Many patients come to our office distressed about excessive sweating from their armpits. For some unlucky people, clothing is visibly wet within an hour of taking a shower, clothing is frequently ruined, and the social stigma of “pitting-out” is constantly on their minds. These patients often wear only black clothing, layer their clothing, or even put absorptive padding in their armpits to try to keep their clothing dry.
Botox—Not Just for Wrinkles
Although there are several different treatments aimed at decreasing underarm sweating, one of the most effective is Botox. You may have heard of Botox injections to decrease wrinkles on the face, but Botox can also be used to decrease underarm sweating, too. It works by blocking the chemical messenger that signals sweating to begin in the areas that are injected. Botox for sweating is one of my favorite procedures to perform – it’s so well-tolerated, has very little risk, and dramatically improves patients’ lives.
How it’s Done
Treatment is done in the dermatology clinic and doesn’t require any anesthesia. The medication is injected into the hair baring areas of the armpits. Sweating tends to markedly decrease or completely stop in the injected areas within days and lasts for 6-12 months or longer. At that time, sweating will gradually recur and patients know it’s time for another injection.
Many insurance companies cover the treatment for patients who have significant sweating and who have failed prescription antiperspirants. It’s also very safe and approved by the FDA. A great resource for patients suffering from severe sweating is the International Hyperhidrosis Society’s website.
If you are plagued by daily underarm wetness, consider talking to a dermatologist about Botox injections. One to two treatments per year may change your life!