Recently the FDA approved the use of Botox for headaches. Neurologists have been using Botox to treat chronic headaches for years but the treatment was “off label” which means it was not FDA approved. People with chronic migraines experience a migraine more than 14 days of the month.
In the clinical trials, these patients were treated with Botox or placebo injections every 12 weeks. They received the injections into the forehead and neck. Treated patients had significant improvement in their migraines when compared to patients that received the placebo injections. In the study, some of the patients in the Botox group did experience worse headaches because of the injections so this treatment isn’t for everyone; however, most of the treated patients got better.
Of course, a great side effect is that all patients that got Botox had less wrinkles! So if you suffer from chronic migraines, ask your doctor about this newly approved treatment.
Dysport is a new treatment that was introduced last year for wrinkles. It is an injection done by your dermatologist to treat wrinkles on the face, similar to Botox. Like Botox, Dysport is FDA approved to treat frown lines, as well as crows feet around the eyes and wrinkles on the forehead.
Dysport and Botox both contain the active ingredient botulinum toxin type A. Dysport and Botox do have slightly different inactive ingredients, and therefore, are not identical products. Botulinum toxin injections work by relaxing the muscles in the face that cause wrinkles. They work on the wrinkles that occur when you frown or raise your eyebrows. The treatments last 3 to 4 months and have to be repeated. Based on my clinical experience, Botox and Dysport are very similar when treating crows feet and frown lines. I do lower the dose of Dysport slightly when treating the forehead. In Europe and South America, where Dysport has been available for many years, they are also used interchangeably. Dysport is diluted differently than Botox so it is impossible to do an exact comparison of the two products. However, the bottom line is that if you have used Botox in the past and want to try Dysport, you can expect similar results.
Hyperhidrosis is the medical name for excess sweating. It is a very common condition and can occur anywhere on the body but the most common locations are the underarms, hands, and feet. I treat many patients with hyperhidrosis and it is one of the most challenging conditions we treat in dermatology. Patients who suffer from hyperhidrosis often feel isolated and embarrassed by this medical condition especially in social situations. Hyperhidrosis is not caused by “nerves”. It is a true medical condition and it can be treated. Topical aluminum chloride like Hydrosal Pro is extremely effective at controlling hyperhidrosis. If topical therapies alone do not work, they can be combined other therapies like Botox. Botox can be injected into the underarms, hands, feet and even the groin to stop sweating. It lasts around 3-4 months and works great at stopping excessive sweating. Iontopheresis is a procedure that can treat hyperhidrosis of the hands and feet. Liposuction can be done in the underarms to remove the sweat glands that cause excess sweating in that area. Last but not least,there is a pill that can be taken as needed called Robinul which works well for generalized sweating. So if you or someone you know has hyperhidrosis, it is important to recognize that this condition can be treated. The website sweathelp.org is a great resource to learn more about this condition and to also to find a physician who specializes in hyperhidrosis in your area.