Excess Sweating (hyperhidrosis)

Everyone sweats when they get warm, but someone with hyperhidrosis sweats even when it isn’t hot. Basically, there is an abnormal amount of sweating from one part of the body. If you have lived with excessive sweating, you already know that it can be embarrassing. You are always aware of it and try to hide the condition as much as possible. Some call hyperhidrosis the “silent disability.” The condition can wear down a person’s self-confidence and lead to more serious psychological problems.

If you suffer from excessive sweating, you probably dress in layers to cover armpit stains or try to avoid handshaking. This can be a difficult problem for men and women and the most common area treated is the armpit (axillary) area. The good news is that Botox treatments may be helpful.

Botox has long been known to treat wrinkles. Back in 1993, English doctors proved that injecting Botox could also slow and prevent hyperhidrosis. Botox is injected into armpits, hands, or feet. As it penetrates the glands, it stops the release of chemicals that lead to perspiration.

There are many positives linked to using Botox as a tool to stop perspiration. Injections take little time, so treatment is fast. The procedure is considered safe and decreases up to 80 percent of sweating.

There are a few negatives associated with using Botox for sweating. The biggest con is that the results are not permanent. Usually, treatment will last up to eight months. You may experience some pain, especially if the Botox is being injected into the hands. However, ice and a numbing anesthetic may be applied.

One patient explained that Botox worked wonderfully for his problems. Since he was young, he struggled with teasing over his sweating that could not be controlled with prescription strength deodorant. After receiving Botox, he saw immediate positive results.

A real estate agent received Botox for her clammy hands. She always felt embarrassed when meeting clients. Immediately after treatment, her hands were a bit sore, but the results were amazing. She not longer cringes when it comes to shaking hands.

If you have ever wanted control over a sweating problem, Botox may be the answer. It is a simple procedure that takes little time to provide great results. Finally, you will be able to face life without anxiety or embarrassment.

FDA Approval and Studies

In 2004, the FDA approved the use of Botox for hyperhidrosis or severe underarm sweating.

Studies conducted by the Saint Louis University School of Medicine have shown that Botox is a safe remedy for excessive sweating, and the long-term data shows that Botox is an effective option for patients who do not respond to prescription creams or antiperspirants.

Patients who endure extreme hyperhidrosis can sweat as much as four times more than normal. Botox treatments have been proven to curtail excessive sweating for up to two years. Four weeks after their initial treatment, some 80 percent of the 193 participants in the study enjoyed a reduction of 75 percent in sweat production. Four or fewer Botox injections were effective for controlling excessive sweating for 94 percent of the participants.

Patients’ quality of life improved after the injections. Before the Botox injections, some 70 percent said their ability to do their job was impaired because of the condition. Only fifteen percent still had issues performing their job after the treatments. Half of the participants said they no longer felt emotionally compromised. Patients also said they were much more comfortable in social settings after the injections.

Hyperhidrosis triggers:

  • exercise
  • heat or cold
  • alcohol,
  • coffee,
  • tea,
  • smoking ,
  • hot or spicy food
  • stress ,
  • anxiety,
  • strong emotions

How to diagnose Hyperhydrosis?

If there is excessive sweating of at least 6 months duration with at least two of the following characteristics then primary Hyperhydrosis is present and this can be treated with Botox.

  1. Bilateral and relatively symmetrical sweating
  2. Impairs daily activity
  3. At least one episode per week
  4. Onset before the age of 25 years
  5. Positive family history
  6. Cessation of sweating during sleep

What can be done?

 The FDA has approved of the use of Botox for treatment of hyperhidrosis. Research and long-term data indicate that the unique chemical structure of Botox can safely and effectively treat excessive sweating. When injected, in small amounts, into the right places, Botox blocks the neurotransmitters that produce sweat and provides remarkable results.

How does it work? - An Underarm example

A small volume of BOTOX® solution is injected through a very fine gauge needle into the underarm area.  BOTOX® works by temporarily blocking the chemical signals from the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands. When these glands no longer receive the chemical signals, the excessive underarm sweating stops. The procedure takes about 5-10 minutes, is relatively painless, and the effects of the treatment have been reported to last 6-9 months (Results vary from person to person and eventually will wear off).  Depending on the severity of the hyperhidrosis, multiple injections may be needed.

Within 1-2 weeks of the initial treatment there will be significant reduction in underarm sweating. There is a possibility that some sweat glands may be missed during BOTOX® hyperhidrosis treatment. If this occurs, underarm sweating may continue from the untreated areas and a touch-up treatment may be needed.

How much does it cost?

The cost of Botox for the treatment of hyperhidrosis can vary widely. The longevity of the procedure depends on the severity of the condition and the number of units of Botox that need to be used. For optimal results, 100 units of BOTOX® (50 units under each arm) is needed.

Hyperhidrosis treatment is €500 with LK Aesthetics.


Pre Treatment Instructions:

  • Shave underarms 24 hours prior to procedure.
  • 2 hours before procedure avoid hot beverages or going to gym (if doing “The Starch Test”).
  • Abstain from use of over-the-counter deodorants or antiperspirants for 24 hours (if doing “The Starch Test”).
  • Do not consume a alcoholic beverages for 24 hours prior to the procedure.
  • Avoid taking Aspirin or Ibuprofen 24 hours prior to the procedure (please check with your Doctor if you take either medication on a daily basis for an existing condition)

The Starch Test:

The “Starch Test” is sometimes performed to view where the affected areas of perspiration are located.  Not all providers perform this test, as it has been said to be  unnecessary.  Most providers inject into the area of hair growth, since sweat glands lie just next to each hair follicle.

Starch Test Info:

Patients should shave underarms and abstain from use of over-the-counter deodorants or antiperspirants for 24 hours prior to the test. Patient should be resting comfortably without exercise, hot drinks, etc for approximately 30 minutes prior to the test.

Here’s what to expect:

Iodine solution will be painted on.

Starch powder will then be sprinkled and allow to settle for 10 minutes.

A blue-black mark will identify affected area of perspiration.

The area will then be circled and marked.

BOTOX® is then injected just beside each pen mark.


Post Treatment Instructions:

  • No deodorant for 12 hours
  • No heavy exercise for 24 hours
  • After Botox injections gently clean and dry your underarm using a mild soap/cleanser.
  • You may begin to experience results within 7 days, full effectiveness is achieved at 14 days.
  • Until the maximum effectiveness of the BOTOX® injection is achieved you can continue to use over the counter antiperspirants.
  • Contact Dr. Kelleher, if you are still experiencing sweating in the treated area after 14 days.

For more information about Hyperhidrosis see http://www.sweathelp.org/en/