Since being approved by the FDA in 1989, botulinum toxin A, better known as BOTOX®, has been used as a medical treatment for conditions such as spasticity and movement disorders. In 2004, hyperhidrosis was added to the list of medical conditions treatable with BOTOX®.
What Is Hyperhidrosis?
Sweating is a natural reaction for regulating increased body temperature. Excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, occurs when the body sweats even when it does not need to be cooled. Hyperhidrosis is often so extreme that regular antiperspirants provide no relief.
Hyperhidrosis can interfere with daily activities such as an inability to use a computer because of extremely sweaty palms (palmar hyperhidrosis) or embarrassing sweat marks on your clothes from excessively sweaty underarms (axillary hyperhidrosis).
Previously, treatments for hyperhidrosis included prescription-strength antiperspirants, oral medication and even surgery. However, the approval of BOTOX® for hyperhidrosis treatment offers an effective new option for many.
BOTOX® is a natural, purified protein that prevents the flow of the chemical that signals the sweat glands to begin working. Delivered by injection to the treatment area, BOTOX® effectively “turns off” the sweat glands so the sweating response then becomes limited or absent.
Since BOTOX® injections are only temporary, ongoing treatments are essential to fully managing hyperhidrosis symptoms. With an 82 to 87 percent decrease in excessive underarm sweating (when administered every four to 12 months) and 80 to 90 percent decrease in excessive sweating of the hands (when administered every six months), relief is possible for those living with hyperhidrosis.