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No sweat: inject Botox to stop BO

If you thought the only use for Botox was helping Hollywood stars perfect their Ice Queen expressions, it turns out you’re wrong.

In fact, jabbing doses of the stuff into your armpits can also stop you sweating — and rumor has it that all the celebs are signing up in a bid to prevent them staining their Versace dresses with sweat on the red carpet.
Doctors have actually known about Botox’s anti-sweat properties, and have been using it to treat patients who suffer with excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), for years.

But now Botox for sweat has hit ­London’s medi-spas and cosmetic ­procedure clinics, making it easily ­available to all of us — for a fee. Hyperhidrosis is a condition in which you sweat far more than you should or is necessary to keep the body cool. According to the NHS, it affects about three per cent of the population of ­England and can begin at any age. ­Usually it is focused in a specific area, often the hands, feet, face or armpits, and sufferers are unable to control sweat levels even by wearing the lightest clothes or the strongest antiperspirants. It can be hugely embarrassing and ­distressing and until now has been ­difficult to treat successfully.

Now, I don’t have hyperhidrosis — I can get through the day without even breaking a sweat. I can wear red, grey or purple without having to worry. But I’m also not one of those girls who can spend 30 minutes on the treadmill in the gym to end up with only a glistening brow. When I work out, my clothes get positively soggy and give me a work deadline or stick me on the Tube during rush hour and the droplets start to form.

What’s more, I’m certainly not immune to those dreaded summer days when, after choosing the wrong clothes for the unpredictable weather, I have to glue my arms to my sides for hours on end, unless I want to expose my underarm puddles to the whole of London.

So the prospect of being sweat-free for the summer had a definite appeal. But until now I had relished my ability to be able to frown upon Botox. So it’s lucky, then, that it was going to be injected into my armpits and not my forehead. I ­figured that if the celebs are getting it to stop the sweat, I would welcome it with open, dry underarms.

The treatment
I arrived at Medicetics for my Botox and sat down in Dr Mullan’s consultation room, joyful about my sweat-free ­summer ahead. That’s when I ­discovered I’d be having 15 injections in each armpit. Joy turned to terror.

Yes, you see Botox works by blocking the receptors that carry messages from the nerve to the sweat gland and it has to be injected all over the area that sweats. But Dr Mullan quickly allayed my fears. First, the injections are superficial, just under the skin to target the sweat glands and not into the muscle (as they would be for wrinkles); ­secondly, the solution is twice as dilute as the stuff used in the forehead — and even that is a minute amount compared with what is used in hospital medicine.
As it turns out, a little bit of “breakthrough sweating” is normal. Botox in the armpits should reduce sweating by 85-90 per cent, so there can still be a little dampness now and again if, like me, you are wearing no antiperspirant at all. Just to be sure, Dr Mullan gives me a few booster shots in my right armpit. I haven’t sweated since.

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