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Does Botox for Sweating Really Work?

Updated on July 24, 2011

Botox® is one option often provided by doctors for patients who suffer from excessive sweating. Like many types of treatments, there are pros and cons for this style of treatment.

Read on to find out more about Botox® as an excessive sweating treatment.

Does BOTOX stop excessive sweating?
Does BOTOX stop excessive sweating?

What is Botox?

Botox® is brand name of a derivative of the deadly botulism toxin and is produced from the spore forming bacillus Clostridium botulinum. It is supposed to act as an inhibitor for the release of the neurotransmitter that causes sweat production.

Because Botox® is used to paralyze the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands, some relief from excessive may be experienced.

Benefits of Botox

  • It is reasonably effective for those facing excessive underarm sweating.

  • Treatments only take about 1 hour and you can go back to work afterwards.

  • Various clinical studies have shown patients experience some improvement in excessive sweating.

  • It can be applied to help with localized areas of sweating. Botox® targets sweating at its source. Once injected by your doctor, Botox® enters the specific glands in the underarms that cause sweating. There, it blocks the release of a chemical that signals the perspiration.

Disadvantages of Botox treatments for Excessive Sweating

  • It is only a temporary solution. You will need to keep coming back for more treatments. Some doctors claim Botox® injections will last for 8 months but they can last for only as long as 2 months. Most people find Botox® injections effective for between 4 and 6 months only.
  • It is expensive. You will generally need to pay more than $1000 per session, and may need a few sessions to get it to work the first time. You will then have to pay another $1000 each time you need a new treatment (every 4 months on average). This could add up to between $5000 and $10,000 a year.
  • It can be painful. Some patients have required general anesthetic just to deal with the pain of the injections, particularly in the palms of the hands.
  • It is not recommended for all types of excessive sweating. While, some people with excessive sweating in the underarms may experience some relief from Botox® treatments, it is far less likely to be effective for those with sweaty hands or face or other areas.
  • It can cause compensatory sweating. This is more sweating in other areas of the body, in order to compensate for the paralyzed nerves and sweating being prevented from under the arms. This compensatory sweating can be more distressing in nature for patients than the original problem, especially because of where it might be - usually in the lower body and on the thighs.
  • It can cause hot flushes. This side effect can last up to four weeks after the injections, (which could be half the time of the effectiveness of the injections).
  • It can cause weakness in the arms. If injected into the underarms, Botox® can cause transient weakness in the arms, because it is a muscle relaxant and it does not let the muscles work as normal.
  • Long-Term effects are not known. There have been no studies to prove that Botox® will not have long-term side effects, especially with repeated procedures over a number of years.

So, Does Botox for Excessive Sweating Really Work?

While some people may experience some (not total relief) from excessive underarm sweating if they undergo the Botox® injections, the disadvantages really outweigh the benefits. Botox® treatments can be painful, expensive and can cause many other side effects. Like other radical and invasive treatments to the body for excessive sweating like ETS Surgery, Botox® can have many side effects, including compensatory sweating. Some people will undergo such treatments only to discover they are in a worse situation than what they started with.

Excessive sweating can be a very distressing disorder to live with and you will need to weigh up the benefits and disadvantages of any treatment you decide on carefully. Myself, I would not risk Botox® but would look at other, more natural treatments.

This article is general in nature and does not represent medical advice. Always consult with a qualified medical practitioner before choosing a course of hyperhidrosis treatment.


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    • profile image

      Patiently Waiting 5 years ago

      Ok, so I'm 19 going into my sophmore year of college & have been sweating profusely since middle school. I can't wear sandals bc my feet make puddles (ugh) -- can only wear black shirts bc my underarms sweat so bad. I went to the doctor about a year & a half ago & he prescribed Drysol for me. I used it, worked for about 3 weeks at first, now it rarely even works at all. I have also had a lot of compensatory sweating. My legs sweat now!! I don't even wear light blue jeans anymore bc I sweat just that bad. My life is miserable. Seriously. Because I'm in college & have another 3 years I won't be able to afford this procedure for a while. I hate waiting but I have no other choice -_-

    • profile image

      Priya 5 years ago

      Thanks for the info.Actually I have had Botox for my crow’s feet & got complete result. For more info log on to Botox or call toll free 1800-266-67-68.

    • profile image

      Suchitra.M 5 years ago

      I called 18002666768 & I got glorious look because of Juvederm.......Just call this toll free number to know more about Juvederm & to get clinic details of the same within India.

    • profile image

      Sabina 6 years ago

      It's been a week since I got botox. I very pleased with it. I'm so amazed about all the clothes I can wear now that I couldn't before... All those olive, green, blue colors that used to turn into embarrassing outfits after 10 minutes. Price varies on the country you are getting it in (doctor fees) and quantity of botox used.

      I paid 250 euros, got about 16-18 shots per arm. Didn't hurt.

      I just hope this bliss lasts :))

    • profile image

      m sreenivasa rao 6 years ago

      sir i a have swetting in my hands and legs siviourly till 20years but ia hve no any treatment till i seen the botox is working in properly how long the injuction will work and how much cost will it and per yearly how many times doses taken it and what is the side effects i know this inju will go to peralasis or heart problems send me reply i am an indian in hyderabad where the treatment will perfectly in india send me reply thanku

      my mail

    • profile image

      Marla 6 years ago

      Hi, amm, don't know what to say, I did it cause I was sweating so much!! But after 10 day, since I did the 1st time Bottox I start sweating, but just my right underarm , I called the doctor and he put a lil bit more Bottox, well 3 weeks later I start sweating again, my underarms r wet. Well, I called the doctor again and tell him about the problem, and he said that I have to pay for new portion Bottox, don't know what to do, do I really have to pay? It did not work for me or maybe he did something wrong? Pls, if it happened with someone I would like to her advise, thanks)

    • profile image

      Extremely Happy 7 years ago

      I just had the procedure done 4 days ago. I already feel and see improvement in my sweating problem. I love it and would recommend it to everyone. I just need to wait and see how long it last before going back for more. I paid $600 for 50 units. It is quite costly but worth it if you ask me ; ) Pain? It was quick and stung a little but not bad at all.

    • profile image

      MALI 7 years ago

      kelly i have done 100 and 50 for each but i think it should work althogh i have no idea how they did 30 for you i heard normal is 50 any way mine worked after 4-5 days i was so scared too but you must wait for me first 2-3 days was even worse than before i sweat a lot so embarresing but it stopped now i did it a month ago is so so much fun having whatever dress you want to. wait it will come but pl ask them if why did they used 30 ? and write it down here i wanna know tx a lot

      good luck

    • profile image

      Kelly  7 years ago

      i have suffered with HH since the 6th grade. I am 25 now and just had the injections yesterday. it only cost me $600 for 60 units (30 in each). I am still sweating, should i be dissapointed? I have tried everything out there and NOTHING worked for me. How long does it usually take to take effect? i really hope this works because i am all out of options.

    • profile image

      Richard  7 years ago

      I had the treatment last week and it was nothing. The doctor was great even though I was so embarrased. Dr. Kayal in Marietta Georgia at Northwest Georgia Dermatology. I have almost stopped sweating in my underarms and that is a big thing. I have dealt with hyperhidrosis for 25+ years. It restricted me from wearing shirts of just about any color except black or white. I have ruined so many shirts with yellowing of the arm areas. I highly recommend this to anyone suffering with this issue. Also the National Hyperhidrosis Society has a website called here is the link . Go there and volunteer for a study they are conducting on genetic causes of this condition. You can also find a doctor in your area that treats this condition. It is where I found Dr. Kayal. All that is required is swishing your mouth for two days and putting it in a container and sending it off. Help the next generation so that they may not have to deal with this. Best of luck to all of you.

    • profile image

      Beyond Happy 7 years ago

      I got the injections two weeks ago and haven't sweat a drop since. I paid only $1000, which I think is fair price. I'd been sweating since 6th grade and I am now 28. Seriously don't know why I waited this long. Now I am just waiting to see how long it lasts. My doctor said expect it to work at LEAST for 6 months. I seriously hope he is right. That being said, I will say that the article above is very misleading. First of all, my sweating was extremely excessive. This article says that people "may" experience "some relief". Well, I've had complete relief for two whole weeks now. It was also completely painless, and I've had no compensatory sweating and no other side effects. However, I have noticed that I am happier, more social, and WAY less stressed now that I never have to worry about clothing again. I HIGHLY recommend this for anyone suffering from HH!!!!

    • profile image

      mali  7 years ago

      ok i should say it stopped now which is very good sometimes a little sticky but not wet so i think it is working now but tell me your experiences how long did it work for you?

    • profile image

      Still Sweating 7 years ago

      I had Botox done on my underarms and lower back but now I'm experiencing Compensatory sweating. My underarms are dry but the rest of my body is sweating like crazy. I had good results with Drysol but decided to get Botox because my face and back would sweat at times. Hopefully I can find another solution.

    • profile image

      MALI 7 years ago

      i have done botox under arm yesterday still sweating??? i have read some comment about it is gone for them the day after? should i be disappointed? or might work later pl pl pl let me know i am so waiting for answer let me know your experiences pl

    • profile image

      Nervous! 7 years ago

      I am going tomorrow to get my first Botox Injection for HH under my arms. I am a little nervous, but excited. Does anyone know the statistics on how well it does work? I REALLY want it to work. I have read many articles and pretty much they "lean" to one side or the other, however I have been sweating since 7th grade and I am now 22 years old and I am ready to stop hiding! Hope it works for me.

    • profile image

      supermax 7 years ago

      Sam, did you find anyone in pittsburgh that will submit it to your medical insurance ? this is truly a medical condition, please let me know if you do !

    • profile image

      Bryan - I Sweat Too Much! 7 years ago

      excellent hub. i think the most important point that you mentioned is that it is only a temporary procedure! that means, people will have to keep coming back for me if they find it helpful. i would opt for something a bit better if it were me...thanks!

    • profile image

      NS Girl 7 years ago

      I had Botox treatment yesterday and I already see a reduction in sweating. It was $600 CAN. I have not worn a white T shirt in 10 years. I could probably get away with one today.

    • profile image

      Sam 7 years ago

      can anyone recommend where to go in the Pittsburgh area for this treatment? and how do you make sure the insurance will cover it? mine says it will but all the doctors i've called say they don't bill insurance, it's strictly out of pocket. one doctor said patients always end up with the bill anyone even if they bill insurance. please help!

    • profile image

      Brittany 7 years ago

      I have suffered for years with underarm sweating and tried many different methods to suppress the sweat. I was able to get the Botox injections and my insurance paid for it in full...thank God! 4 days after receiving the injections, I noticed a reduction of sweat. One week....NO SWEAT!!!!! Wonderful! I have never in my 26 years of life(that I can remember) been able to wear shirts that I like because of sweat. Now I can! I will continue to get the botox injections for the rest of my life!!!

    • profile image

      Eric 7 years ago

      Very nice article Howard. Thorough, easy read and touched on all the pros and cons.

      I think the bottom line in all of this is of course dealing with potential side effects. After all, everything you do has them. Secondly, of course, is budget. It is unfortunate that seemingly simple techniques like Botox can be so costly, and obviously not affordable for everyone. So I think it's a matter of weighing the cost vs. the benefits.

      For me personally, odor has never been an issue because I use good deodorant, and quite frankly, I always smell fresh. However, odor and sweating do not always go hand in hand. Regardless of smelling good, even when I perspire, the issue was my selection of clothing and how limited it was. When I am dressed for a meeting, I have to be very selective in choosing colors for my dress shirts. For instance, I have a very nice olive tone dress shirt that goes so well with many different colors of slacks. But honestly, I can never wear this shirt because it shows underarm perspiration, and honestly, it looks terrible! Same goes for the more "satiny" royal blues or darker colors that are lighter than black, but still dark enough to really show my underarm perspiration.

      My mom always told me this was a family trait on my maternal side and that nearly everyone in her family had the same problem. It is unfortunate that for so long, I have had to really limit my wardrobe when it comes to business attire. I know botox will help with this, but like so many others, I have to make a decision on spending the money for Botox or simply keeping my dress shirts limited to very light or black colors.

      Anyhow, very nice article. Thank you for such thorough information.

    • profile image

      Botox4Men 7 years ago

      Axillar Underarm Hyperhidrosis Treatment £300 for both armpits! Mobile Botox Technician 07553.533.790

    • profile image

      Josh 7 years ago

      100% life changing treatment. Talking about grey shirts in the wardrobe successful. Article was pretty bunk, but please believe that botox will improve your quality of life if you are a under arm sweater.

    • profile image

      Kate 7 years ago

      I started sweating in my armpits in high school. It was very bad and embarrassing. I tried every deodorant, one you put on at night and the use a blow dryer to dry onto the skin. It is use to burn my skin so bad, and I got rashes. I finally got botox in my armpits and it works so well! The first time I got it, it last 6 months, then 8 months. I have been getting it since I as 18.

    • profile image

      Anna 7 years ago

      i just had this procedure done yesterday and it wasn't painful at all and lasted maybe 10 minutes. I haven't seen a drop of sweat since. :)

    • profile image

      Night Sweating 7 years ago

      Hi Howard,

      thanks - AWESOME hub! A lot of people are interested in Botox treatments, but I generally advice against it, and if they decide to do it anyway, I highly suggest them that they read up on the downsides - and specially the possible dangers - of this treatment. A lot of independent medical experts nowadays believe that Botox carries considerable risks, and it is worth listening to their arguments.

    • profile image

      D. 8 years ago

      Your information above is quite good except for the efficacy part. Botox injections for hyperhydrosis is exceedingly successful.

    • profile image

      Kris 8 years ago

      There are MANY misleading points stated as fact in this article!!!

      I agree with the other two comments and will go further... your comments about the COST of Botox treatments are also wrong. (generously called "leaning" by the other comment)

      After one or two treatments with Botox, the effective time BETWEEN treatments grows longer and longer. You will NOT spend $5000-$10,000 a year treating HH (excessive sweating).

      The MOST you will likely treat in a year is 3 times. And that will drop to twice and now I am treated once a year.

      I cannot speak to hand or foot treatments... but MY underarm (axilla) treatments ELIMINATE sweating for a minimum of 6 months.

      P.S. See how I did that? Expressed that it works for ME - it's NOT a medical fact!

      If you are considering Botox for excessive sweating, please know that this article is terribly misleading!!!

    • profile image

      HappyWithBotox 8 years ago

      Good luck with the natural treatments. I prefer to stay natural as well. However nothing worked in the slightest. Despite being uncomfortable with needles and the idea itself, I had the Botox injections done by my dermatologist. I am beyond happy with the results - no axilla sweating, no compensatory sweating and no side effects! :) I'm really happy to say that it was right choice for me. :)

      By the way, your summary of the FDA warning is slightly leaning, as is the article ("the disadvantages really outweigh the benefits" and "Like other radical...treatments"). I would say that people should just read the warning, especially since the severity and death portions apply to a select group, which most people are not part of. At any rate, we're all looking to make well informed decisions and outright leaning is really not helpful to most of us.

      At any rate, best of luck in finding the best treatment for you. :) Please be sure to keep us posted if you find anything that actually works!


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