Can Botox for Hyperhidrosis Increase my Risk of Infection in my Armpit?

I have been receiving botox for hyperhidrosis in my armpits. My next set of injections are mid-February 2012 -my 4th time but 2.5 weeks ago I had a large (apx 1 inch deep/wide) abscess drained in my armpit. I was left with a large cavity, which is now almost healed. Will botox injections into that area (once it is completely healed)increase any risk of infection and thus the poss of another abscess? Is botox compatible with post-abscess tissue? How long should I wait before gtg my injections?

Doctor Answers 11

Botox risk of infection in armpit

Any time a needle enters the skin, there is a risk of infection. That said, presuming the area is cleaned/sterilized properly before injecting, the risk of infection after botulinum toxin (e.g. Botox) injection for hyperhidrosis would be incredibly low. To reduce the risk further, it might be reasonable to apply an antibiotic cream immediately after the treatment and perhaps for 3 days after. I have treated countless patients for hyperhidrosis with Botox and not once had a patient develop an infection, although of course anything is possible.

Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Botox for hyperhidrosis and risk of infection

Any time a needle is used to puncture the skin, as in the case with the injection of Botox for hyperhidrosis, there is always a risk of infection.  If the skin is cleaned properly, however, and there is no sign of infection, the risk of abscess formation or other infection should otherwise be very low. It would be best to wait until your skin is completely healed before getting another treatment of Botox for hyperhidrosis in the armpit if you recently had an abscess.

Dina D. Strachan, MD
New York Dermatologist
3.3 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Recurrent infections might occur in those who have had abscesses in the underarms around the time of Botox injections

If you have already had some abscesses in the underarms, they might recur.  Wait until your doctor says it's OK to proceed.  The injections are not done if there is evidence of infected follicles or new abscesses. Your doctor should distinguish between infection from bacteria vs. a sweat gland disorder called hidradenitis suppurativa. The latter condition often is treated with Botox during the flares, although some doctors may prescribe antibiotics.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

The likelihood of getting an axillary infection after a Botox treatment for sweating is low.

Treating hyperhydrosis is a small part of my practice, but I have not seen an under-arm infection in any of my patients. The area of your abscess should be well healed by February, and the scar will continue to shrink.

You should get specific advice from your doctor about your condition, but I think the risk of getting an infection from an under-arm Botox treatment would be low.

Hope this helps.

Dr. Joseph

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 421 reviews

Botox and armpit infection

It would be best to wait to have repeat Botox injections until the armpit abscess has healed.    Good lucj.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Can Botox injections for hyperhidrosis increase risk of infection?

Certainl your history would indicate  that the recent abscess was unrelated to your previous Botox injections since it developed long after your last set of injections based upon your next scheduled Botox injections.  I certainly would not have Botox injections untill the area to be treated is all healed and all inflammation has subsided.  However, I would not hesitate to have your next scheduled injections once the above has occurred.  The risk of an infection after a percutaneous injection is minimal and can be further minimized by adequately cleansing the area with an antiseptic.

Ted Brezel, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Can Botox for Hyperhidrosis Increase my Risk of Infection in my Armpit?

Dear Rusti,

Botox works well for reducing sweating for patients with excessive sweating of the underarms (ie. axillary hyperhidrosis). The chance of developing an infection after Botox treatment is very small. It sounds as if your infection was unrelated to the Botox. You should be able to continue with your Botox treatments once your infection is completely resolved.

Warmest wishes,

Larry Fan, MD

Larry Fan, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Risk of infection from Botox treatments

Having Botox injections into your armpits once the abscess has completely healed should not increase your risk of another infection. Neurotoxin injections such as Botox Therapeutic, Dysport and Xeomin are all compatible with post-abscess tissue. As an extra precaution, you might ask your injecting physician to do an extra skin prep (besides using alcohol) with a stronger bactericidal solution. Once the area appears to have healed and there are no signs of inflammation, it should be safe to have your injections.

Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Botox for excessive sweating under the arm pits

Hope your wounds are healing with out complications. Once you have completely healed and get an ok from the physician treating your abscess you should be able to resume your neuromuscular or/Botox to treat your excessive sweating with no contraindication.

Good luck

Botox and Infections in your Armpits

Botox injections in your armpits should not increase your risk of infection.  Any time the skin is punctured for any reason there is always an extremely small risk of infection in the week or so afterwards, but it does not sound like this is what occurred in your case.  It sounds as if you may have had an inflammed or infected epidermal inclusion cyst or an abscess completely unrelated to your Botox.  I would proceed as planned.

Sheri G. Feldman, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.