I Got Botox at 20 Years Old

First, let me address the obvious. Yes, I had Botox. However, before you start jumping to conclusions and singing the chorus of Carly Simon’s 1972 hit song, "You’re So Vain" just hear me out. Botox can be used to treat a variety of medical conditions, along with decreasing the appearance of visible frown lines and crow’s feet. It can be used to treat migraines, Bell’s Palsy, pain associated with tennis elbow, and Hyperhidrosis, which is why I had Botox. Basically to sum it up, I didn’t get it to make myself look 15 again. I had Botox because I sweat. A lot.

You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Surely, everyone sweats under their arms! It’s human nature.” Yes, that is true, but only to a certain extent. From the months of October-May, or basically the months of the year in which you would wear clothes with any type of sleeve, I would sweat through my deodorant and you would be able to see the sweat marks whenever I would lift or move my arms. Quite frankly, it was embarrassing. I am a person who believes that you should look your best, no matter where you’re going or what you’re doing. So as a result, I spend a good deal of time carefully putting together my daily outfit and accessories. The one accessory that does not match any outfit, unlike a cute handbag, is sweat marks on your clothes. Whether it be a professor at school, Starbucks barista or the sales associate at Henri Bendel, I would think to myself, "Oh my God, these people must think I’m some type of schmuck for not wearing deodorant!" Or the ever-popular, "I swear I shower on the regular! I just sweat a lot!" If I could have walked around with a sign that said that, I would have felt like I was pleading my case. But let’s be real. I wasn’t about to do that because (A) I would look weird and, (B) I’d have no free hands to hold a Starbucks frappuccino or a shopping bag. What a travesty!

Now let’s talk deodorant. Dove, Secret, Tom’s, some 69 cent Duane Reade off-brand type that shouldn’t have been manufactured in the first place, and even clinical strength and men's athletic-type deodorants; I have used them all. Some worked better than others *cough* Duane Reade off-brand that didn’t even last a half-hour. However, none of them could completely reduce the amount of sweat that I would produce on a given day. The sweat was always amplified on days when I would wear a sweater, which let’s face it, is almost any day in the fall or winter. I could just tell when it would happen. All of the sudden, I would get really, really hot, then, I would go to move my arm and sure enough I would feel the sweat. So, I’d make a quick trip to the bathroom, re-apply the deodorant and pray that it wouldn’t happen again. Even on the coldest days, when my hands and nose would freeze on the brief walk from the 68th Street subway stop to Marymount Manhattan, I could feel it happening. And I mean, how gross is that? Now, my hands never sweat excessively, neither did my feet, it was just under my arms. I was always afraid that I would smell like B.O., and when you’re roasting inside of a thick sweater, that concern isn’t that far off into the horizon. But what’s a girl to do? I would sit and think, "If only there was something else. Something that could literally stop the sweat glands under my arms from working overtime on any given day." Then, my life changed. I met my new best friend, and her name was Onabotulinumtoxin A.

I was sitting in my kitchen one summer morning, watching some daytime talk show, (I’m really into those) and while I’m not 100% sure which one I had on, one of the guest doctors just so happened to be talking about Botox and was discussing its plethora of uses. My ears perked up at the mention of a condition called Hyperhidrosis, which as I previously mentioned, is just a fancy way of saying that you sweat often and uncontrollably. So, I did my research and sure enough, I had all the symptoms of Hyperhidrosis. I made an appointment with my dermatologist and went in to discuss the possible forms of treatment, whether that be Botox or not. She prescribed me this medicated roll-on-deodorant-type-thing and told me to try that first, before we moved on to the possibility of Botox. I was happy to oblige; I would have used Gorilla Glue under my arms if it meant that it would have stopped the sweating. However, it didn’t work. On top of that, it made my underarms feel prickly and itchy. So not only was I sweating like a faucet, I was also itchy, again, not a good combination. I went back to the dermatologist and begged her for the Botox. She agreed to it and I knew right then and there that my days of excessive sweating were going to be as over as Juicy Couture terry-cloth track suits (although they are saying now that "Track Is Back," we’ll have to see about that one).

Finally. It was time for the Botox. Mind you, I had to do the necessary paperwork, etc. with both the doctor’s office and my insurance company. Which reminds me, Botox (for medical usage) can be covered by your insurance company. You and your doctor just have to work closely together to gather the necessary information and paperwork to submit to them. Luckily, mine was covered. So on Friday, October 21st, I marched into the dermatologists’ office, ready to be rid of excessive underarm sweat for good.

I was so excited. Not many things scare me in life, however I am petrified of needles. But at that moment in time, I didn’t care that they were going to have to inject me multiple times in various spots under my arms. They wiped my underarms with an alcohol pad to remove any excess deodorant I might have had on at that time, and laid me back on the table. They instructed me to raise both of my arms, relax, and assured me that, “It would be over before I knew it.” If my memory serves me correct, there were three needles full of Botox and they used about one and a half on each arm. Some I didn’t even feel, others I most definitely did, but I have to say, before I knew what had happened, the procedure was over. I was officially sweat free! My dermatologist told me that on average, you would notice results in about a week, sometimes later or earlier depending on the person. She also told me that the Botox typically lasts about four months, so I set up my next appointment right then and there. I am not going to chance a repeat performance of underarm sweat ever again.

I knew immediately that it had worked. Not because I finally had the Botox, but because after the procedure was over, I didn’t reapply deodorant until the next day. I did all of my usual activities, went back to work, and went out for a nice dinner and you know what—I didn’t feel a drop of sweat, nor was there any odor. The next day, I was able to use regular women’s deodorant— something I haven't been able to use since sophomore year of high school. The only scent I smelled in the days following was ‘Powder Fresh’ and to me, it felt like I had on Chanel No. 5. Even today as I sit and type this article, my underarms are as dry as the Gobi Desert and if I move my arm any which way, I can catch a smell of a nice lavender scent.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is this; Botox is wonderful. It can make you look younger and cure many medical issues. I used it for excessive sweating and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who thinks they might be currently experiencing something similar to the events I have described. Just talk to your doctor first. If you’re embarrassed about talking about underarm sweat, just think of me who wrote a whole article for the entire Internet to read. If I can do it, so can you. It hasn’t even been a full week yet since I had the Botox done, but I firmly stand behind my decision to get it and will continue to do so in the future. Just think of me as the poster child of excessive sweating. But seriously, if anyone from the Botox company is reading this, feel free to send me a message. I’ve got a few wrinkles on my face I’d like to get taken care of too while we’re on the subject.