How Can BOTOX® Help With Excessive Sweating?

People who live with a medical condition known as hyperhidrosis—the technical name for excessive sweating—typically get used to planning ahead. The reality of regularly soaked shirts requires constant forethought, including scheduling time for strategic showers and always having a change of clothes at hand.  

While eternal vigilance is one way to deal with hyperhidrosis, there is another solution in the form of BOTOX®. New York-based plastic surgeon Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh has a long history of working with the injectable for not just cosmetic, but medical applications. He frequently discusses its benefits with patients seeking relief for chronic migraines, an overactive bladder, and eyelid spasms. Over the years, he has found that many men and women who come to him are surprised to discover that a prescription cosmetic most famously known for tackling forehead lines is also a reliable and safe option for treating excessive sweating

Perhaps even more surprisingly, this is not a new development. The FDA first approved BOTOX® for use in treating “severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis” in 2004. At least 19 other countries also approved the injectable for that same application. 

Just as the active agent in BOTOX® blocks signals that command muscles to flex, it can also interfere with messages intended for sweat glands. The sweat-production process requires an uninhibited flow of information, so disrupting that communication line keeps glands from producing their fluid. Sweat glands are not damaged or destroyed. They are merely given a break that can last for months. 

The effects can take an average of three days to first appear. As the glands are increasingly powered down, the results will continue to improve, with ideal dryness achieved at roughly the two-week mark. Research shows that the amount of sweat produced in a treated area can ultimately reduce by almost 90 percent.

 Every person’s body reacts differently to BOTOX®, so the window of duration is a large one. Patients can reasonably expect their results to last for a minimum of four months, with reports of the upper end reaching 12 or even 14 months. 

No matter the longevity of the results, treatments can be repeated in an ongoing maintenance plan. Once sweat glands begin operating again, a new round of injections can shut the process down for another block of time.

 There is no concern of overheating due to long-term underarm sweat reduction, since only about 2 percent of the body’s sweat glands are found in the armpit area. Switching these glands off still leaves the remaining 98 percent of sweat glands all over the body to handle thermal regulation, expelling waste, and the other vital jobs they do. There is also little to no concern of “compensatory sweating,” which is the idea that other glands would start producing more to pick up the treated glands’ slack. 

Anyone considering BOTOX® as a treatment for hyperhidrosis should know that it is important to work only with trained and licensed medical professionals who are experienced in using BOTOX® specifically. There are other, similar products available for smoothing facial lines, but they are not interchangeable. Dosing standards, storage and application methods, and other variables are unique to each product, making it critically important to choose the proper provider. 

All treatment plans should start with a consultation, which is the ideal time for prospective patients to get answers to their questions about hyperhidrosis, as well as to discover more about a provider’s education, background, and experience.  Every decision should be a well-informed one. That said, with the right team in place, anyone dealing with excessive underarm sweating can take a break from planning ahead and simply enjoy daily living without the worry of soggy underarms. 

To find out more about how BOTOX® can be used to treat hyperhidrosis—as well as its numerous other applications—send a message online or call Alizadeh Cosmoplastic Surgery in Long Island (516.439.5010) or Manhattan and Westchester (212.348.0100).