Botox and Sweaty Palms: How To Treat Sweaty Palms (Hyperhidrosis)
Since the invention of botox which is primarily used to treat wrinkles, it has gained popularity over the last few years as a quick, safe, and effective treatment option to control excessive sweating (Hyperhidrosis). This article discusses all the pros and cons of botox for hyperhidrosis and explores whether it’s an ideal treatment option for those seeking improvement for sweaty palms.
What are sweaty palms (palmar hyperhidrosis)?
It is normal for individuals to experience sweating over different areas of the body when exposed to heat, anxious or when exercising. However, in hyperhidrosis, individuals experience excessive sweating even without exposure to heat or strenuous activities.
Excessive sweating can manifest in areas such as the underarms, back, chest palms and the soles of the feet.
What causes hyperhidrosis?
The exact cause is unknown but may be related to an “overactive” sympathetic nervous system that overstimulates the sweat glands. Unfortunately, this is a process we have no voluntary control over.
Patients may notice worsening hyperhidrosis when they are stressed or emotional.
Impact of Sweaty Palms
Sweaty palms can have a negative impact on one’s social and professional life.
For example, those with sweaty palms may feel awkward when shaking hands at events or holding hands with their loved ones. On a professional level, sweaty palms may even affect career prospects.
Treatment options for Hyperhidrosis
The broad categories include topical treatments with aluminum chloride, Botox, oral medications, Iontophoresis and Surgery.
Botox is usually the preferred treatment option because it is safe and effective with minimal downtime and little to no side effects.
How does Botox help Hyperhidrosis (sweaty palms)?
Botox treatment of hyperhidrosis is one of the most studied treatment options and is usually considered a first-line therapy. It works by blocking the release of a special chemical called acetylcholine in the nerves which is responsible for the overstimulation of sweat glands. Less acetylcholine = less sweat production.
It is administered in small injections over the targeted area and potentially there may be up to 25 injection points per palm (50 botox units per side).
Treatment results can vary between 4 to 9 months and potential side effects include bruising, discomfort during the injection, and reduced grip strength.
Comparing Botox to other common types of treatments for Hyperhidrosis
20% aluminum chloride hexahydrate is the recommended topical treatment (cream) for sweaty palms. It is applied every night to the affected areas and left on for at least 6 to 8 hours. It works by blocking the sweat glands. Potential side effects include skin irritation. Compared to botox, this method requires discipline as patients have to comply with a daily regime.
Iontophoresis is another type of treatment for palmar hyperhidrosis which involves submerging the palms into a tray of water and concurrently passing an electrical current through the water. Side effects include redness and tingling which are usually mild. The treatment has to be done 3 times a week and the mechanism of action is currently unknown. application of an electrical current
Other less common types of treatments include microwave therapy, local surgery, and sympathetic denervation.
Palmar hyperhidrosis or sweaty palms can be safely and effectively treated with Botox injections. Results last for between 4 to 9 months and are more convenient than options such as topical creams, iontophoresis, or oral medications.