurs when excessive sweating is the result of a medical condition. These are medical conditions that can cause excessive sweating:
- Menopause hot flashes
- Thyroid problems
- Low blood sugar
- Some types of cancer
- Heart attacks
- Nervous system disorders
Treatment for Excessive Sweating
Typical treatments for excessive sweating begin with prescription antiperspirants and creams, but their success is variable.
At Laser & Mohs Surgery of New York, we now offer the most effective treatment for hyperhidrosis — Botox injections. The FDA has approved Botox for the treatment of hyperhidrosis.
How Does Botox Work To Stop Hyperhidrosis?
Everyone has heard of Botox because of its success in treating wrinkles and lines on the upper third of the face. Botox received approval for those aesthetic uses in 2002. The FDA approved Botox for treating hyperhidrosis in 2004.
Botox, which is made from the botulinum toxin type A, works on wrinkles and sweat glands in the same way, by blocking nerve messages. For wrinkles formed by muscle contractions, Botox blocks the nerve messages to contract the muscles. When Botox is injected around sweat glands, it blocks the messages sent by the overactive nerves to the sweat glands, so the sweat glands do not receive the messages to begin producing sweat and the person stays dry or produces dramatically less sweat.
Candidates For Botox Treatment
Just about anyone suffering from hyperhidrosis could be helped by Botox injections, but patients must be at least 18 years old. Patients should also have already tried topical solutions and found them to not be effective.
How Effective Is Botox For Treating Hyperhidrosis?
Research has shown Botox to be very effective in treating hyperhidrosis on the underarms and the hands. For underarm sweating, Botox has been shown to result in an 82-87 percent decrease in sweating. For the hands, Botox has decreased sweating up to 90 percent. It is not as effective for sweating on the soles of the feet.
How Many Botox Injections Will I Need?
Botox does not last forever. Eventually, the body’s metabolism breaks down and absorbs the inert Botox. This usually occurs somewhere between 6 and 12 months, although some of our Laser & Mohs patients report effective relief for up to 14 months. On the palms of the hands, Botox stops sweating for about six months.
When the Botox is absorbed, it is time for another injection session to maintain your dryness. This is an ongoing process.
Will I Sweat More In Other Areas After Hyperhidrosis Treatment?
The human body has between two and five million sweat glands. Stopping sweating in certain areas, such as the underarms or the palms, does not create more sweat in other locations.
Is Botox Safe For Treating Hyperhidrosis?
The FDA has approved Botox specifically for treating hyperhidrosis. Extensive research into safety and effectiveness led to this approval. Typical side effects are pain and bruising at the injection sites, headaches, and possible flu-like symptoms. These are rare and typically resolve in a day or two.