Lynne Goldberg always remembers to bring deodorant and antiperspirants to the weddings she plans. “Very often I have someone who says, ‘I’m sweating like crazy. What am I going to do?’” said Goldberg, who is the owner of Ms Wedding Planner in Boca Raton, Florida.
Her firm oversees about a dozen weddings a year in warm locales like Florida, California and Nevada. And so she’ll have plenty of fans available, too, including pocket-size varieties for each person in the wedding party, along with extra shirts for grooms and other family members. Cornstarch also helps combat sweat when applied to the underarm portions of dresses, she says. Whether it’s rising temperatures, a warm wedding venue or pure nerves, excessive sweating can spoil anyone’s walk down the aisle. While fans and deodorants can certainly help keep you dry, many brides are opting for medical treatments to prevent sweat disasters on their big day.
“The No. 1 thing that shuts down the perspiration is Botox,” said Dr. Dennis Gross, a board certified dermatologist on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Botox is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating. About 365 million people worldwide suffer from this condition, according to International Hyperhidrosis Society. Gross uses a fine needle that goes just under the skin. Tiny drops are injected throughout the entire area of the underarm, creating an even layer of Botox. “It then is absorbed by the sweat gland, and it prevents the ability for the sweat gland to be fired upon by the nerve impulses to release perspiration,” he said.
Underarm Botox lasts about 6 to 9 months and costs $1,200 per treatment, according to Gross, who sees one to two brides each week for perspiration concerns. “They don’t want to have the risk of having that embarrassing moment,” he said. “There are brides who have never done it before and do it for the first time, for their wedding. Some of them don’t necessarily keep up with it. They just want that extra protection for that day.”
And then there’s what’s known as Blotox, which is Botox injected into the scalp to help extend the life of blowouts and hairstyling. (Botox is used off-label in this instance; it is not FDA approved for scalp use.) “It helps prevent the sweating and the frizziness,” said Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, a board certified dermatologist in Manhattan. “A lot of brides love that because it makes the hair look perfect — not just for the wedding, but it extends into the honeymoon.”
Bhanusali said he has administered Blotox to about 25 engaged women within the last two years. The majority of his patients are between the ages of 25 and 45. “With the brides, they’re like, ‘Listen, I have to look good on Instagram,’” he said. For some, Botox (even Blotox) is covered by insurance. But if injections sound undesirable, and sweat is problematic in more than one region of the body, popping a pill may be another solution.
Bhanusali prescribes Glycopyrrolate for daily use. “It keeps their sweating at bay,” he said. “It’s more global, for people who have sweaty underarms and hands and feet, and it’s excessive. It dries everything out. Some people do get dry mouth, dry eyes because it does cut the moisture everywhere.” A month’s supply of this drug can costs upward of $22, if not covered by insurance, according to Dr. Susan Bard, a board certified dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology Specialists.
“It has more of an effect on why you’re sweating, not just blocking sweat glands so you can’t sweat out of that area, but shutting down the physiological mechanism,” Bard said. She also recommends Qbrexza, individually packaged prescription wipes. The cloths were approved by the FDA for underarm use in July and are often covered by insurance. Without insurance, it could cost individuals more than $549 for a monthlong supply, according to Bard.
If a daily regimen isn’t attractive, miraDry is a noninvasive, permanent treatment using electromagnetic waves, and it is FDA approved to destroy underarm odor glands and sweat glands. A single one-hour session (including local anesthesia) will typically suffice, although some patients may require two appointments. Some swelling and tenderness may occur, according to Bhanusali, who advises miraDry patients cease workouts for at least three days after the appointment. The treatment costs $2,000 to $3,000.
For all sweat-related issues, Bhanusali recommends treatments take place at least six weeks before the wedding day.