Botox is one of many trade names for a chemical agent called botulinum neurotoxin; Dysport, Xeomin, and Myobloc are other such trade names. Botox can cost around $8 USD to $15 USD for the toxin alone, excluding other charges or fees. In the last few decades, Botox has been used for cosmetic purposes such as treating wrinkles and reducing sweaty palms and feet. Overall, Botox has been found to be especially effective at treating sweaty hands.
How can Botox correct excess palm sweating?
To treat sweaty hands, Botox is injected in the dermis layer on the palms of the hands to cause a dramatic decrease in sweat production by specifically targeting the sweat glands, which are called the eccrine sweat glands. More specifically, the toxin blocks the release of acetylcholine from the cholinergic nerve fibers that control the sweat glands. Results typically begin to show within four to 10 days and may last up to five to nine months. Practitioners may use a technique that involves utilizing Minor’s starch-iodine on the palms to identify the relevant sites of sweating, so as to determine the specific areas to inject. This technique entails spreading the iodine solution on the palm area and letting it dry. When starch powder is added on top, the sweaty areas will turn dark blue. The area of distribution and location should then be photographed as documentation for comparisons after the procedure. Most experienced practitioners, however, will only employ this method if the first round of treatment was not highly successful. The technique can be utilized repeatedly, as is necessary, to assess treatment efficacy.
Can I get Botox for sweaty hands?There are a few conditions that should disqualify patients from receiving botulinum toxin treatment. If patients are allergic to any of the components in Botox, which include botulinum toxin type A, human albumin, and sodium chloride, they should not receive Botox treatment. Also, should they have an infection at the injection area, their treatment must be delayed until it subsides. Furthermore, if patients are pregnant; have any underlying neuromuscular disease, such as Lambert Eaton or myasthenia gravis; concurrently using of drugs such as amino glycosides, cholinesterase inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, magnesium sulfate, quinidine, and polymyxins; they should inform their practitioner and refrain from proceeding with Botox injections.
Are there any risks?Side effects associated with Botox injection are usually related to the needle injection or technique. This includes symptoms such as pain, swelling, redness, and bruising. Medical practitioners generally use a smaller gauge needle, use ice compression before and after treatment, and gently inject into the skin to counter these issues. Many practitioners opt to inject more towards the upper surface of the skin so that the muscles beneath will not be affected. Patients may need to perform exaggerated hand movements to help quicken the toxin binding to the targeted muscles before it starts to spread to other areas. If such spreading does occur, it is usually present within two to four days and can last up to three to four months. As a result, patients that rely on the dexterity of their hand for their living should be cautious.
What to expect during treatment?During the treatment process, the practitioner usually injects at distances 1–1.5cm apart (taking into account local spreading) and deposits around 0.1ml with a concentration of 2U per 0.1ml of Botox per injection. The palms are usually more sensitive than any other sites, so patients can request ice or local anesthesia, if necessary. Using a total of 50 to 100 units per palm is expected, and this comes up to about 30 to 50 injections per hand because the sweat glands are less receptive to botulinum toxin than the muscles in the face and there is a larger surface area to treat. Most patients tend to notice an improvement in just a few days, but some patients might only see results within two weeks. Patients should adhere to any follow-up appointments arranged for them, so that the practitioner can decide if they need any touch-up treatment at certain areas or if the responses were not entirely satisfactory. Since the condition affects individuals differently, the treatment process needs to be tailored to each patient.
Botulinum toxin is a potent chemical compound that has a track record of efficacy and safety when used to treat many skin conditions. Botox has been and is widely used in both North America and Europe to treat patients with excessive sweating in the hands. In this treatment indication and other cosmetic procedures, Botox has a patient satisfaction rate of 90%. Research is currently being done into other types of neurotoxin in the same class as Botox, such as botulinum toxin B, to find alternatives to the current status quo of botulinum toxin A treatments. For appropriate use in respect to cases of excessive sweating in the hands, Botox injections require a great detail of understanding of the anatomy of the palms and the available injection techniques.