A long-term solution to control perspiration, Botox can be very effective.
Recently, the internet went berserk when model Chrissy Teigen shared that she got Botox injections for sweating in her armpits. The Lip Sync Battle host described it as “truly the best move I have ever made." With this, she seems to have brought Botox treatment for hyperhidrosis back in trend.
What is hyperhidrosis?
According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s a condition that refers to “abnormally excessive sweating that's not necessarily related to heat or exercise.” Botox as a cosmetic treatment looks like a good option for people who don’t want to sweat from their pits. However, it’s important to know more about the procedure before going for it.
While sweating is healthy and is considered to be a normal phenomenon, a lot of people don’t know that excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis is also a common condition, and usually starts in the late adolescent years. Dr Steve Fallek, Medical Director at BeautyFix Med Spa, US, said, "An estimated 2 per cent to 3 per cent of Americans suffer from excessive sweating of the underarms." Hyperhidrosis doesn’t necessarily imply that a person has any underlying medical issues, but “excessive underarm sweating is still a significant problem for many people," said Dr Joshua Zeichner, Director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, US.
Botox for excessive sweating
Even though anti-perspirants are effective in controlling armpit sweat, Botox is ideal if you’re looking for a long-term solution. Botox as a treatment for perspiration was approved by FDA in 2004. "Normally the nervous system activates sweat glands when the body temperature rises. When Botox is injected directly into the area of your body that commonly sweats, the overactive nerves are essentially paralyzed," Dr Fallek explained. The results are visible 10 days after the treatment and last for about six to eight months. "When nerves can’t signal sweat glands, you don’t sweat."
Dr. Zeichner said that ideally the procedure is done within 10 minutes. A numbing agent is used on the patients 30 minutes prior to the treatment to relieve them of physical discomfort. A grid is laid onto the underarm pit which creates temporary dots, making marks where the drug is injected into the skin. Patients can return to their routine once the procedure is complete, but should follow-up with their physicians if they feel the need for a retouch.
Most of the people tolerate Botox well, Dr Fallek said. However, "for some people who have significant sweating, it won’t get rid of it all at once. But it will definitely help significantly." Normally, it also doesn’t lead to compensatory sweating (where sweating occurs in other areas to make up for reduced sweating in underarms.)
Another problem is that the treatment is expensive. The treatment costs about USD 900 to USD 1200 for a single session, he explained. But more often than not, the results have been incredible, and you get to wear your favourite dress even in the hottest weather.