Excessive sweating (body)

Some people suffer from excessive sweating that is difficult to control. Today, this can be controlled with botulinum toxin. This medication can be used to help manage excessive sweating by blocking the sweat glands. The armpits, forehead, hands and feet are frequently treated areas. In 2001, Health Canada approved BOTOX and XEOMIN for the treatment of underarm hyperhidrosis.

  • What is hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis occurs when there is excessive sweating, i.e. when the amount of sweat produced significantly exceeds the volume required for body thermoregulation. Indeed, the role of perspiration is to contribute to thermoregulation in order to maintain the body at the right temperature. The popular belief is that it is normal to sweat, no matter how much you sweat. However, excessive sweating is neither negligible nor necessary.

According to published data, approximately 2.8% of the population suffers from hyperhidrosis, 10% of which is generalized and 90% localized. This mainly concerns sweat in the armpits, hands and feet. The family history is often positive.

The discomfort generated by this medical problem is not negligible. People who suffer from excessive sweating can project an image of uncleanliness and anxiety, in addition to seeing their clothes damaged by sweat.

BOTOX/XEOMIN, once injected into the skin, works by preventing the release of acetylcholine, the molecule that causes sweat production, at the nerve endings. This significantly reduces the activity of the sweat glands in the targeted areas.

During the treatment, the skin is initially disinfected. Then multiple superficial injections are made in the targeted areas of sweat production. A local anesthetic is usually required.

There are few side effects expected following treatment with BOTOX/XEOMIN for hyperhidrosis, though small hematomas are possible. Reduction in sweat production will be seen rapidly within seven to ten days after the injections.

During the first treatment, it is usually expected that the sweat glands will be blocked for about 4 months. After the second treatment, the period of effectiveness of BOTOX/XEOMIN increases and the sweat glands will be blocked for about 8 months. This means that infrequent treatments will allow you to control and eliminate excessive body sweat in the treated areas.

For underarms, the MiraDry laser is now available and approved by Health Canada.


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