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Botox for Axillary Hyperhidrosis
The most well known and widespread use of BOTOX is for the cosmetic treatment of dynamic wrinkles. However, when BOTOX was originally tested clinically, it was within the field of ophthalmology. Along with its use as a non-surgical wrinkles treatment, it also has many medical uses that range from treating muscle disorders to chronic migraines. Providers also utilize BOTOX in the treatment of axillary hyperhidrosis, or excessive underarm sweating. Northwest Face & Body provides the best BOTOX for axillary hyperhidrosis Bellevue and Kirkland have available.
What Is Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is the term that describes excessive, abnormal sweating. It can be localized to just one area of the body (such as the underarms, hands, feet, or face), or more generalized across the entire body. BOTOX only treats the localized kind of hyperhidrosis, known as focal hyperhidrosis.
Focal hyperhidrosis usually does not have a specific cause. Though, it does appear to run in families and have a genetic component. Generalized hyperhidrosis, or secondary hyperhidrosis, typically occurs due to a medical condition, medication, or some other cause. While it can occur chronically, it is easier to solve.
Axillary hyperhidrosis refers to when focal hyperhidrosis affects the underarms. This causes excessive sweating only in the underarms. The rest of the body likely sweats normally. Though, it is possible to suffer from multiple areas of focal hyperhidrosis. The condition tends to onset during or within about a decade of puberty.
Signs Of Abnormal Sweating
Sweating is not usually harmful or a sign of a problem. However, not sweating at all or sweating too much can interfere with life and sometimes be concerning. Normally, hyperhidrosis is benign and not dangerous. Though, that does not mean the condition is not serious. Many people with hyperhidrosis suffer socially and at work. Below are some signs that your sweating may warrant BOTOX treatment.
- Sweating occurs outside of expected situations
- Frequently stain clothing, often daily
- Deodorant and typical antiperspirants do not help
- Carry around extra clothing and avoid wearing colors where sweating would be obvious
- May experience rashes or chaffing in or near the underarms
- Condition onset sometime after puberty or in early adulthood
- Excessive sweating only occurs in the armpits
- Sweating likely constant during an episode
- At least one episode per week
There is no cure for hyperhidrosis, but there are many treatment options. Usually, doctors will start with prescription strength antiperspirants and occasionally medications. Some antidepressants, beta blocks, and anticholinergics all have been used to treat hyperhidrosis. These treatments may provide relief for those with milder forms of axillary hyperhidrosis.
However, if these less invasive techniques do not adequately treat excessive sweating, BOTOX injections are usually the next step. It is possible to use BOTOX for hyperhidrosis as well as other methods. In some cases, BOTOX may be the first preferred treatment when sweating is especially severe.
Beyond BOTOX, the most effective treatment consists of more invasive options such as surgery. Most patients and providers alike tend to consider surgery a last resort. The procedure is not guaranteed to work. Other less invasive treatment methods like iontophoresis are not always suitable or effective for the underarms.
BOTOX vs. Other Hyperhidrosis Treatments
What is the best treatment for your axillary hyperhidrosis? Every patient will respond differently to each treatment option. However, some methods have shown more effective than others. For example, BOTOX is effective in 80% to 90% of hyperhidrosis patients. Let’s look at how BOTOX compares to all of the other major hyperhidrosis treatments.
BOTOX vs. Antiperspirants
Antiperspirants are often the first line of defense when treating hyperhidrosis. For those with infrequent bouts of sweating, or with only mild hyperhidrosis, antiperspirants may provide enough relief to live everyday life. The major drawback to antiperspirants is that they have to be used every day (sometimes multiple times per day). Also, they can leave stains on clothing. However, it is easy to apply and does not cause any pain with the application.
BOTOX can treat more severe hyperhidrosis than antiperspirants but does come with a higher cost. Though, BOTOX treatment happens only a few times per year. It also often completely stops or reduces sweating to the point of normal management. It is common to use both BOTOX and antiperspirants to treat and manage axillary hyperhidrosis.
BOTOX vs. Medications
Medications for hyperhidrosis can prevent and reduce sweating. Like all prescription medications, they can come with side effects. Not all medications will work effectively for all cases of axillary hyperhidrosis. One of the main advantages of medication is that they are non-invasive and easy to take. However, depending on insurance, they can be expensive and cause some adverse effects. It may also take time to find the right medication that is most effective.
BOTOX works for most people with hyperhidrosis. Side effects are generally minor and temporary. However, BOTOX is slightly more invasive than medications and requires occasional touch-ups as necessary. Like with antiperspirants, many patients use a combination of BOTOX and medications.
BOTOX vs. Iontophoresis
Iontophoresis is a medical procedure where the afflicted body part is placed in a solution of tap water, saline, and anticholinergic medication. An electrical current is conducted through the water and this penetrates the skin. Providers typically use this technique for the hands or feet and not practical for other areas.
The treatment is carried out about three times a week until the desired results are achieved. At-home devices do make this easier, but they can be expensive. Iontophoresis can be effective and–like BOTOX–expected to help about 80% to 90% of patients. However, this treatment requires dedication and motivation. It is also not practical or possible for axillary hyperhidrosis.
BOTOX vs. Surgery
A surgical procedure known as endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy is a procedure that can stop underarm sweating. Normally seen as a last resort, the procedure involves either removing or damaging the sweat glands of the armpits. This renders them no longer able to produce sweat. The effectiveness of the procedure varies depending on the technique used. Though, it is generally considered more likely to help than other hyperhidrosis surgeries.
While axillary hyperhidrosis arguably has the best surgical solution out of the main hyperhidrosis areas, it is still not preferred. Surgery comes with more risk for irreparable damage. Occasionally with hyperhidrosis surgery, the patients will see the sweating appear in other areas. Normally, BOTOX injections are attempted before surgery.
BOTOX For Axillary Hyperhidrosis From Start To Finish
When first considering BOTOX to treat your axillary hyperhidrosis, making a consultation at Northwest Face & Body is a great preliminary step. At the appointment, your provider will want to know about your history of hyperhidrosis, treatments you have used or currently use, and your medical history.
After this initial discussion, they may examine the underarms to create your individualized hyperhidrosis BOTOX protocol. They will also determine your candidacy. They will explain the procedure, possible side effects, and the results to expect. You will also receive pricing and financing information.
Axillary BOTOX Injections
If you decide to commence with Bellevue BOTOX for axillary hyperhidrosis, you will come to our office and be taken back to a luxurious treatment room. Your provider will first disinfect the underarm with an alcohol wipe. Then, they may apply topical anesthetic if desired.
The injections take only about ten to twenty minutes to complete. It will consist of roughly fifty injections. Unlike traditional BOTOX injections that penetrate the muscle, when treating hyperhidrosis, the injections are shallower. Patients are often surprised by how quick and painless axillary hyperhidrosis BOTOX treatment is.
After finishing the injections, your provider will clear away any pinpoint bleeding and provide aftercare instructions. They may also want you to schedule a follow-up appointment to evaluate your results in approximately two weeks.
On the day of your injections, you can return to work and your normal activities. There may be some slight deviations such as you will need to avoid exercise and hot environments. It also advised that patients do not drink after BOTOX injections. These deviations are typically only in place for about one to three days.
As far as side effects, they are generally minimal. Some patients may experience slight redness, swelling, bruising, and discomfort in the days following hyperhidrosis BOTOX injections. Occasionally, some of the BOTOX may penetrate the muscle and cause some temporary weakness. This is fairly rare and tends to resolve within a couple of weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Blocking Sweat Glands Bad?
Patients often express concern about stopping sweating completely in the armpits because sweating is a necessary function. However, when experiencing hyperhidrosis, sweating causes more problems than it helps. Additionally, the rest of your body should still sweat normally, which more than takes care of the necessities of sweating. Some patients may notice that they sweat more in other areas to compensate.
Does BOTOX Stop Underarm Odor?
In technicality, yes. Much of the odors produced by the underarms are due to sweat. People with hyperhidrosis often have many concerns about underarm odor and may experience a worse odor than the average person. Therefore, the odor caused by sweating should be reduced or eliminated with BOTOX for hyperhidrosis.
Is Hyperhidrosis Permanent?
Focal hyperhidrosis is usually a chronic condition because there is no cure and the causes are not fully understood. Secondary hyperhidrosis is not always chronic and tends to respond to treatment. However, if due to another chronic condition, it can also be a lifelong struggle.
How Many Units Of BOTOX Are Used For Hyperhidrosis?
The starting dose for axillary hyperhidrosis treatment is 100 units. Your provider will inject approximately 50 units on each side. After your first treatment, they may want to see you for a follow-up to see how well the dose works. They can then inject additional units if needed.
How Much Is BOTOX For Axillary Hyperhidrosis?
100 units of BOTOX for axillary hyperhidrosis starts at $1300. If you need subsequent treatments, this may come with extra costs. Northwest Face & Body also works with outside financing companies as well as the rewards program through the manufacturer.
The Top BOTOX Clinic In Bellevue And Kirkland
Northwest Face & Body’s team of injectors includes highly trained and experienced individuals from various backgrounds. For hyperhidrosis, our aesthetic physicians and plastic surgeons handle the majority of the treatments. They are among the most qualified BOTOX injectors in Washington State. Offering the gold standard of hyperhidrosis injections, Northwest Face & Body provides the best BOTOX for axillary hyperhidrosis Bellevue and Kirkland offers.
Located at Carillion Point, the Northwest Face & Body office is accessible from the entire Eastside. Featuring the most advanced technology in cosmetic medicine, Dr. Allegra and his team of injectors aim to create personalized hyperhidrosis treatment protocols.