Frequently Asked Questions
What Happens During My First Consultation and Treatment?
At your consultation you will be asked to fill out a detailed assessment so that we can better understand you as a person and whether or not this treatment is suitable for you. Your expectations will be discussed and any possible side effects explained. Once you are happy that you have enough information to decide that this treatment is right for you, you will be asked to sign a consent form in order to proceed. In order to achieve the best results from this treatment your practitioner will need to perform what is known as a ‘Minor’ or ‘starch-iodine’ test. This test involves applying an iodine solution to the underarm area followed by starch powder once the iodine has dried. The purpose of this test is to highlight the exact area where the sweat glands are present. This can vary between individuals. Once this test is complete, the underarm area for treatment will be marked to facilitate treatment. On the day of treatment it is important to wear a dark vest or other suitable clothing which will provide the practitioner easy access to your underarms. You should also not apply any antiperspirant as this can affect the results of the test. The series of injections required takes only 2-3 minutes, with most people reporting little or only mild discomfort during treatment. Following treatment the underarm area will be cleaned and the aftercare instructions explained. Before you leave the clinic a follow up appointment will be booked for 3-4 weeks time.
What Should I Do Before Treatment?
- Do not wear antiperspirants on the day of treatment as this can negatively affect the starch-iodine test results
- Wear a loose vest or t-shirt which will make your underarm area accessible while maintaining your modesty throughout the treatment.
- If shaving, do so the night before to reduce the likelihood of any skin irritation.
What Should / Shouldn’t I Do After My Treatment?
Immediately after your hyperhidrosis treatment it is important not to touch the injection sites. Any small bumps present from the injections will usually disappear within 15-30 minutes. Do not apply deodorant for the rest of the day as this may cause skin irritation or infection. It is, however, fine to shower that evening and the next day you may resume the use of deodorant.
What Happens at My Follow-Up Appointment?
The purpose of this appointment is to assess the results of your treatment and your overall satisfaction with them. The starch-iodine test will be performed again to check your response to the initial treatment, and a decision will then be made by your practitioner as to whether a further treatment is required to enhance and prolong results. Six months after this appointment you will automatically receive an email to remind you that it is time to start considering your next treatment should you wish to continue with a reduction in your levels of sweating. In the meantime, we are available at anytime to discuss any questions or concerns you have.
How Long Before I See Results?
The effects from any treatment with botulinum toxin usually start to be noticeable within 3-5 days, although everyone responds differently and it can take 10 -14 days for the full effects to be visible. Remember that sweating is a natural process of thermoregulation within the body and that it is neither possible nor desirable to completely stop this. Following botox for the treatment of hyperhidrosis one can expect the levels of sweating to be reduced to a ‘normal’ level, as seen in someone not suffering with hyperhidrosis.
What Causes Excessive Sweating / Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is grouped into two categories: primary (focal) and secondary (generalised). Primary hyperhidrosis is often experienced in the underarms, hands, feet, head, neck, face and groin. Sweating often starts after puberty and is frequently an inherited condition. Excess sweating with primary hyperhidrosis stems from increased activity in sweat glands. Secondary hyperhidrosis is generally caused by other underlying medical conditions. These can include side effects from taking other medication, the menopause, obesity, diabetes, gout, a tumour, mercury poisoning or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). Before going on to have treatment for excessive sweating with botulinum toxin it is important to ascertain whether the increase in sweating is of a primary or secondary nature. Only primary hyperhidrosis can be treated with botulinum toxin. If there is an indication that the cause may be secondary then referral to your GP will be advised.
What Are My Options for Hyperhidrosis Treatment?
There are many options for dealing with hyperhidrosis and some people find one particular treatment helpful where another person does not. The alternatives to botulinum toxin injections include, lifestyle changes, stronger antiperspirants, oral anticholinergic medication, iontophoresis, sweat gland eradication (using microwave, radiofrequency, ultrasound, laser, surgery, or endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy). All of these treatments have varying success rates and potential side effects.
How Long Do the Results Last?
The length of any result varies from individual to individual; however, most results tend to last upwards of six months. Sweating will typically gradually recur after 12 weeks, when the botulinum toxin has been metabolised and removed from the body.
How Often Should I Have This Treatment?
To maintain a uniform reduction in excessive sweating you may choose to have this treatment around two times per year, though occasionally people may need three treatments each year. Results and expectations vary between individuals and the point at which someone then chooses to repeat the treatment is a matter of personal preference.
Who Is Suitable for This Treatment?
You must be 18 years of age to undergo treatment. Botulinum toxin is used to treat only primary hyperhidrosis. An assessment on the type you have will be made during your consultation. If you are pregnant, think you maybe, or are nursing, you will not be able to undergo treatment. Other factors which would contraindicate (be a clash preventing) treatment include taking certain medications and diagnosed neuro-muscular conditions. Prior to any treatment with botox you will undergo a full consultation to ensure that you are suitable and that you fully understand consent to treatment.
Is Botox Treatment for Excessive Sweating Safe?
Botulinum toxin treatments involve using a Prescription Only Medicine (POM) and for your own safety should only be carried out by a suitably qualified, trained and experienced medical professional. There are potential risks associated with any non-surgical aesthetic treatments and these will be discussed at length during your initial consultation, prior to consenting to any procedure.
Is the Treatment Painful?
The treatment does involve a series of superficial injections under each arm, but most people find very little discomfort during this procedure.
Is the Treatment Area Numbed Prior to the Injections?
There is no need to numb the underarms when treating with botulinum toxin for excessive sweating. While a series of injections under each arm will be required, these are generally not painful.
How Long Does the Treatment Take?
A full consultation, assessment and treatment usually takes around 30-45 minutes. Review appointments, 2-4 weeks later, take up to 30 minutes.