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Combat Hyperhidrosis with Botox

Book Review
July 5, 2012
Stop Sweating and Start Living - Mike Ramsey

I have absolutely no hesitation in saying "Stop Sweating and Start Living" will soon put antiperspirant companies out of business.

I was reluctant at first to endorse any product but this book was different. The remedies it suggests are all-natural and target the root causes of problem sweating.

My only complaint is that it is only available as an instant access ebook. It can't be purchased in bookstores or on Amazon.com, but I'm sure the instant download feature is popular with people overseas and those who are ready to get started.

I strongly recommend "Stop Sweating and Start Living" to anyone who sweats excessively in the underarm, hand, foot, face or back areas.

- James Chambers

Before I proceed to talk about hyperhidrosis and Botox let’s get two questions out of the way – what is hyperhidrosis? And what is Botox? The first is a medical term used to describe the problem of excessive sweating in certain parts of the body that afflicts roughly 3% of the world’s population. Such excessive sweating can cause both psychological and physical problems leading to social isolation and emotional trauma. The second is a product from the California-based Allergan Inc derived from the clostridium botulinum type A bacteria which produces a natural toxin that most commonly causes food poisoning.

Despite its ominous origins however Botox finds use in a wide number of medical as well as cosmetic fields. With hyperhidrosis Botox typically works by blocking the nerve endings of the sympathetic nervous system that dictates sweat production and thereby controls excessive sweating. As of now the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) has approved the use of Botox to treat primary axillary hyperhidrosis or severe underarm sweating. Worldwide about 20 countries approve the use of Botox in the treatment of axillary hyperhidrosis.

Botox as a treatment option

Most of those who suffer from the problem of excessive underarm sweating would swear that conventional remedies like antiperspirants and oral medication or even surgery have no long-term impact on their condition and they would probably be right. A big advantage of Botox is that it provides relief from excessive underarm sweating for at least six months and even 10 months in some cases. However there can be certain unpleasant side effects for a minority of those injected with Botox which I will discuss in detail later on.

In the treatment of primary axillary hyperhidrosis a small dose (about 15 drops) of Botox is injected into the skin of the underarm of the patient to prevent the release of a chemical called acetylcholine which carries signals from the sympathetic nervous system to the sweat glands in the underarm to stimulate sweat production. The injection of the Botox as I said earlier simply blocks the nerves in the underarm that cause excessive sweating and thereby prevents sweating in that area.

As part of the trial phase prior to its gaining approval from the FDA 322 patients afflicted by axillary hyperhidrosis were injected with Botox. Of those 322 81% reported more than a 50% reduction in sweating. And 50% of the patients reported an alleviation of excessive underarm sweating for nearly seven months*.
*Source: www.curesweatypalms.org

The procedure of injecting Botox

When used to treat axillary hyperhidrosis Botox injections should necessarily be administered by a specially trained physician who is familiar with the procedure. The International Hyperhidrosis Society (www.curesweatypalms.org) offers a Physician Finder to locate doctors who are familiar with the use of Botox in treating hyperhidrosis.

Typically Botox injections are administered using a very thin needle under the skin near the sweat glands in the underarms. A patient may be given more than one injection if the physician feels the need. Also a patient will sometimes continue to experience sweating in the affected area if the initial injections missed a few sweat glands. In that case a top-up dose of additional injections may be required. In any event the procedure is virtually painless requires very little time and may be conducted at the physician’s office itself.

The flip side of Botox treatment

First of all though used to treat primary axillary hyperhidrosis botulinum toxin should not be viewed as a cure. It is simply a means to lessen the discomfort associated with excessive underarm sweating. Therefore after a certain period which as I have already said can vary from six to 10 months (longer in exceptional cases) the symptoms of axillary hyperhidrosis will return and the patient has to go in to the physician’s office for a repeat dose of Botox. However Botox treatment by itself causes no permanent damage to an individual’s system and a patient can go in for as many doses as required provided the intervals between the doses is strictly regulated.

Another negative impact of Botox that could affect up to 10% of patients is the manifestation of influenza-like symptoms such as fever inflammation of the throat and headache. There have also been recorded instances of patients reporting anxiety compensatory sweating (perspiration in areas other than the one injected) neck and back pain and itching. In rare cases patients report respiratory trouble after receiving Botox injections for the treatment of excessive underarm sweating though such instances are truly exceptional and are more likely to have been caused owing to the patient’s failure to provide the physician with a comprehensive medical history.

Some people have also reported localized pain mild bruising and hemorrhage at the place where the injection is administered. However these symptoms are usually reversible.

Botox is also not recommended for the treatment of pregnant or breastfeeding women and those who are allergic to drugs that fall under the albumen group. Additionally sufferers of axillary hyperhidrosis who have other neurological disorders do not qualify for Botox treatment. For this reason it is always necessary for a patient to undergo a detailed physical examination before the Botox injection is administered. Any negligence in this regard may lead to severe complications that may cause permanent damage to the system.

Several physicians also warn against the use of patent drugs like Aspirin or related medication for a stipulated period before and after the Botox is administered for the treatment of axillary hyperhidrosis. Common sense also dictates that a safe interval be allowed before the area in which the injection has been administered is touched or massaged in any way.

Also and this is very important not all cases of excessive underarm sweating may be related to axillary hyperhidrosis though that is most often the case. There may occur instances when a patient suffers from a thyroid disorder for instance that may cause more than average sweating. In such cases the treatment will obviously not involve Botox injections and a wrong diagnosis can have potentially disastrous consequences.

Watch out for…

….Practitioners of medicine who advertise their services in curing hyperhidrosis in other parts of the body using Botox. Remember that Botox has been approved only for the treatment of primary axillary hyperhidrosis and its efficacy in the treatment of other forms of hyperhidrosis has not been proved. Therefore do not give such unfounded claims a second thought.

Insurance cover for Botox treatment

Finally because axillary hyperhidrosis is a medical condition a patient is eligible to insurance coverage and reimbursement for physician’s fees and treatment. The best way to search for such coverage is to log on and browse the Net for reputable companies that offer such coverage. In addition make sure that your physician comes under the insurance umbrella and ask him or her to provide you with references that will help you claim insurance benefits when you get your axillary hyperhidrosis treated with Botox.