Botulinum Toxin for Sweating (Hyperhidrosis)

Botulinum toxin seems an unlikely answer to excess sweat problems, but it is often used as a way to prevent hyperhidrosis.  It is a good solution for excess underarm sweat in particular, and can be applied to sweat problems in small areas. 

Botulinum toxin is more commonly perceived as a cosmetic procedure used to paralyse muscles on the face to preserve a youthful appearance.  However, Botulinum toxin used in smaller doses can also be used as an effective site treatment for hyperhidrosis, preventing the nerves from accessing the sweat glands. 

Botulinum toxin is injected to the site where sweating is a problem.  The fluid helps to block the contact between the nerves and your sweat glands, preventing excess sweat for a period of time.  Eventually the Botulinum toxin does wear off and would have to be re-injected in order for the process to continue.  The treatment does have to be repeated about every four months in order for it to be a long-term answer to your hyperhidrosis problem. 

Cost of Botulinum toxin for Hyperhidrosis

Having Botulinum toxin injections to treat your hyperhidrosis will vary in price, dependant on how many sites you wish to have treated.  Botulinum toxin can be used for up to 20 sites on your body at one time.  As a rough guide, having your underarms treated will cost around £400, whereas other areas of your body can be anything from £150 upwards.

To get a quote or more information you can contact the clinic that you choose or ask your GP for advice. 

Botulinum toxin for hyperhidrosis is sometimes available on the NHS; your GP will talk to you about your problem and is likely to refer you to a dermatologist in order for you to be treated.  This is only available for primary hyperhidrosis, and you will have to have a full assessment and examination beforehand.  It is an expensive process, so it is possible that you will have to wait for your treatment. 

Risks with using Botulinum toxin

  • The injections can be painful
  • Botulinum toxin can occasionally cause severe allergic injections
  • Some people can develop flu or cold symptoms after having Botulinum toxin injections

Pros of using Botulinum toxin for hyperhidrosis

  • Botulinum toxin is a good way to treat isolated areas that produce excess sweating
  • Botulinum toxin can be used for the underarm area with great success
  • You would only need to have treatments once or twice a year, as opposed to once a week
  • There is little invasion into the body, and there is no way for someone to know that you have had the treatment

Cons of using Botulinum toxin for hyperhidrosis

  • Botulinum toxin can prove expensive
  • There are some side effects to the injections that might prove uncomfortable
  • Botulinum toxin is not often used to help with palm or feet sweating, as it has been less effective in these areas and more likely to be painful
  • Botulinum toxin is not a permanent solution to your hyperhidrosis problem as additional injections will need to be done

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