Botulinum Toxin is a medicine produced by the bacteria that, very rarely, causes Botulism food poisoning. Botox is not alive but is a protein, which weakens and inactivates muscles. Botox is a potent toxin that blocks neuromuscular transmission in the area into which it is injected. In other words it can stop messages from being sent from a neuron to a muscle, or a sweat gland, and thereby can stop the muscle or gland from performing tasks. This is another example where 'natural, products are used for medicinal purposes; fungi produce penicillin. cowpox virus protects against smallpox, foxglove plant produces the poison, digitalis which millions of patients take daily for heart disease. Now with bioengineering it is common for bacteria to produce the necessary medicine for a specific disease.

While Botox is very potent in a high concentration, it is used in very small quantities with high margins of safety. After an area is injected, its first effects are not seen for around 48 hours and the complete effect may not be seen for 2 weeks.

Botox for Hyperhidrosis
Botox has recently been shown to help in reducing localised sweating. Recent studies have shown that Botox injections can treat Hyperhidrosis of the face, palms, soles of the feet and the axillae (underarms). This treatment is designed to reduce sweat production from the axillae or palms. Use of prescription medications (e.g. Pro­Banthine, propantheline bromide) and aluminium salts are alternative treatments but may cause side effects. Use of over the counter antiperspirants and deodorants is permitted and may also be helpful to you.

What happens during the injection visit?
An iodine test will be perfonned on all patients. A solution containing iodine (a dye) will be painted over your palms or underarms. Once dry, starch powder will be applied. Sweat turns the co lour of this to dark blue. A photograph of the relevant area will then be taken to evaluate the severity of the sweating. This tells the doctor where you are sweating and therefore where he/she needs to inject the Botox.

Who should not have Botox
Although there have been no reports of birth defects following treatment with this medicine, there may be unknown risks to pregnant women and their unborn children. It is also our policy not to inject Botox into nursing mothers.
Patients with a history of neuromuscular disease (multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis) or other types of illnesses involving neurotransmission should avoid this medicine.

What should be expected after Botox therapy?
You may get some localised discomfort and/or bruising lasting for a few days after treatment. This generally occurs much less under the arms than in any other areas. It is expected that the bruising will clear within 1 week. Bruising may be greater in patients who are taking aspirin or any other blood thinning medication. These products should be avoided if possible prior to the injections.

How long does Botox last?
The effects of Botox against sweating may last for between 4 and 18 months. This wide variation in results is currently being researched.

How often is re-injection needed?
You can decide when you need to be re-treated. This is usually when your sweating again becomes troublesome for you.

What are the alternatives to Botox?
Oral medicines, topical lotions and liquids, an electrical skin treatment called iontophoresis, or surgery to cut the nerve channels. In general these treatments all have their own particular side effects, complications or relative lack of effect.

How exactly does Botox inactivate the sweating?
By blocking the nerve transmission chemical to either the sweat gland or the muscles controlling the release of sweat. Further research studies are being conducted into this exact action.

Does the body make antibodies to the Botox protein?
Yes, especially if enough toxin is injected often enough. The crucial amount is several hundred units (much less than the usual cosmetic dosage) and perhaps booster injections placed within 1 month of the initial treatment. Antibodies have been more of a problem for neurological disorders, where larger amounts of Botox are required.

When sufficient amounts of antibodies are formed the therapeutic effects of Botox are greatly reduced. A very small number of people ha\e antibodies that inactivate the Botox (probably from foods eaten previously). They will not improve significantly, if at all.

Have there been any reported cases of allergic reactions or hives?
No reported cases of a true allergic reaction have been reported. People who are known to be allergic to Botulism toxin or albumin should avoid Botox.

What happens if a female patient becomes pregnant shortly before or after treatment?
A number of neurological and ophthalmological patients have delivered normal children after receiving their injections. For safety reasons however no pregnant or nursing females will be treated.

How painful are the injections?
We try to make the injections as painless as possible using a combination of anaesthesia, ice and/or the use of injected local anaesthetics. However, the injections can be painful, especially to the palms. It is advised not to use aspirin or other anticoagulant drugs as this can increase the risk of bruising.

What is the cost?

The cost of each treatment varies. The cost is directly associated with the time it takes to treat certain areas. At the Hampshire Laser Clinic, we can offer very competitive and affordable laser treatments because we only use fast, state of the art lasers. Please use our contact form or call us on- 01420 52 00 33 (Bentley Clinic) or 01483 23 36 53 (Woking Clinic) for specific costs or general enquiries.

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