BOTOX for excessive underarm sweating is now covered in Australia


Axillary hyperhidrosis, also known as excessive underarm sweating is a common condition. 3-4 % of people living in hot cities like Brisbane and the Gold Coast will suffer from this embarrassing and uncomfortable condition. 

Mild cases of armpit sweating can be treated with antiperspirants such as Driclor, Rexona Sport or Dove Clinical, however if you suffer from moderate sweating, these anti-sweating agents either causes skin irritation or simply don’t work!

Excessive underarm sweating usually starts in adolescence, however adult onset (after the age of 20) is common- 20% of cases I Botox have adult onset hyperhidrosis. The cause of this condition is genetic, and 25% of patients will have a family member that may also suffer from sweaty underarms, but also sweaty palms and feet.

Botox is a safe, and effective method for the treatment of underarm sweating, and has been approved for Specialist use only since 2012. Australia was one of the last countries in the World to authorize this treatment for axillary hyperhidrosis, falling way behind the United States (2006 FDA Cleared), the UK (2001 NHS Funding) and many other European countries (CE approved).

Since approval in 2012, many more patients are aware that Botox is available, and is subsidized by the PBS and Medicare. 3 treatments are provided per year, however spacing must be at least 4 months apart.

Here are the important facts on Botox treatment for underarm sweating-

  • This treatment is highly effective, with a satisfaction rate of 95%
  • Each sweaty underarm is treated with 50 Units of Botox
  • PBS provides only 100 units of Botox, regardless of the armpit size
  • Subsidy is only provided for underarm sweating, and not sweaty palms or feet
  • Treatment takes 60-90 seconds to perform
  • Underarm sweating decreases within 7 days of treatment, and maximal effect is seen within 2 weeks
  • Sweating decreases by 50- 90%
  • This sweat reduction lasts between 4-6 months on average
  • Second time Botox users will usually extend the effectiveness by 1 month
  • Botox injections are well tolerated. If you have a low pain threshold, the use of ice and 23/7 or EMLA cream can decrease the pain by 80-90%
  • Botox cost $440 out of pocket for each treatment
  • Patients excluded from Botox treatment include breast feeding and pregnant women, and patients with rare neurological disorders

By Dr Davin S. Lim 
Laser Dermatologist
Hyperhidrosis expert
BRISBANE, Australia. 

Article by
Brisbane Dermatologist