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Produced by a bacteria known as Clostridium botulinum, botulinum toxin – or Botox, as it is known colloquially – is a neurotoxin that blocks neurotransmitters and prevents involuntary muscle movement. Although it can be harmful in large amounts, when used in carefully controlled quantities it can be an extremely beneficial medical tool.
Used for many cosmetic purposes including the prevention of wrinkles and fine lines, Botox is also used by the general medical community to treat and prevent everything from migraine headaches and temporomandibular joint disorder to uncontrollable blinking and crossed eyes. It is also used to treat a condition known as hyperhidrosis, which causes chronic or excessive sweating even when at rest and not under stress.
What is Hyperhidrosis?
This medical condition affects up to 1% of the population of men and women in North America and usually occurs in the underarms, palms, and feet. Those who suffer from this condition can sweat up to four times the normal amount as the body struggles to maintain a comfortable body temperature. Many of these patients acknowledge that their condition causes discomfort and embarrassment in social situations as well as making some aspects of their day-to-day lives more difficult.
While there are several other treatment methods available, Botox injections are considered one of the most effective and least invasive treatment options currently offered. Alternative treatments include prescription antiperspirants or pills and surgical options such as sympathectomy or the severing of the nerves that signal the sweat glands.
Unfortunately not all patients find prescription medications to be a successful solution to their problem and surgical options have their own obvious drawbacks.
How does Botox work?
By injecting this neurotoxin into the skin of the underarm, Botox can be used to suppress the overactive sweat production and limit it to more appropriate levels. This is because our skin contains sweat glands which respond to increases in body temperature, automatically releasing sweat to cool the body.
Botox prevents the signals from the nerve endings from reaching the sweat glands, blocking their ability to trigger the release of sweat. The effects last up to 8 months at a time and require little to no recovery time required. Studies have shown that there is no harm in blocking the sweat glands in specific areas of the body as the skin is riddled with plenty of glands to handle the task of keeping your body cool.
For more information about using Botox to control overactive sweating, contact the experts at Med-Aesthetics to book an appointment today.