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Botox for Sweating: How the Injectable Can Stop Excessive Sweat

BY: Editors | Jan 28, 2019

Woman smiling, lying on bed with her arms over her head

Have you ever noticed that celebrities don't sweat? Even if they're parading down a red carpet in sweltering heat, you won't see a hint of underarm moisture. Their secret? Botox for sweating.

Many celebrities reportedly have Botox injected into their armpits before events. That's because Botox can curb even the most excessive sweating, AKA hyperhidrosis. Here's a rundown on how you can use Botox for excessive sweating.

How does Botox for sweating work?

Back in 1993, two physicians researching the treatment of facial spasms discovered one of the more interesting side effects of Botox—it minimized sweating. When injected into the dermis, the layer of skin where sweat glands, hair follicles, and nerve endings are found, Botox attaches to nerve endings, interrupting signals from the nervous system that activate sweat glands. It’s most effective in areas with more hair follicles.

The FDA has since approved using Botox for underarm sweating. According to the Botox website, Botox injections can reduce the amount of underarm sweat produced by more than half, with really noticeable improvement during the first four weeks.

Note: Some doctors use Botox “off-label” on excessively sweaty palms and feet, though according to the manufacturer, it is not known if Botox is safe or effective for sweating anywhere other than your armpits.

Just how sweaty do I need to be for this?

The manufacturer recommends using Botox for sweating if you haven't found relief from over-the-counter or prescription antiperspirants. Other indicators include having to change clothes multiple times a day due to sweating or keeping towels or deodorants on hand to manage perspiration.

However, some people do use the injections to treat less serious cases of sweating (ahem, celebs).

Woman happy on beach with arms over her head

How many injections do I need?

During an appointment, the doctor generally administers 10–15 injections to each underarm. But don't worry, the needle is pretty fine.

How long does it last?

Results can last for nearly seven months—that's about three to four months longer than the results last with Botox for wrinkles.

But wait—doesn't my body need to sweat?

Yes, of course. Sweat is how your body regulates temperature. However, people with hyperhidrosis have overactive sweat glands, and their sweating significantly exceeds the body’s normal requirement for cooling.

Plus, your body has as many as 4 million sweat glands. There will still be plenty of healthy sweating going on.

Am I eligible for this treatment?

According to the manufacturer, you must be at least 18 years old and experience severe underarm sweating that won’t respond to topical medicines. Only a doctor can determine this.  

Do not get Botox for excessive underarm sweat if you:

  • Are allergic to any of the ingredients in Botox or to any other botulinum toxin product (Dysport, Xeomin, etc.)
  • Have an infection at the planned injection site

Inform your doctor if you:

  • Have a disease that affects your muscles and nerves (such as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, myasthenia gravis, or Lambert-Eaton syndrome)
  • Have had injections of any other botulinum toxin product in the past
  • Have bleeding problems
  • Have drooping eyelids
  • Have plans to have surgery
  • Have had surgery on your face
  • Are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. It is not known if Botox can harm an unborn baby or pass into breast milk.

What are the Botox for sweating side effects?

Possible side effects include:

  • Life-threatening complications, including problems swallowing, speaking, or breathin
  • Allergic reactions such as rashes and welts
  • Discomfort or pain at the injection site
  • Spread of toxin effect: Areas away from the injection site may be affected by such problems as muscle weakness, double or blurred vision, drooping eyelids, and loss of bladder control. However:
    • This is a general side effect associated with all Botox injections.
    • There has not been a confirmed serious case of spread of toxin effect away from the injection site when Botox has been used at the recommended dose to treat severe underarm sweating.

Read all of the safety considerations for using Botox for sweating here.

Source

Most of the information contained in this article is from Botox's manufacturer, Allergan. Learn more here. Some information is from the nonprofit International Hyperhidrosis Society. Learn more here.

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