In case you missed it, back in August, Chrissy Teigen had Botox injected into her underarms.
It was notable not because of the procedure—Botox injections are a relatively new treatment for hyperhidrosis, also known as excessive sweating, though it’s becoming fairly commonplace—but because of how the model and entrepreneur very openly broadcast the procedure—literally.
Teigen gave her 26 million Instagram followers a front-row seat to an appointment with her plastic surgeon by posting a live feed of the procedure. “Botoxed my armpits,” she captioned the post. “Truly the best move I have ever made.”
So, how’s it work?
The FDA approved Botox for those, like Teigen, who sweat excessively from their armpits, but it can also be used “off-label” to reduce sweating from the hands, feet, and face.
Normally, when your body temperature rises, your nervous system activates your sweat glands. It’s the body’s natural cooling method. But for someone who suffers from hyperhidrosis, the nerves that send that signal are overactive.
Essentially, Botox works the same way for your armpits as it does for temporarily reducing the appearance of frown lines, forehead wrinkles, and crow’s feet. It paralyzes the muscle where you’re injecting.
The sweat glands in our armpits are surrounded by muscle fibers. When we sweat, the muscle fibers contract and milk the sweat glands. By paralyzing these muscle fibers, you stop the sweating process.
And, how effective is it?
It’s a pretty simple procedure that can be done during an office visit. To begin your journey against hyperhidrosis, you’ll receive several injections. This is done with a fine needle in each armpit that’ll form a sort of grid pattern.
The risk of a potential injury is minimal, but there are a few nerves and large blood vessels that travel from the armpit down to the hands, so it’s important to seek treatment from a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience with the procedure.
You’ll be able to resume your day as soon as it’s done. There may be some swelling and sensitivity immediately after, but it shouldn’t be anything that would interfere with your normal activities.
Insurance providers usually cover the full cost, but they may ask that you try other options first, like prescription antiperspirant.
It takes between two and seven days to stop sweating in the treated area. And up to two weeks to achieve total dryness. But that dryness will last between four and 14 months (for the armpits).
Just how transformative does it feel to go from uncontrollable sweating to stopping it in its tracks? Just ask Teigen, who wrote, “I can wear silk again without soaking woohoo!”