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Test Drive: Botox Under Your Arms

Whether it’s a long day at the office or a particularly steamy cocktail party, sweat stains can happen to the best of us. But what if this isn’t just an occasional occurrence? For some people, deodorants just don’t work — even clinical ones — which means that the simple act of getting dressed is fraught with anxiety. (No silk. Ever.) But dermatologists have a solution: and it’s one that might surprise you. Botox (yes, that Botox) can effectively stop underarm sweating temporarily. We know it sounds scary, which is why we tried it out. Here are the all facts—and our honest opinion.

The Details

Botulinum toxin type A (a.k.a. Botox) is a FDA-approved treatment for severe underarm sweating, a condition commonly referred to as Hyperhidrosis. The doctor uses a very fine needle to inject small doses of purified Botox into each underarm to temporarily block signals from the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands. A common misconception is that you’ll start to sweat more in other places or that your sweat will get backed up somehow. Untrue: the rest of your body will continue to perspire as normal. Interestingly enough, there is no physiological need for you to sweat underneath your arms.

The Procedure

If you have a needle phobia, this procedure is a bit hard to stomach. Your dermatologist will need to administer about 15 injections under each arm, but luckily, the treatment doesn’t take more than five to ten minutes. As far as pain goes, it’s just a lot of small pinches and truly not that bad. If you can get through a bikini wax, you’ll have no problem with this. Plus, the results last for six—yes six!—months.

The Bottom Line

Patients usually notice a significant reduction in sweating just 24 hours after their appointment. While that may seem like a lofty claim, we’re here to say it’s the truth. We felt a difference immediately and didn’t have any underarm swelling or pain to speak of. The bottom line? If you really feel that you sweat under your arms more than normal and find it interfering with your daily life, then this is a liberating option. Imagine — being allow you to lift your arms worry-free!

Check out more of our crazy beauty adventures in our Test Drive series.

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