BOTOX® is a popular cosmetic treatment—used to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles and lines—but did you know it can also treat excessive sweating? If you suffer from hyperhidrosis—excessive sweating—under your arms, on your hands or feet, or on your scalp, BOTOX injections could be the treatment that provides relief.
What Is Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating)?
It’s normal to sweat. In fact, it’s an important way for the body to regulate its own temperature. But excessive sweating can be uncomfortable, distressing, and embarrassing. It can have a profound impact on your quality of life. For some people, the distress of excessive sweating prevents them from attending social functions or enjoying physical activities.
This level of sweating is often caused by a medical condition called hyperhidrosis. People with this condition may sweat excessively all over their body, or in certain locations only. For instance, some people sweat excessively under their arms. This is called axillary hyperhidrosis. Some people sweat on their hands or feet, or on their face or scalp.
If you have mild hyperhidrosis, you might find that a good antiperspirant is enough to keep your sweating at a comfortable level. But for some people, even the strongest antiperspirants don’t provide relief. In these cases, BOTOX may be the solution.
How Underarm BOTOX Can Stop Excessive Sweating
BOTOX is best known as a cosmetic treatment for facial lines and wrinkles, but it has other uses too. Injections of BOTOX work to combat sweating because the active ingredient—onabotulinumtoxin A—can prevent sweat glands from activating. It does so by blocking the chemical messenger that signals the body’s sweat glands to start producing sweat.
What Happens During a BOTOX Treatment
When you have a BOTOX treatment, the injection area is numbed before the BOTOX is applied. This helps reduce any pain you may feel, like pin pricks and perhaps some quick stinging sensations.
The procedure doesn’t take long; it can be done in a single session. Once it’s over, you can return to work as normal. There’s no downtime and no recovery time.
How Effective Is BOTOX for Sweating?
BOTOX is a highly effective treatment for severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis, or severe underarm sweating. It can decrease underarm sweating by up to 88%, and it takes only 2 to 4 days for the treatment to start working. The full effects are usually seen within a couple of weeks.
It’s hard to predict how long the treatment will remain effective. It depends on the person and on the location where they have injections. Most people find that their BOTOX treatments last six to nine months. Research has shown that the treatment is safe and effective in the long term, so you can have as many repeat injections as you need to keep your sweating under control.
Although BOTOX injections can stop underarm sweat in its tracks, remember that it’s a local treatment, not an all-over one. If you have BOTOX injections in your underarms to treat excessive sweating there, you’ll still sweat elsewhere on your body.
While BOTOX can keep you from sweating when injected under your arms, it does not prevent underarm body odor, as it’s not actually sweat that causes BO. The culprit is the bacteria that live on your skin! Those bacteria feed on nutrient secretions in sweat, and the odor is a by-product. Your underarm smell may reduce a little after BOTOX for sweating, but overall your body odor won’t change much.
BOTOX Is a Safe Way to Treat Hyperhidrosis
Studies show that it’s safe to use BOTOX as a treatment for hyperhidrosis and that it’s safe to have repeat treatments. It has been used in clinical trials to treat adolescents with hyperhidrosis.
You might wonder how your body will regulate its temperature without sweating in the area you receive BOTOX. Getting BOTOX injections under both arms affects only a small fraction of the sweat glands on your body and won’t hinder your body’s ability to keep cool because there are sweat glands located all over your skin.
Side Effects of BOTOX
Most people tolerate BOTOX injections without experiencing any serious side effects. Many people do have some minor side effects, such as bruising and pain at their injection sites. Some people might also have short-lived flu-like symptoms.
Most side effects of BOTOX for sweating are temporary. However, people who receive BOTOX injections in their hands and feet may have some weakness that lasts for the duration of the treatment. If you’re thinking about having BOTOX in these areas, it’s important to consider how you might deal with this side effect if it happens.
There are some serious side effects of BOTOX, such as muscle weakness, trouble breathing, and incontinence. However, these are extremely rare. If you see an experienced practitioner, your risk of serious side effects is minimal.
The Cost of BOTOX Treatment for Hyperhidrosis
The cost of BOTOX as a sweat treatment is typically higher than cosmetic BOTOX. This is because the skin contains a lot of sweat glands. Even if you only have your underarms treated, more injections are needed than if BOTOX is injected for facial wrinkles and lines.
If you have BOTOX for underarm sweating, you can expect to pay around $1,000 for both underarms. The good news is, your insurance might cover it! BOTOX injections for lines and wrinkles aren’t covered by insurance because these elective procedures are for cosmetic purposes only. If you have BOTOX for hyperhidrosis, your insurance might pay because it can be classed as a medical treatment.
If you want your insurance to cover BOTOX for hyperhidrosis, you may need to meet some qualifying circumstances. For instance, you’ll probably need to try other treatments first, including prescription antiperspirants. Make sure to check with your insurance company to find out what you need to do to have your BOTOX treatment covered.
Imagining Life Without Excessive Sweat
BOTOX is an effective treatment for hyperhidrosis. It reduces the amount of sweat you produce considerably, giving your quality of life a boost. If you’d prefer not to keep up with regular BOTOX injections for excessive sweating, imagine how useful an occasional treatment could be! There are many times when any person would prefer to do without the hassle that sweating causes. If you’re in a wedding party or walking down the aisle yourself, giving an important presentation, or going on vacation somewhere steamy, treat yourself with BOTOX ahead of time to keep sweat at bay.
If excessive sweating is a problem for you, BOTOX injections could help you feel fresher, more secure, and more confident!
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