Sweating is normal. In fact, it’s essential: Humans need to sweat in order to regulate body temperature. But some people sweat much more than is needed.
Hyperhidrosis, more commonly known as excessive sweating, can significantly affect a person’s quality of life. In some cases, problematic sweating is limited to one area of the body, such as the underarms or feet, a condition called focal hyperhidrosis. Other cases are more generalized, with sweating over large areas of the body. The most common areas affected by hyperhidrosis are the scalp, underarms, hands, feet and groin area.
Botox—often associated with cosmetic wrinkle reduction—is also a particularly effective treatment for focal hyperhidrosis. Botox injections use botulinum toxin to block the nerve signals responsible for sweating, stopping the sweat glands from producing too much sweat. Retreatment is typically needed in four to six months, as the nerves regenerate. Over time, however, patients can go longer between treatments.
The underarms, in particular, respond well. Sweat glands on the hands and feet also respond well to Botox injections, but patients tend to find the injections themselves more painful on the hands and feet because there are more nerve endings there.
Numbing cream is applied to the treatment area up to one hour before the injections. The physician will clean the affected area and make many injections with a very tiny needle. Bruising, swelling, or tenderness is possible after the procedure, but is generally minor. Patients typically start seeing results in five days, with full results after two weeks.
Botox treatment is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or for people with a history of neuromuscular disorders. Also because Botox can result in muscle weakness in the hands, we need to assess whether Botox is the best option based on your career and lifestyle needs.
Excessive Sweating at a Glance