American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

Beat the summer sweat with Botox

beat the summer sweat with botox

Summer means vacation, drinks with little umbrellas and fun in the sun! Summer also brings sweat. When the heat of the day is beating down on you, it can feel like sweat is dripping from every pore, leaving you feeling sticky and wet. Unfortunately, excessive sweating isn't just caused by unbearable summer heat.

Excessive sweating can be embarrassing. It can get to the point where you are sweating through your clothing, finding noticeable stains on them and experiencing body odor. Heavy sweating can interrupt your day, make you uncomfortable and cause social anxiety, which ironically may lead to more sweating.

If you have tried every deodorant, antiperspirant and natural sweat remedy on the market, it may be time for a new approach. It may be time for Botox. Yes, that Botox! Move over wrinkles, Botox is here to help you beat summer sweat.

Excessive sweating and hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that causes excessive sweating, and it's not always related to the summer heat or strenuous exercise. It occurs when you produce more sweat than your body needs to regulate body temperature. Excessive sweating can happen in the dead of winter or at random times when you would not expect to be producing much sweat.

Sweat itself is odorless. However, when sweat meets the bacteria colonies on your skin, the bacteria mix with the sweat and it starts to smell. Sweat glands working overtime don't just have the potential to cause body odor. Heavy sweating can leave wet patches on your clothing, cause staining and be a general embarrassment at work or play.

While genetic mutations can cause hyperhidrosis, the condition can also be caused by underlying medical conditions, so it is important to seek medical advice if you experience excessive sweating. If you sweat more than usual, sweating disrupts your daily routine or you experience night sweats for no apparent reason, talk to your doctor. Diabetes, thyroid issues, menopause, infections and even some forms of cancer can cause heavy sweating.

The use of Botox to control sweating

Studies suggest that hyperhidrosis affects nearly 3 percent of Americans. Heavy sweating may make you feel self-conscious and isolated, but you are not alone. Many people experiencing hyperhidrosis become frustrated because traditional sweat and odor control methods like clinical strength deodorant do not work.

Thankfully, other remedies are available that can help control excessive sweating and can be found not at the drugstore but in an unexpected place – the office of a board-certified plastic surgeon.

No, we aren't talking about a "pit lift," we are talking about Botox!

"We love doing Botox for hyperhidrosis," said Jeffrey Roth, MD, FACS, located in hot and dry Las Vegas.

Fellow plastic surgeon Roy Kim, MD, also treats people who experience excessive sweating. While most people think excessive sweating only occurs in the underarm area, that's simply not the case.

"You can get Botox for the areas where sweat glands work extra hard to generate sweat, typically the underarms and the palms of the hand," said Dr. Kim. "Interesting, you can also get these shots in the groins, although most people don't like talking about this. The most common areas seem to be in the palms because this area is essentially impossible to control with underarm deodorant or clothing."

You probably already know that Botox, a cosmetic form of botulinum toxin, can soften lines and wrinkles by paralyzing muscles and blocking specific nerve cell signals. It works much the same way to combat excessive sweating. Botox blocks nerve signals that tell the sweat glands to activate, stopping the glands from producing excessive sweat.

Getting started with Botox for hyperhidrosis is simple too, making it all the more appealing.

"The procedure is very fast," said Dr. Kim. "After numbing cream or ice packs or both, you cleanse the areas with alcohol pads and then give a couple of quick shots of Botox. The procedure itself is fairly short, like 2 to 3 minutes total."

Botox is not a permanent solution, but the results are fairly enduring.

"It typically lasts about 10 months to a year," said Dr. Roth.

He has one patient who has been getting the procedure done for years and loves it. He also offered a relatable anecdote for anyone who suffers from excessive sweating. One patient wore darker colors to camouflage his heavy underarm sweating, but no more after Botox.

"I have had guys tell me they have not worn a powder blue shirt in years, and now they can," said Dr. Roth.

Does wearing a light-colored shirt seem trivial? Maybe for some people, but for those coping with hyperhidrosis, the freedom to wear clothing that makes them comfortable and confident is worth its weight in Botox. If you are concerned about excessive sweating this summer, put down the jumbo-sized antiperspirant stick. Botox may be the sweat-buster you've been searching for.

To find a qualified plastic surgeon for any cosmetic or reconstructive procedure, consult a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. All ASPS members are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, have completed an accredited plastic surgery training program, practice in accredited facilities and follow strict standards of safety and ethics. Find an ASPS member in your area.


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