Joel Schlessinger, president of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery. “If it were extract of banana, nobody would care, but it’s Botox and that carries a cosmetic connotation.” Ironically, other, more invasive treatments are often covered by insurance, such as endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS), which involves cutting the nerve path between the spinal column and the sweat gland.
Part of this perception may be due to celebrities and models who often get Botox shots under their arms to avoid “red-carpet rings.” Since Botox can cost from 0 to ,000 for one series of injections, and treatments need to be repeated anywhere from six to 16 months to maintain dryness, patients often have to choose between their money and their quality of life, a choice Pariser, the Virginia dermatologist, finds unacceptable. While some patients have had success with ETS, others have experienced compensatory sweating — excessive sweating in other parts of their body, such as the back, chest, face, groin or buttocks.
“This is not an anxiety-related disorder that people have control over, it’s a medical condition and looks to be genetic,” says Dr.
Thanks to recent research, there are now treatment options — most notably Botox injections, which essentially block the chemical that “turns on” the body’s sweat glands.
Still, only 38 percent of people who have hyperhidrosis know about those treatments since they’ve never talked with a doctor about their condition.
For people suffering from focused hyperhidrosis, like Cohen, symptoms often begin in childhood and can be the basis for a host of mortifying teen moments.
“One of my most horrible memories was when I was 16 and taking a modern dance class,” says Sophia Parente, 32, a teacher from Virginia Beach, Va.