In 2004, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved BOTOX (onabotulinumtoxinA) for the treatment of severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating of the underarms) in patients unable to obtain relief using antiperspirants. Excessive sweating can interfere with normal life activities and can even cause depression as patients avoid having a social life.
The treatment works by temporarily blocking the secretion of the chemical that is responsible for “turning on” the body’s sweat glands. By blocking, or interrupting, this chemical messenger, botulinum toxin “turns off” sweating at the area where it has been injected.
When used to treat underarm excessive sweating, Botox has been shown to result in an 82-87% decrease in sweating. Results start to be noticeable approximately 2 to 4 days after treatment with the full effects usually noted within 2 weeks. Dryness typically lasts 4 to 12 months.
This treatment can be done for palmar sweating as well. In the case of palmar (hand) excessive sweating, research shows that this treatment is 80-90% effective. Repeat injections are needed after 6 months.