Sweating is a very common phenomenon experienced by the entire human population. It is a way of excretion used by the kidneys to excrete out excessive water and salts through tiny pores of our body. Sweating is also a thermoregulator, i.e., helps to cool down our body.
Even though it is a necessary phenomenon, when happening in public it is pretty embarrassing. The soaking stain in our clothes and the bad odour it gives makes it a personal taboo in public.
Although we try many ways to get rid of sweat, it comes back again uninvited. If this is the condition for normal people, then imagine the condition of people suffering from hyperhidrosis!
What Is Hyperhidrosis?
The excessive sweating phenomenon is known as hyperhidrosis. It can be differentiated from normal sweating by defining it as a sweat which not required.
For example, you are sitting at normal temperature without doing any work and you are still sweating, this is the time you should go to a doctor.
There are two normal cases of hyperhidrosis. They are:
1. Axillary Hyperhidrosis
This is the condition in which hyperhidrosis is localized in your underarms.
2. Palmar Hyperhidrosis
This is the localized sweating of your hands, especially palms.
Both these situations are extremely embarrassing when you are in public places. Suppose you have to shake hands with a client or you have stains in your office uniform during a meeting!
Yes, this is why treating hyperhidrosis is an immediate requirement. There are various treatments available for this disease.
Treatments For Hyperhidrosis
1. Over-The-Counter Antiperspirants
Home remedies like these are usually tried first because they are readily available. Antiperspirants that contain chemicals like aluminum chloride may be more effective when other antiperspirants have failed.
2. Prescribed Antiperspirants
The drugs that contain aluminum chloride hexahydrate as the active pharmaceutical ingredient.
It is a device that passes direct electricity through the skin using tap water.
4. Oral Medications
There are a group of medications known as anticholinergic, which help to reduce sweating.
5. Botox (Botulin Toxin)
It is an injection approved in the u.s. by the food and drug administration (FDA) for treating excessive axillary sweating.
6. Microwave Destruction
It is a device that destroys the sweat glands causing minimal damage to other tissues.
It is paraspinal sympathectomy or interruption of certain nerve pathway.Botox is one the most preferred and used treatment nowadays by the younger generations.
Let us see in shot what botox is.
What Is Botox?
Botox is an antiperspirant drug used by a neurotoxin chemical secreted by a bacteria Clostridium botulinum. The neurotoxin chemical is known as the botulinum toxin. Medicinally it is used to treat some muscular conditions and aging problems.
Some Facts About Botox Are
Botox is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery treatments, with more than 6 million people taking botox treatments every year.
Botox is a neurotoxin secreted by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum which is an organism found in the natural environment. It is largely inactive and non-toxic.
Botulinum toxin is used to reduce lines and wrinkles by paralyzing the underlying muscles.
People also use botox to treat excessive sweating, migraines, muscular disorders, and bladder and bowel disorders.
Botulism is an infection with botulinum toxin which can cause respiratory failure and prove to be fatal.
Just one gram of botulinum toxin could kill over a million people. Two kilograms could kill the entire human population of earth.
Botox is injected into the muscles. When the muscles want to contract, the nerves release a chemical messenger known as acetylcholine, at the junction where the nerve endings meet muscle cells which is called as the synapse.
The acetylcholine which is released attaches to receptor cells present on the muscle cells and causes contraction of the muscle cells. When it is injected it prevents the release of acetylcholine, which in turn stops the contraction of the muscle cells.
The chemical botulinum toxin causes a reduction in abnormal muscle contraction allowing the muscles to become less stiff.
Some Proved Therapeutic Applications Of Botox Are
- Blepharospasm which is the spasm of the eyelids.
- Idiopathic rotational cervical dystonia which is the severe neck and shoulder muscle spasms.
- A chronic migraine.
- Severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis which is excessive sweating.
- Strabismus also known as crossed eyes.
- Post-stroke upper limb spasticity.
- Detrusor overactivity urinary incontinence.
- Overactive bladder.
- Hemifacial spasm.
- Glabellar lines which are the frown lines between the eyebrows.
- Canthal lines also are known as crow’s feet.
Administration Of Botox
Botulinum toxin is administered by diluting the powder in the saline solution of sodium chloride and then injecting it directly into neuromuscular tissue. It takes 2-3 days for botulinum toxin to take effect.
The time needed for the toxin is due to disrupting the synaptosomal process. In rare circumstances, it may take as long as 5 days for the full side effect of botulinum toxin to come into observation.
Botulinum toxin should not be used in pregnant or lactating women, or by people who have had a previous allergic reaction or has the medical history of allergy to the drug or any of its ingredients.
Botox For Hyperhidrosis
During the procedure of administering botox a very fine needle is used to inject tiny amounts of botox just under the skin throughout the area of excessive sweating in a grid pattern.
Multiple injections are given sometimes based on your doctor’s report of the area that needs to be treated. To ease any potential discomfort, physicians might use one or number of anesthetic techniques such as anesthetic spray, ice, or even vibration analgesia.
After you receive Botox injections for any local area, it is recommended that you revisit your healthcare provider in about 1 to 2 weeks.
This visit is very useful because it enables your physician to cover up any sweat areas that he might have missed during the first round of injections and it also ensures that you are getting the treatment’s full benefit.
The cost of Botox treatments for hyperhidrosis varies upon the size of the body area you need treatment for. A general estimate of the cost for two underarms is about $1,000. Botulinum toxin injections are not a permanent cure for hyperhidrosis.
The symptoms will go away slowly usually in about a week and return gradually. Repeated injections are required to maintain permanent dryness. The repetitions of injections may be necessary at intervals varying from 7 to 16 months.
Every effect has side effects. Let us see an overview of the drastic side effects that botox treatment has in store for you.
Still many of you might be wondering that sweat gland surgery should be done or not. The proper research should be done before going for the treatment.
Side Effects Of Botox Treatment
Redness and infection of the injection site might occur after administration.
1. Urinary Tract Disorders
- Urinary tract infections
- The Urinary retention
- Muscular weakness
- Gait disturbance
- Muscle spasm, and
2. Nervous System Disorders
- A chronic migraine
- A headache, and
- Facial paresis.
3. Eye disorders like drooling eyelid, dry eyes, tearing and bloodshot eyes.
4. Muscular disorders like severe back pain, infections like bronchitis, myalgia, muscle stiffness, muscle spasms and stiff neck like neck pain.
5. It sometimes shows hypertension.
6. It sometimes shows fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.
7. Severe disorders like cervical dystonia, blepharospasm, strabismus, and immunogenicity.
8. Skin problems such as skin rashes like urticaria, psoriasiform eruption, multiform, and erythema. Other skin effects are severe itchiness, pruritus, and allergic reactions.
9. In the palmar hyperhidrosis botox treatment, the hands may become weak if the physician injects the botox injection deeper into the muscles of the sweat glands. This type of weakness is temporary.
10. Problems with swallowing, speaking, or breathing, due to a weakening of associated muscles, can be experienced in one week of administration. It might become severe and result in fatal effects. Swallowing is a long-lasting side effect.
Today, many adults are going for hyperhidrosis surgery. It too has side effects. So, you should take care of going for these.
The Spread Of Toxin After Administration
Although, this is a rare phenomenon but may happen in people who are allergic to this chemical or any ingredient in the injection.
They might spread and cause severe symptoms like loss of strength and all-over muscle weakness, double vision, blurred vision and droopy eyelids, hoarseness or change or loss of voice or dysphonia, trouble saying words clearly or dysarthria, loss of bladder control, trouble breathing, and trouble swallowing.
Proper aftercare should be taken after administration of botox injection and a checkup for any allergic symptoms should be done before going for the treatment. Medical history of the patient should also be taken into consideration.
It is recommended to visit your doctor for at least 3 weeks continuously to decrease the symptoms and treat any kind of severity.
You can also try herbal remedies to reduce the excessive sweating. These will give your body a cooling effect and prevents sweat glands from producing more sweat.
All I have to say in the end that does not go for any treatment blindly. Do proper checkup with your doctor, have counseling sessions and then go for it. Like I always say, “Prevention is better than cure”.