Hyperhidrosis Treatment In Harrow
Both Under Arms - £450
What is Botulinum toxin?
Botulism – paralysis of muscles caused by high doses of botulinum toxin – was first described in 1817. The responsible bacterium, Clostridium botulinum, was not isolated until 1895. Seven different subtypes of botulinum toxin (A-G) are known. A highly dilute preparation of botulinum toxin type A (Botox®) was introduced in clinical practice in the 1970s and 1980s to treat squint and blepharospasm. Since then it has found uses in other areas of medicine including dystonia (including writer’s cramp), post-stroke spasticity, and chronic migraine. amoung other clinical uses.
Botulinum toxin and Hyperhidrosis
Up to 2.8% of the population suffer with hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is a condition that occurs when the sweat glands are overactive. Axillary hyperhidrosis refers to excess sweat in the armpit area.
Before you receive Botox® treatment it is important that you have seen your GP and established there are no other causes for this condition ie thyroid disorders, tumors , neurologic or psychiatric conditions.
We would also want to ensure you have tried dietary restriction ie caffiene/ chocolate and over the counter aluminium chloride ( drysol) antiperspirants.
Botox® is not permanent and some people may get greater benefit than others. In hyperhidrosis Botox helps to stop or greatly reduce the symptoms. This will usually happen within two weeks of treatment and the effects may last between four and seven months. If you find that this treatment has helped you, it can be repeated, this will give you the greatest benefit.
How does botulinum toxin work in hyperhidrosis?
Botulinum Toxin, otherwise known as ‘Botox®’ is a treatment given by injection into the skin. It is a preparation of protein and when small doses are injected into the skin, it blocks the signals from the nervous system that supply the sweat glands; this stops them working so hard and prevents them from producing so much sweat.
How long does the procedure take?
At The Head Clinic we like to take 10 mins to take a good history about your symptoms and ensure that secondary causes have been excluded. the actual process of injecting takes approx 20-30 mins.
Some clinics routinely do a starch and iodine test before commencing the injections. However many experts have now advised this test can just be reserved for patients that have had an area not respond to treatment to show up where a top up is needed.
How do I prepare for this procedure?
shave the axilla at least 24 hrs before injections
try to avoid wearing deodorant for 24 hrs prior to treatment
if able -avoid taking aspirin or ibuprofen during 7 days leading up to the treatment ( this is ideal but still safe to proceed if unable to adhere to this)
Does it hurt?
At The Head Clinic we do all we can to make it as comfortable as possible.
We will position you so you can relax, and we will administer the series of injections efficiently to minimize discomfort. At the patients request we can apply local anesthetic cream on areas .However without anesthetic patients describe it as a tiny sting which lasts no more than 2-3 seconds.
Who can inject Botox® for hyperhidrosis ?
It is important to ascertain the practitioner is a qualified prescriber and has attended an advanced botuinum toxin course that is certified. They should also be able to show proof of their insurance to inject botox.
Availability of Botox® for treating hyperhidrosis on the NHS
NICE guidance does suggest that this treatment can sometimes be performed on the NHS , but availability varies depending on referral pathways and if suitable providers exist in that locality.
Why are The Head Clinic offering to provide this treatment privately if I can possibly get it free on the NHS?
Several reasons -
some patients have had their 2 treatments on the NHS and therefore no longer qualify for further treatment but wish to pay to continue with Botox®
some patients are under a private scheme and may be able to claim it through the private insurance system.
some patients may not fit the strict criteria that the NHS insist upon but are still keen to try to see if their hyperhidrosis can be improved with treatment.
some have been referred on the NHS but are having to wait up to 6 months for their first appointment.
some boroughs do not have this treatment available on the NHS