Many people know the embarrassment of profuse sweating, which can be particularly problematic in certain business or social situations. Cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Kucy Pon visited Balance Television to demonstrate the newest technique for beating underarm sweat -- Botox injections.
"People that typically come are people that have such severe sweating, it's socially negative," Pon said. "It's a big emotional problem for them. And then they've failed all other types of treatments."
Pon first prepares the underarm area by performing a starch iodine test. She puts iodine on the area and then sprinkles it with cornstarch. The sweat reacts to the application and the problem areas become highlighted in black, creating a 'roadmap' that Pon can then follow.
Twenty to 30 shots are typically injected into each underarm, comprising 50 units of botox, Pon said. From start to finish, the procedure takes about 10 minutes to perform. The cost is about $400 for the materials, plus anywhere from $100 to $200 for the physician to administer the injections.
"The treatment itself, the effects last about six to 12 months, depending on the patient," Pon explained. "Most of my patients say they're completely bone-dry with the Botox procedure."
But isn't sweating a normal, healthy physical occurrence? Something that shouldn't be tampered with?
Not a problem, according to Pon. Sweating in the underarms, palms and feet are emotionally driven, she said. So when you're nervous or upset you tend to sweat more in those areas. "It's nothing to do with health or sweating to cool down," she stated.
The Botox treatment also works for hands and feet, but Pon warned that those treatments hurt a little more than the realtively painless pin-prick sensation experienced during the underarm procedure. She also noted that with the palm treatment, some people may notice a weakening of the muscles in the hands that can last a couple of weeks. Because of this, she cautions people whose hands are important to their day-to-day work.
As for other methods of combating underarm sweat, Pon noted that anti-perspirants and deoderants are very similar, with deoderants having that something extra to mask the odor. And for those of you concerned about products containing aluminum affecting your health, don't be, she said.
"I thinks it's a myth," Pon said. "When you put it on the skin, the absorption is so low, I don't think it has any systemic effects."
If you're hesitant about the Botox treatment, or want to try all other options first, Pon recommends Drysol, an over-the-counter product made up of 20 per cent aluminum chloride. Pon said that it is very effective in blocking the pores from which sweat comes. She suggests that people use Drysol daily until the sweat decreases and then cut back to twice-weekly applications.