Do you suffer from excessive underarm sweating to the point where anti-perspirant simply does not work? Are you perspiring through all of your shirts regardless of the temperature? Underarm Botox may be just what you need. Read on.
How does Botox work on sweating?
OnabotulinumtoxinA (Botox), is a natural, purified protein with the ability to temporarily block the secretion of the chemical that is responsible for “turning on” the body’s sweat glands. By blocking, or interrupting, this chemical messenger, botulinum toxin “turns off” sweating at the area where it has been injected. Botox injections are very shallow, meaning that the medicine is injected just below the surface of the skin, where it remains. When used in this area the actions are the same as using it on the muscles in the face, the difference is it acts on glands instead of muscles. Botox intercepts the message telling the glands to secrete sweat, so they don’t.
What is the procedure like?
Injections can be administered in a clinician’s office, require relatively little time (very experienced medical professionals can inject both underarms in less than 15 minutes), and do not demand any restrictions in work or leisure activity (aside from refraining from intensive exercise or the use of a sauna on the day of the injections). Prior to Botox injections in the underarms, it’s best not to shave that area. Many clinicians, in fact, prefer three to four days of hair growth prior to Botox injections.
During the procedure, a very fine needle is used to inject tiny amounts of Botox just under the skin intermittently throughout the area of excessive sweating (in a grid pattern, approximately every 1 to 2 centimeters.) Multiple injections are given based on your clinician’s assessment of the area that needs to be treated. To ease any potential discomfort, clinicians may use a topical anesthetic.
Does it really work? For how long?
Research demonstrates that treating excessive sweating of the armpits with onabotulinumtoxinA is safe and effective. When used to treat underarm sweating, Botox has been shown to result in an 82-87% decrease in sweating. Results start to be noticeable approximately 2 to 4 days after treatment with the full effects usually noted within 2 weeks. Dryness typically lasts 4 to 12 months, but some studies have found it can last as long as 14 months. Statistics from published research studies have shown that repeated treatment with Botox is safe and effective for hyperhidrosis and consistently results in meaningful, long-lasting improvements in an excessive sweating patient’s symptoms, daily functioning, and quality of life. Botox treatment for hyperhidrosis has also been scientifically proven to improve on-the-job productivity.
But isn’t sweating necessary to regulate the body temperature?
Just to be clear: Sweating is an essential and totally normal bodily function that keeps humans from overheating. Botox is used as a localized treatment, so stopping the sweat in one area doesn’t affect the other areas of the body. While sweating is an essential body function for temperature-control, localized body areas house only a small percentage of the body’s sweat glands (the underarms, for instance, are home to less than 2% of the body’s sweat glands.) The temporary cessation of these sweat glands’ functioning, therefore, has little to do with body thermoregulation.