Botox is a treatment that involves the injection of a toxin into the skin and it has both medical and cosmetic uses, and some people find it effective in reducing excessive sweating.
This article discusses the safety and effectiveness of Botox injections to treat excessive sweating. We also outline the treatment procedure, and provide tips for preparation and aftercare.
Does it work?
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved Botox injections to treat excessive underarm sweating. It works by blocking a chemical in the body that activates the sweat glands.
According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, underarm Botox injections can reduce underarm sweating by 82–87%. The effects can typically last 4–12 months, or up to 14 months in some cases.
People who receive underarm Botox injections tend to see results 2–4 days after treatment. The full effects are usually noticeable within 2 weeks.
However, Botox is not a permanent solution for excessive underarm sweating. A single treatment lasts around 4–12 months, so a person needs ongoing injections.
To date, the FDA have approved Botox injections for underarm use only. However, a doctor may prescribe the treatment for excessive sweating elsewhere on the body, such as the hands, feet, head, or face.
How does it work?
Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin made by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. Neurotoxins are substances that affect the structure or function of the nervous system.
Botox alters the function of certain neurotransmitters. These are chemicals in the body that instruct the body to react in a certain way. Botox blocks the neurotransmitter that tells the sweat glands to activate, to control sweating in the injection area.
Botox injections can be expensive. An approximate cost for both underarms is $1,000, and a person needs to repeat the treatment every 7–16 months, so the expenses can add up.
Health insurance providers may cover the cost of Botox for excessive sweating. However, some may do so if a person can show other treatments do not work.
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