A Sweaty Mess

I’m a self admitted geek. My husband and I watch anything geeky (can I say intellectual instead?) whether online or on tv.  All this to say is that we saw something really funny years ago on the net that is known by most geeks. The miniseries is called “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”   It features Neil Patrick Harris as Dr.Horrible, an aspiring singer.  It’s hilarious.  You can view it here. Many well know actors are in it as well.  One of these actors  is Simon Helberg who plays Howard Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory.  He also plays Dr. Horrible’s friend and sidekick in the mini series. His name is Moist and Dr. Horrible
calls him his “evil moisture buddy.”  Dr. Moist has trouble opening jars and he often holds out his hands asking if he can make anything moist for Dr. Horrible. Does this sound familiar?

unnamedAround the time of high school, I noticed that I would often sweat excessively. Most of my triggers were social. I would get nervous around a boy I liked and BOOM, sweat would start dripping, my armpits and my hands would get moist, I would start blushing (as if excessive sweating wasn’t enough) and my chest and neck blotch up like crazy!!  I would feel extremely self-conscious, insecure, and anxious.

This excess sweat made me reluctant to do things that would expose my condition – things like dancing, holding hands and shaking hands or wearing certain clothes.

As you can imagine, it was worse during interviews, public speaking and on my wedding day and my children’s wedding days.  It affected my ability to use my smart phones – and we don’t need to go into groin sweat (!).  Now that I’m past 50, the menopause years, heat is truly my enemy and hot flashes have not helped with my excessive sweating to say the least.

Another major problem was keeping my dark sleeveless tops clean after applying my thick white cream deodorant.  Trying to manoeuvre my shirt on without getting the deodorant on the rest of the shirt was frustratingly amusing to say the least.

All this to say that since I’ve been employed at Dermafina for just over 6 months now and have seen many patients come into the office for a treatment of Botulinum toxin A (Botox) for axillary hyperhidrosis.  So many claimed that it was a great relief and they felt so much better about the treatment that stopped their excessive underarm sweating.

What Is Hyperhidrosis?

Here’s the quick definition; Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating. It affects three percent of the world population. It most often occurs on the hands and feet and armpits (axilla). In people with hyperhidrosis, the body overreacts to stimuli and causes the sweat glands to be overactive, kind of like a faucet that won’t turn off. Many people with this condition don’t realize they have it, or that it even has a recognized medical name. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to be embarrassed or ashamed of your medical condition.

After careful discussion with Dr.Krasny, we decided that I could benefit from the treatment. First of all, I unnamedmust let you know that Botulinum toxin A is approved by Health Canada for the treatment of hyperhidrosis.

All medical organizations consider focal hyperhidrosis to be a medical problem, and therefore this treatment is considered be medical, not cosmetic, in nature. Many insurance companies actually cover the cost of the treatment so it’s affordable in addition to being life-changing.

The day of the treatment I was nervous.  I’d had Botox treatment done in my face but how would the pain of multiple needles in my armpit feel?  I put on a wrap and lay on the medical table.  Dr.Krasny had prepared the amount of needles required and then it started.  The first needle was a little painful, something like a mosquito bite.  After that,  there wasn’t much pain.  The injections were all placed within a circle that Dr.Krasny had drawn of the area to be treated.  I guess my nerves had gotten the best of
me for that first needle and then, once I knew what the deal was, it wasn’t bad at all.  Honestly, I would rather do this treatment then go to the dentist!

Afterwards, Dr.Krasny wiped off my armpits and that was it. The whole thing lasted only about 15 minutes and it was done. I continued my work as if nothing had happened.  The only after-effect was a slight bit of discomfort and swelling at the injection site.

My post-treatment instructions were to not use deodorant for 12 hours, no heavy exercise for 24 hours, and to gently clean and dry my underarms using a mild soap/cleanser.  Dr.Krasny noted that I may begin to experience results within 4-7 days, and the full effectiveness is achieved at 14 days.

The next morning my armpits were a little bruised and a little sensitive but really that was all. Dr.Krasny told me that effects of Botox can typically last 4-9 months. After my first Botox treatment, the effects started to show in a week. It was very strange in a good way – almost like I forgot I had ever suffered from HH!

Sometimes I get nervous because I’m so used to putting on so much deodorant and it just feels weird that I don’t have to.  But I’ve not needed to use anything since the Botox took effect!

The first time that I put on that black sleeveless blouse was honestly liberating.  I don’t have to think about getting deodorant on my blouse before work and needing to change again.

So if you’re suffering with excessive sweating, I GET IT!

But you don’t have to suffer anymore…

-Nancy Lockett

 

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