WebMD Health News
Louise Chang, MD
April 19, 2007 -- Botox may be most famous for taming wrinkles, but it can
also stop excessive sweat, German doctors report.
They used Botox shots to treat excessive sweat (hyperhidrosis) in a healthy
Ever since childhood, the woman had experienced bouts of excessive sweat in
her right forearm and the back of her right hand.
The sweating episodes had become more frequent and troublesome over the
years, embarrassing the woman, note doctors including Monika Sonntag, MD, of
University Hospital in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Before Botox treatment, the woman experienced five daily bouts of excessive
sweating, on average. "Her hand literally dripped with sweat, affecting her
work," Sonntag's team writes in The Lancet.
The woman had unsuccessfully tried other treatments for the previous two
years. After that, Sonntag and colleagues gave her Botox injections in the
affected area for six months.
The Botox shots stopped the woman's excessive sweating.
"The treatment was well tolerated and the patient's quality of life
appreciably improved," write the doctors.
Botox is approved by the FDA to treat severe underarm sweating that cannot
be managed by topical agents such as prescription antiperspirants.
Botox contains a tiny amount of the botulinum toxin. When used to treat
severe underarm sweating, it stops the release of a chemical messenger called
acetylcholine, temporarily blocking the nerves in the underarm that stimulate
Botox is a prescription drug and must be used carefully under medical
SOURCES: Sonntag, M. The Lancet, April 21, 2007; vol 369: p 1372.
FDA: "FDA Approves Botox to Treat Severe Underarm Sweating." News
release, The Lancet.
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