Hyperhidrosis is a disorder characterized by excessive sweating that occurs in up to 1% of the population. The excessive sweating can occur in the hands, in the armpits, or in the feet. Although nobody understands the exact cause of this excessive sweating in specific individuals, it is known that the sweating is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system.
Patients with hyperhidrosis have excessive sweating that hampers their activities of daily living. It is sometimes brought on by stress, emotion, or exercise, but can also occur spontaneously.
Can Botox Treatment Help Those With Hyperhidrosis?
Botox is FDA-approved for severe underarm sweating when topical agents don’t work. Botox helps control this condition by temporarily blocking the chemical signals from the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands. When the sweat glands don’t receive chemical signals, the severe sweating stops.
What is Treatment with Botox Like?
The procedure is relatively straightforward. A small volume of Botox solution is injected into the affected underarm area through a very fine needle. The needle is placed just under the skin, so you may experience some injection-related discomfort. You will receive multiple injections based on your doctor’s assessment of the area that needs to be treated.
What Should I Expect After I Have Received Botox?
You should notice a significant reduction in underarm sweating within four weeks of your first treatment. There is a possibility that some sweat glands may be missed, and you may continue to experience some sweating from untreated areas. If you do not see a significant reduction in sweating, you should follow up with the doctor.
How Long Does a Botox Treatment Last?
In a recent clinical study, the median duration of response in Botox patients was 201 days or 6.7 months. It is not a cure; your symptoms will return gradually, and you will know when the time is right for another treatment.
NOT JUST ANOTHER PRETTY FACE
“I had tried 2 other doctors for Botox treatment in the past and since I came to see Dr. Kovak I realized that I had been wasting my time. Dr. Kovak understood exactly what my treatment goals were and so far I have nothing but positive results. Thanks Dr. Kovak!”
I have been a patient at the Kovak Laser Institute for the past seven years. I had seen a TV news story in which Dr. Kovak was administering Intense Pulsed Light to a patient, the result being skin with more even coloring and texture, fresher looking, dewy. What did I have to lose? After 50 years of being exposed to the sun and wind while biking, golfing, and running, I had developed dark spots on my chest, face, neck and hands. Regular facials just weren’t having a big enough impact on the aging process – I needed something more aggressive. Also, I noticed that women who had had facelifts still didn’t look great, because the texture and condition of their skin showed the effects of many years of exposure to external elements.
After my first three IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatments, the skin on my face and chest was restored to an even coloration and texture. I find IPL to be very tolerable in terms of discomfort and never require an anesthetic. My face is slightly swollen for about a day, and the sun damaged areas become darker. This can be covered with makeup. As the week goes by, some of the dark spots exfoliate during cleansing. A final microdermabrasion one week after treatment removes the remaining dead skin and, there you are, with skin that is noticeably smoother and fresher looking with no brown spots. Even with the religious use of 55 sunscreen, my skin still gets some sun damage during the summer. So every fall, as soon as my tan fades, I make an annual appointment for maintenance IPL. This year, I will include my hands and forearms as well. This is a very beneficial treatment with minimal downtime or discomfort, and it is affordable.
In the “filler” department, I have tried collagen, cosmoplast, and restylane, but my current favorite is Sculptra. Dr. Kovak uses it under my eyes and in the naso-labial folds to plump and fill hollow areas. It is very long-lasting, up to two years. Again, I tolerate this procedure without anesthetic. The injected areas can be a little swollen for a couple of days, and I usually bruise slightly at some of the injection sites, but again, this can be covered with makeup and is totally gone in less than a week. The procedure restores a feeling of fullness, giving a more youthful look to the face. It produces very subtle but noticeable results, and best of all, it does not require constant maintenance.
I started a series of full face Fraxell treatments last spring. I will resume these in the fall, after my summer color fades. For this procedure, I do require local anesthesia. Afterwards, there is noticeable swelling for 3 – 5 days. This differs for each person. My skin feels rough and I have continuous exfoliation for a couple of weeks after treatment. However, I feel comfortable going out after 3 or 4 days. I need more time between treatments than the suggested two weeks. As a result of Fraxell, my skin looks firmer with more even coloration, and fine lines are less noticeable. I am anxious to try the “new and improved” Fraxell coming in September 2007.
I also like Botox, but find that I now want it only around the eyes, and at the top of my forehead. I prefer to retain more of a natural look than the immovable fixed look of too much Botox.
As we age, it is important to understand that, while we can never stop the clock, we can slow it down. It is a long-term, continuous process requiring a doctor who specializes in cosmetic procedures, and who has an artful eye when treating faces, both female and male.
For me, the objective is to enhance my features in a natural looking way – to feel comfortable in my own skin – to still feel like myself – not just another pretty face.
Dr. Stan Kovak and his staff are the best team in Chicagoland for helping you achieve a more youthful but natural look. I am one of his biggest fans, and I recommend his practice at every opportunity.