The purpose of the treatment is to lessen sweating in areas that have excessive sweating, a condition known as hyperhidrosis. These areas may include the palms, soles and armpits.
The treatment involves injection of small amounts of Botulinum A toxin (Botox®) into the skin to minimize sweating This generally occurs within 1 week of treatment. The loss of sweating is reversible and fades after a period, which may vary from two to twelve months. It is anticipated that average patients may require re-injection at approximately four to six month intervals.
Alternative treatments that are available for your condition are topical and oral medications, iontophoresis (use of an electric device), surgery, biofeedback, and thoracic sympathectomy (cutting of nerves in the chest). The benefits and risks associated with the use of these treatments will be discussed with you.
Side effects you may experience include soreness and pain at the injection site. If your hands or feet are treated, you may develop weakness of the injected muscle and neighboring muscles which may last several months, numbness and bruising, hematoma (collection of blood) and local pain from the injection.
There may be continuation of sweating in areas that had not been treated such as the sides of finger and outer aspects of thenar eminence (near the thumb). Although these procedures have been described for over 10 years, other side effects may also occur that are not as yet known. In addition, the long-term effect of Botox® is not known although Botox® has been safely used for over 15 years.
You cannot have Botox® treatments if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Because of his expertise, our dermatologist is a consultant for Allergan, the manufacturers of Botox® Cosmetic. In addition, our dermatologist has been quoted about Botox® Cosmetic in a major daily New York City newspaper. Our dermatologist has recently co-authored a paper on the topic of increased sweating or hyperhidrosis; this paper was published in a peer-reviewed dermatology medical journal.
While Botox®, which is a genetically engineered product, is approved by the FDA for the treatment of excessive sweating in the underarms and it has been used by doctors for excessive sweating elsewhere on the body in the past few years. The FDA recognizes the common practice among physicians to use FDA approved drugs in their professional discretion in so-called “off label” uses.
Just call our office at (212) 933-9490 or e-mail us anytime and set up a Botox for Sweating Consultation. If time permits and you qualify for this procedure, we may be able to begin treatment on the day of your consultation.