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BCM - Baylor College of Medicine

Giving life to possible

Baylor Dermatology Clinic

Botox for Excessive Sweating

Excessive perspiration can be embarrassing and may cause emotional, professional and social problems. Although bothered by excessive sweating, patients often don't believe it can be treated and therefore do not seek medical help. Topical products have limited effectiveness, and surgery has worrisome side effects.

Botox injections have been FDA approved to treat excessive sweating. In the skin, Botox selectively turns off the sweat glands resulting in a normal appearance without wetness. Treatment is performed during an outpatient clinic visit and no recuperative time or special care is needed afterwards. The side effects are minimal and beneficial effects long-lasting (average 6-12 months). Extremely high patient satisfaction rates of up to 98 percent have been documented in various clinical studies.

The injections are performed with the smallest available needle and are only skin deep. Using an over-the-counter anesthetic (4 or 5 percent Recticare) cream, injections in the underarms are nearly pain free. The palms have thicker skin that is more difficult to numb, leading to more discomfort with injection. Read instructions detailing how best to use the numbing cream. After treatment of the hands, some patients report a temporary weakening of their grip, lasting an average of two to three weeks.

The biggest disadvantage to the Botox treatment is cost, as the medication is extremely expensive. Insurance may cover the treatment after precertification and usually reimburses at a contracted rate. Patients not using insurance are charged a discounted rate of $900 for both underarms. Other areas may require more Botox, increasing the cost.

For more information see Botox.