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About 2.8% of the population suffers from excessive sweating, otherwise known as primary hyperhidrosis. This kind of sweating exceeds the body’s requirements for thermoregulation and is often highly disruptive and embarrassing to those who suffer from it. Sufferers often develop adaptive behaviors such as slouching or avoiding raising the arms to disguise damp areas on clothing.
Hyperhidrosis affects both men and women, and may be caused by genetic factors, stress, anxiety, mild physical activity and other triggers. Affecting the underarm (axillary) area most frequently, it can also affect the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and the face and scalp.
Botox® and Dysport® are popular treatments for hyperhidrosis because they provide quick, non-invasive relief that can last 6-12 months or more.
The treatment is well tolerated, and patients are often very satisfied with the results, repeating sessions as needed depending upon individual results. Medical contraindications are rare but a physical exam and medical history are required for treatment.
Botox® is a proven treatment for hyperhidrosis, and has been used extensively for years with an excellent safety record. Although Dysport® does not have a medical indication for hyperhidrosis, studies have demonstrated that the efficacy and safety of Botox® and Dysport® are similar for the treatment of hyperhidrosis. Patients who have failed using other treatments now have a safe, effective, and long-lasting treatment option that works very effectively – even in high stress situations such as vigorous exercise, public speaking, or meetings.
Initially, a starch-iodine test will be performed to identify problem areas of excessive sweating. Then Botox® or Dysport® is injected with a fine needle at specific intervals to target the sweat glands. Botox® and Dysport® reduce sweat gland production by inhibiting acetylcholine, a messenger neurotransmitter. Because the glands do not receive the message to release sweat, the skin remains dry.
The axillary (underarm) region is the most common area treated but the hands may be treated as well. However, care must be taken to avoid functional changes in the hands since the treatment may affect muscle function.