Botulinum toxin (known as Botox) is a drug that temporarily relaxes the muscles to treat certain muscle conditions, reduce wrinkles or stop sweat.
Botox has recently been widely recognized as an eefctive treatment for axillary hyperhydrosis or excessive underarm sweating after its FDA approval came through in 2004. It is specifically reserved for candidates who do not get benefit from use of topical anti-perspirants.
Botox works by blocking the secretion of the chemical - acetylcholine that activates/ "turns on" sweat glands to induce sweating. Because of the blockage of this neurotransmission by Botox, sweating is stopped as sweat glands are "turned off".
Although its an injection, the procedure is made virtually painless by giving prior anesthetic injection or topical anesthesia.
Ordinarily 50 units are injected in each axilla / underarm for effective control of sweating. When injected adequately, Botox reduces 82 - 87 % of sweating as per statistics.
Results start to be noticeable approximately 2 to 4 days after treatment with the full effects usually noted within 2 weeks
The results last for 4 to 8 months and need to repeated thereafter.
While sweating is responsible for body's thermoregulation, people often wonder if botox hinders that in any way. Its important to understand that underams are responsible for no more than 2 % of sweat glands of the entire body so its role in thermoregulation is miniscule.