Hope you don’t have a fear of needles.
Raise your hand if this ritual sounds familiar: You have a job interview, so you arrive fifteen minutes early, looking your best, and sit in the waiting room with your right hand palm-up on your knee, airing out for the inevitable handshake. You’re afraid of sweaty palms. And while you could carry a paper towel with you, or even swipe on antiperspirant, there’s another fix out there—one you might not guess.
Botox, the same injectable used to fight facial wrinkles, can turn off the waterworks.
“Botox also works for excessive sweating,” says Marina Peredo, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of NYC’s Skinfluence. “And some people will treat their hands. Either both hands, or just their right hand, because when they shake they don’t want their hand to be sweaty.”
Think it could work for you? Here’s how it works, how it feels, and what you should know before you go under the needle.
How It Works
On your face, Botox minimizes the contractions of certain muscles that cause things like, say, crow’s feet.
But it just so happens that the same neurotransmitter that triggers involuntary muscle movement is the one that signals for sweating. Cue a new use for Botox, and one gaining popularity among men.
Peredo treats guys for underarm sweating, especially during summer wedding season. The treatment was designed for those with hyperhidrosis—unusually profuse sweating—but it’s open to all.
“You can do it for excessive sweating,” she says, “but you can also just do it for the summer if you don’t want to deal with it.”
How Much You Need
Your palm is a relatively large area of your body (bigger than your eye-wrinkle region, for instance) and it has a lot of sweat glands. Estimates of how much Botox is needed often fall around 100 units, which can cost upward of $1000 depending on where you live.
The good news? Your insurance may cover Botox when it’s used for non-beauty-related procedures. Stopping excessive palm sweat? That’s not cosmetic.
Peredo estimates that each palm takes about 20 injections. “It depends how big the palm is,” she says. “I spread it one centimetre apart.”
That’s a lot of needle sticks. If you’ve ever had acupuncture, great, you’re a pro at this. If you can barely stand to have your blood drawn, think carefully.
What to Know Before You Do It
If you’re clenching your fists right now, you need to know: Does it hurt?
The armpit is fleshy and not so painful, says Peredo. But the palm, with all its sensitive pads and nerve endings, can be unpleasant.
Many practices will numb hands with ice as you go along. Some offer local anaesthesia from the wrist down. Others will give you a drink to help you through.
When it’s over, you may feel temporary side effects. They could appear in the form of bruises, or a bit of stiffness or weakness in your hand. Don’t worry, you won’t have to be spoon fed. But you might have to ask for help with those collar buttons.
As for the sweat? Docs say your new, dry handshake can last up to six months, and some guys will stay dry even longer.
So, yes, your damp palms will return someday. But not until after you get that job.