Botox can be a valuable tool for certain health goals, but it also has drawbacks.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Botox as safe and effective for treating excessive sweating known as focal hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating in specific areas such as the underarms or feet), crossed eyes , facial wrinkles, lines between the eyebrows caused by habitual frowning or severe migraine headaches that are resistant to more conventional therapies. The drug is also sometimes used outside of FDA-approved indications off-label (without an official prescription) to treat a variety of other conditions including cervical dystonia, chronic neck pain called torticollis, spasticity disorders like cerebral palsy and MS, psoriasis, urinary incontinence, excessive underarm sweating and certain skin disorders.
The drug is injected into the affected area of the body in small amounts to temporarily block nerve signals that stimulate muscle contraction. In effect, it blocks the sweating mechanism by preventing muscles from contracting, preventing perspiration or limiting its volume. The effects can last from three to six months depending on how much of the substance is used and what areas are treated with Botox injections. Even when it doesn’t work very well (for example, only reducing facial lines 30 to 50 percent) some people consider it a worthwhile trade-off for not having a visible symptom like heavy perspiration at any given moment.
For treating focal hyperhidrosis, Botox has been proven safe and effective for many years now and it appears to work quite well in preventing sweating over a wide range of doses. A single treatment can provide relief for anywhere from two to four years, with the optimal amount depending on the individual.
Approximately 300 units (or about 1 millilitre) is injected into each side of the affected armpit or other areas and no one seems to know why some people respond better than others and how much they need for an adequate response. One factor that might be important is whether or not you have axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating under your arms), since this condition is often easier to treat than palmar hyperhidrosis (sweating of your hands). It also doesn’t seem to matter if you are male or female, although frequency may be higher in the former.
Are anti-wrinkle injections the same as Botox? There is no difference between anti-wrinkle injections and Botox. Botox is just one of many brand names for prescription medication.
Unlike some other similar treatments such as fibroblast plasma therapy, Botox appears to have few side effects and patients don’t seem to develop tolerance. It is also safer than alternative treatments like iontophoresis (where an electric wand is used to pass current through the skin) because it doesn’t cause any kind of electrical current in or around the area being treated, which could be dangerous. Another benefit of Botox is that it can be used in combination with other treatments to treat certain conditions like crossed eyes or migraine headaches.
There are some potential downsides, also known as side effects, associated with Botox treatment including the risk for infection, allergic reactions and adverse drug interactions. Allergic reactions are extremely rare but there is always the possibility that an injection could lead to a worsening of symptoms rather than improvement.
In addition, while Botox is considered safe for long-term use (at least one year and can be done again within 12 months), this doesn’t mean it won’t cause any problems or lead to complications if you use it intermittently. Because it is injected directly into the nerves involved in sweating, Botox can also temporarily interfere with your fine motor skills. If you use your hands for work or hobbies, this could be a problem until the effects wear off. Be sure to ask whether any activities like playing piano require extra caution during your initial treatment period.
The answer to this questions depends on a number of factors. If you have an issue with sweating, or merely want to use Botox for cosmetic purposes to reduce wrinkles, Botox is a practical option. On the other hand, if you use your hands for work or hobbies and are concerned about temporarily limited dexterity, it may not work well for you. In addition, people who have a family history of autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis should consult with their doctors before committing to such a procedure.
Other treatments such as antiperspirants and iontophoresis can treat sweating effectively but they don’t provide any relief from symptoms associated with focal hyperhidrosis nor do they address cosmetic concerns related to age spots (also known as liver spots), which can be treated with Botox with varying results. Fibroblast plasma therapy is a form of treatment that can solve a lot of skin issues that Botox also addresses, so this might also be worth considering before you commit to any single type of cosmetic procedure.