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Everything You Need to Know About Getting Botox in Your Armpits

Experts weigh in on the pros and cons and answer top FAQs.

<p>Catherine Falls/Getty Images</p>

Catherine Falls/Getty Images

Though neuromodulators like Botox are most popular for its unparalleled ability to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, the benefits don’t end there. Another common application is injecting Botox in armpits to help minimize excessive sweating. It sounds almost too good to be true, but it’s a viable treatment that tons of people rely on.

“With the warm spring and summer months approaching, one of my most requested Botox treatment areas is the armpits,” says Sage Ilas, RN, an aesthetic nurse specialist at SkinSpirit in Scottsdale, Arizona. “Patients love this treatment for its ability to decrease sweating when traditional methods like topical antiperspirants have been ineffective, saving patients from ruined clothing, embarrassing and uncomfortable sweat marks, and overall excess sweat.”

Keep scrolling for expert answers on how this treatment works, how long it lasts, what you can expect to pay, and more.

RELATED: The Positive and Negative Long-Term Effects of Botox You Should Know

How Does Botox Reduce Sweating?

Neuromodulators like Botox work by temporarily paralyzing the muscle it is injected into. “Botox injections reduce the ability of the sweat gland to excrete sweat by interfering with the muscle involved in its contraction,” explains Jeffrey Fromowitz, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Boca Raton, Fla. “By reducing the ability of the muscle to contract, that area does not excrete sweat.”

This is a very effective treatment for excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis. In fact, research shows that it safely and effectively reduces sweating in the treatment area by about 80% to 90%. It can also treat sweating in areas like the palms and feet.

“Many patients ask if sweat will get ‘backed up’ or go anywhere else with this treatment, but following Botox treatment, sweat will simply not be produced in the treated areas and sweat will continue to be made in others,” Ilas explains.

How Much Does it Cost to Get Botox in Armpits?

The cost of getting Botox for sweating varies depending on where you live, the clinic you visit, and how many units of Botox the practitioner recommends.

“On Average, you're looking at roughly $1000 to $1600 per session,” says Lisa Chevalier, MMS, PA-C, a physician assistant and founder of SoVous Medical Spa and Laser Center in New York City. “It's typically around 50 units per armpit, but your dosing may vary depending on how much you sweat and your individual anatomy.”

How Long Will Botox in Armpits Last?

Botox for armpits isn’t a permanent solution, so you’ll need to schedule appointments to maintain the results. That said, how long the results last varies  from person to person.

Dr. Fromowitz says that, on average, you can expect the injections to last between three and six months. However, some people report that they have reduced sweating up to a year later. Ilas adds, “Most of my patients will have the treatment done once a year to cover them from the time spring temperatures start warming up through the fall months when temperatures start to cool down.”

As you near the end of the treatment course, you'll notice your sweat gradually returning to normal until re-treated.

Can You Use an Alternative Injectable?

Technically, yes, but Botox is considered the gold standard because of its 2004 FDA approval to treat hyperhidrosis in the armpits, Ilas says. “This FDA approval deems Botox the safe and efficacious product choice for this treatment.”

That said, there are numerous studies supporting the safe and effective use of other neuromodulators—such as Dysport and Jeuvea—that provide similar results.

“Practitioners can choose to use these products off-label as long as they understand units and dosing variables,” Chevalier adds. “However, Botox consistently wins by sheer measure of longevity in the research and is the choice product in my practice.”

What Can You Expect At Your Appointment?

Expect a quick and easy appointment when getting botox in armpits.

“A trained and certified medical provider will use a very small needle to inject 10 to 15 injection points under the skin in a grid like fashion for each armpit,” Ilas explains. “This will allow the Botox to temporarily block the signal from the nerves that stimulate sweating, reducing sweating in the area of injection.”

Some minor and temporary swelling or redness can occur at the injection site, and you may experience some light bruising. After about four weeks, the Botox will “kick in” and you’ll see a reduction in sweating. Some practitioners prefer to schedule a follow-up appointment to make sure everything is going according to plan.

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