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Image of a fake hand representing botox for sweating

Botox for sweating - can it help?

Medically reviewed by
Dr. Samah Mohamed Mustafa from Al Qadi Medical Center

If you struggle with unpredictable or unmanageable perspiration, Botox injections could stop your sweat in its tracks.

While Botox is best known as a cosmetic treatment, it’s fast gaining traction as a weapon against excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). The International Hyperhidrosis Society notes that it can lead to an underarm sweat reduction of up to 87 per cent.

Effective though it may be, it’s only a temporary solution. Before you decide on Botox to stop sweating, it’s worth looking into the procedure in more detail.

So, from the costs to the aftercare, what do you need to know?

Fast facts

  • Best results

    1 session every 6 months

  • Duration of results

    6 months

  • Back to work

    Same day

  • Full recovery time

    48 hours

  • Price range

    From 1,300 SAR

  • Treatment duration

    Ten minutes

  • Comfort

    Mild discomfort

  • Treatment type

    Minimally invasive

What is Botox?

Botox injections contain the diluted botulinum toxin A, from the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. As a neurotoxin, botulinum disrupts our nerve structure – and can be extremely dangerous when undiluted or used incorrectly.

However, when administered in a controlled, medical setting, it can block unwanted neurological functions in our body. It’s most famously used to stop those muscle contractions in the face that cause wrinkles.

Botox has since been adopted to treat a range of medical conditions – including acne scarring and excessive sweating.

How does Botox for sweating work?

If you’ve chosen Botox to stop sweating, you'll receive a series of injections to the underarm or other area affected.

These injections block nerve signals to the sweat glands and stop them producing sweat.

The procedure will normally follow this process:

  • Your practitioner will numb the area with ice or local anaesthetic.
  • They will inject small amounts of Botox beneath the skin, normally following a grid pattern spaced one to two centimetres apart.

Both underarms can be treated in as little as 10 minutes, and there should only be mild discomfort. Hands and feet are likely to hurt more as they have more nerve endings.

Botox for sweating aftercare

Recovery time

You’ll be able to go home immediately after your procedure and can resume your normal activities shortly after.

However, there are a few factors to consider during the first 24 hours.

  • Avoid exercise and hot baths – increased blood flow to your treated area can cause your injections to migrate elsewhere.
  • Don’t apply deodorant, creams, or cosmetics – they can interfere with your skin as it heals.
  • Stay away from direct sun or sunbeds – ultraviolet light can also disrupt your skin’s healing process.
  • Let your Botox settle – your injections need time to get established. Try to avoid rubbing or massaging the area, or doing stretches, yoga, or weights.

Many clinicians will recommend a follow-up appointment after one to two weeks. This is to check the progress of the Botox, make further injections if needed, and to look into side-effects.

Side-effects

Possible short-term side-effects include bruising, swelling, redness and soreness, as well as a dry mouth and tiredness. These are quite common but speak to your clinician if they persist.

There are more serious side-effects of Botox to watch out for, including:

  • Problems swallowing, breathing, or speaking.
  • Skin rash or hives.

If you have any of these symptoms, you should speak to your clinician immediately.

Results

You can expect to start seeing results in just one to two days – and maximum dryness should occur within one week.

From there, your results should last around six months to a year. After this, you’ll need to either get repeat Botox injections, or try a different treatment.

Botox for sweating facts

  • While you can reduce sweat through an underarm Botox treatment, you may still have to tackle odour. Odour is a bacterial reaction to sweat fluid – so it can occur with even minor sweating.
  • We have between one and five million sweat glands in our body. The sweatiest areas are our hands and feet – with 600 to 700 per square centimetre.

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