BOTOX FOR SWEATING
In some people, the body’s mechanism for cooling itself is overactive — so overactive that they may sweat four or five times more than is necessary, or normal. When sweating is this extreme it can be embarrassing, uncomfortable, anxiety-inducing, dangerous, and disabling. It often disrupts all aspects of a person's life, from career choices and recreational activities to relationships, emotional well-being, and self-confidence. This kind of excessive sweating is a serious medical condition. It's called hyperhidrosis and it afflicts millions of people around the world (nearly 5% of the world's population). But, due to lack of awareness among sufferers and lack of education among medical professionals, most people are never diagnosed or relieved of their symptoms.
How Botox Treats Hyperhidrosis
Sweat glands that are located in the underarms, palms, soles or other body sites require a nerve impulse for activation. Without this nerve stimulation, the sweat glands are not able to secrete sweat. Botox stops the nerve impulses from reaching the sweat glands, effectely stopping sweat production. The results are apparent in 2 to 4 days and usually last 6 to 9 months, although individual results may vary. When the sweating returns, retreatment is necessary. The procedure involves injecting small quantities of Botox (a purified protein) into the affected areas. The area can be anesthetized with a topical anesthetic 30 minutes before the procedure so that the injections are virtually painless, although most patients do not require this. Botox has been used for various medical applications for over 25 years and is very safe and effective.
Health Insurance Coverage of Botox for Sweating
Most extended health plans will cover the cost of Botox Therapeutic for the treatment of underarm hyperhidrosis. A few plans cover treatment for hands and feet although many do not. After the initial consultation, Dr. Maloney will provide you with a letter for your insurance company. A prescription will be furnished for Botox Hyperhidrosis and the treatment is performed on a subsequent visit. An injection fee is charged which is not usually recoverable under most extended health plans. Patients should confirm coverage with their carrier.
More information about hyperhidrosis can be found at www.sweathelp.org, the website of the International Hyperhidrosis Society and www.sweatless.ca.
Frey's Syndrome (Gustatory Sweating)
Frey's Syndrome refers to a condition where nerves that should go to the parotid gland (salivary gland in front of the ear) instead hook up to the overlying skin sweat glands. The result is sweating, sometime profuse, in the region of involvement when the person eats, drinks or thinks about food. The cause is usually a side effect of having surgery to remove the parotid gland. It can also occur after trauma, infections and other rare causes.
Although reduction in facial sweating after treatment lasts 12 months or longer, some patients get a much longer response, often several years. The treatment is repeated when the sweating recurs at a point that it is again bothersome.
As this treatment (very superficial injections of Botox Hyperhidrosis as per above) is given away from important structures/muscles, there is minimal risk.
Some patients do have coverage for Frey's Syndrome therapy for product cost, an injection fee is charged with is not a benefit under extended health plans and coverage should be ascertained prior. A letter from Dr. Maloney can be provided to help facilitate.
Dr. Maloney is happy to provide hyperhidrosis treatments at:
101-8644 120 Street,
Triniti Laser Clinic and Medical Spa
210 6th Street,
New Westminster, B.C.
False Creek Skin Solution Clinic,
660A Leg in Boot Square,
Vancouver, B.C. V5Z 4B3