Botox for Hyperhidrosis

Botox for Hyperhidrosis: A Solution for Excessive Sweating

A non-surgical minimally invasive treatment for hyperhidrosis
Last updated on
February 4, 2024
Botox for Hyperhidrosis

Learn everything you need to know about Botox for Sweating

Excessive sweating, medically known as hyperhidrosis, can often feel like an uncontrollable and relentless issue, impacting daily life and self-confidence. From avoiding handshakes to constantly changing clothes, the effects of hyperhidrosis can be both physically inconvenient and emotionally draining. 

What if there was a solution that could help manage this condition effectively? Enter Botox, a treatment option that is gaining popularity and changing lives by tackling excessive sweating head-on.

Understanding Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. There are two main types of hyperhidrosis: primary and secondary. 

Primary hyperhidrosis typically begins in childhood or adolescence, often without a known cause, and is characterised by excessive sweating on the hands, feet, underarms, face, and sometimes, other areas. 

Secondary hyperhidrosis, on the other hand, is usually a symptom of an underlying health condition or a side effect of certain medications, and it can occur all over the body.

The most common areas affected by hyperhidrosis are the palms, soles, underarms, and face. These areas contain a high concentration of sweat glands, which, in hyperhidrosis sufferers, can produce four to five times more sweat than normal. This condition can result in discomfort, skin issues such as fungal or bacterial infections, and significant emotional distress.

The exact causes of hyperhidrosis remain unclear, but it's believed that genetic factors, nervous system disorders, and certain triggers like stress or heat can play a role. 

The Science Behind Botox for Hyperhidrosis

Botox, a brand name for the neurotoxin Botulinum toxin A, is traditionally associated with smoothing out wrinkles and fine lines. However, its utility extends beyond cosmetics, and it has proven to be a powerful ally in managing hyperhidrosis.

Botox works by blocking the nerves responsible for activating your sweat glands. In the context of hyperhidrosis, when Botox is injected into areas of excessive sweating, it essentially 'turns off' the sweat glands in those areas, significantly reducing sweat production.

Presently, Botox is TGA-approved as a solution for underarm sweating, with studies revealing that it can decrease perspiration in the armpit area by over 50% for a period of six months or more.

With its established reputation for treating underarm sweat, medical professionals have also started to utilise Botox 'off-label' to address excessive sweating in other parts of the body as well.

Starting with the palms, although research in this area is still emerging, studies suggest that Botox can reduce palm sweat by an estimated 25 to 50% for a period of 3 weeks to 6 months.

Moving on to the face, while research is relatively limited, early results are encouraging. Botox has shown potential to lower facial sweat for up to 5 to 6 months. 

Lastly, Botox has also demonstrated its potential to manage perspiration on the soles of the feet. Although research is sparse, a small study conducted in 2018 found 73% among a group of individuals aged 12 to 17 were satisfied with their results.

Botox's ability to provide effective relief from excessive sweating across various areas of the body is becoming increasingly recognised, making it a highly sought-after solution for those in search of respite from this condition.

The Botox Treatment Process for Hyperhidrosis

Treatment starts with a consultation with a qualified medical practitioner. This initial meeting allows your doctor to understand your symptoms, assess the severity of your condition, and determine if Botox is the right treatment for you.

Pre-treatment preparations are usually minimal. You may be asked to refrain from shaving the treatment area for a few days before your appointment, and it is recommended to avoid alcohol and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the risk of bruising at the injection site.

The injection procedure is relatively straightforward. A small needle is used to inject Botox just under the skin across the affected area. Depending on the size of the treated area, the procedure can take between 20 to 45 minutes. You may experience some discomfort during the procedure, but a local anaesthetic or ice can be used to numb the area before the injections.

Post-treatment care is usually minimal, and recovery is typically quick. You can usually return to your normal activities immediately after treatment. However, it is recommended to avoid intense physical activity for a day following the procedure to minimise spreading, bruising and swelling. It is also advisable to not rub or massage the treated areas for a few days to also prevent the Botox from spreading to other areas.

In most cases, you should start to notice a significant reduction in sweating within 2 to 7 days after the procedure, with full results typically seen at around two weeks. The effects of Botox for hyperhidrosis can last between 4 to 14 months, depending on the individual.

Side Effects and Risks of Botox for Hyperhidrosis

The safety and efficacy of Botox for treating hyperhidrosis have been well-documented through numerous research studies and clinical trials. The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved Botox for the treatment of severe underarm sweating, a testament to its reliability and effectiveness.

When administered by a qualified professional, Botox is generally safe with minimal side effects. However, like any medical treatment, it is not entirely without risk. Possible side effects can include temporary injection site reactions such as redness, swelling, pain, and bruising. In rare cases, the Botox may spread from the injection site and cause more serious side effects like muscle weakness, vision problems, or difficulty swallowing and breathing. It is important to discuss these potential risks with your healthcare provider before undergoing treatment.

Contraindications for Botox treatment include allergy to any of the ingredients in Botox, an infection at the proposed injection site, and certain neurological conditions. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also avoid Botox.

How much does Botox for Hyperhidrosis Cost?

The cost of Botox for hyperhidrosis can vary widely depending on several factors. These include the size of the area being treated, the number of units of Botox required, the geographic location, and the expertise of the provider. 

On average, you can expect to pay between $500 to $1,000 per treatment session. Medicare should cover between $195 to $260 per treatment session and private health cover may be able to cover a portion of the gap.

For those without insurance coverage or those with high out-of-pocket costs, some clinics offer buy now pay later options or payment plans to make the treatment more affordable. There are also patient assistance programs available through the manufacturers of Botox that may help cover some of the costs.

The Bottom Line

Botox for hyperhidrosis offers hope for those burdened with excessive sweating. Its proven efficacy, safety, and potential to transform lives make it an attractive treatment option. 

It is important to remember that the decision to undergo any medical treatment should be made in consultation with a qualified healthcare provider. 

Sources & Studies

Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care n.d., Item 18362 | Medicare Benefits Schedule, www9.health.gov.au, viewed 18 May 2023, <http://www9.health.gov.au/mbs/fullDisplay.cfm?type=item&qt=ItemID&q=18362>. 

Bernhard, MK, Krause, M & Syrbe, S 2018, ‘Sweaty feet in adolescents-Early use of botulinum type A toxin in juvenile plantar hyperhidrosis’, Pediatric dermatology, vol. 35, United States, no. 6, pp. 784–786, viewed 18 May 2023, <https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pde.13628>. 

Nicholas, R, Quddus, A & Baker, DM 2015, ‘Treatment of Primary Craniofacial Hyperhidrosis: A Systematic Review’, American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, vol. 16, no. 5, pp. 361–370, viewed 18 May 2023, <https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40257-015-0136-6>.

Stuart, ME, Strite, SA & Gillard, KK 2020, ‘A systematic evidence-based review of treatments for primary hyperhidrosis’, Journal of Drug Assessment, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 35–50, viewed 18 May 2023, <https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21556660.2020.1857149>.

Therapeutic Goods Administration n.d., Public Summary Summary for ARTG Entry: 67311 BOTOX botulinum toxin, type A purified neurotoxin complex 100U injection vial ARTG entry for Medicine Registered, viewed 18 May 2023, <https://www.ebs.tga.gov.au/servlet/xmlmillr6?dbid=ebs/PublicHTML/pdfStore.nsf&docid=67311&agid=%28PrintDetailsPublic%29&actionid=1>.

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