Do you experience excessive sweating in the underarm area? If so, you are not alone. Although it’s not uncommon to sweat profusely in the summer, some people may sweat heavily under the armpits throughout the year. Hyperhidrosis, or excessive perspiration, is not uncommon and can occur in areas such as the face, hands, and armpits. This condition can be both embarassing and uncomfortable for many men and women. Suzan Obagi, MD, director of the UPMC Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Health Center, answers a few questions about treating underarm perspiration with BOTOX®, Dysport®, and other neuromodulators.
How Do Neuromodulators Prevent Perspiration?
Neuromodulators inhibit the firing of nerve cells. When injected in the underarms, the neuromodulator targets the cells that cause the sweat glands to produce perspiration, which can reduce sweating.
Who Can Benefit from Treatment?
This treatment is recommended for patients that experience excessive underarm perspiration to the degree that it limits their choice in clothing and interferes with their quality of life. These patients have typically tried other methods, such as topical treatments, with no success.
What Does this Type of Treatment Involve?
Neuromodulators are typically well-tolerated, and treatment usually takes about 20 minutes. The underarm area is sterilized, a grid is drawn on the armpit area, and a small needle is used to inject tiny doses of the medicine into the skin of the underarms.
What Are the Typical Results?
For most patients, one treatment will provide relief from hyperhidrosis for approximately six to nine months. After the treatment is completed, you will notice a reduction of sweating that takes seven to 10 days to fully take effect. There is no recovery time, and you can continue normal daily activities immediately after the procedure.
Are There Any Possible Side Effects?
Following treatment, you may experience bruising in the treated area. This typically subsides in three to seven days. Additionally, for patients with severe hyperhidrosis, treatment may only reduce sweating. Patients with active skin infections, neuromuscular diseases, and those who are pregnant cannot receive this treatment.
If you think you may be a candidate, talk to your doctor or dermatologist about which neuromodulator treatment may be right for you. Visit the UPMC Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Health Center to learn more or to make an appointment.