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Clin Exp Dermatol. 1996 Jul;21(4):276-8.

Botulinum toxin--a possible new treatment for axillary hyperhidrosis.

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Department of Neurology, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison 53792-5132, USA.


The inhibitory action of botulinum toxin is not limited to the neuromuscular junction. The toxin also blocks the autonomic cholinergic fibres, including the sympathetic fibres to sweat glands. We have previously demonstrated that the toxin produces localized anhidrosis. To determine the dosage, pattern and duration of the anhidrotic effect of botulinum toxin and to test the efficacy of axillary injections, we further studied seven healthy volunteers. Two individuals had subcutaneous injections of botulinum toxin (20 mouse units, Dysport-Porton Products) in the dorsum of the hand. Five healthy volunteers had 15-50U of botulinum toxin A (Botox) injected in one axilla. A circular area of complete anhidrosis on the dorsum of the hand was evident on day 2 and persisted for 11 months. By day 3, two of the axillae (injected with 50 U each) were totally dry and in one (injected with 30 U) the sweating was substantially reduced. The effect persisted for 6-8 months before wearing off. No effect was appreciated in two axillae (injected with 15 and 20 U). No significant side-effects were encountered. Subcutaneous injections of botulinum toxin causes chemodenervation of the sweat glands. In normal individuals axillary sweating can be abolished by 50 U of botulinum toxin A (Botox). The results offer a possible novel treatment for severe cases of axillary hyperhidrosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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