Botulinum toxin is currently used to decrease sweating in the underarms palms and feet. Botulinum toxin is injected into the affected area in order to prevent the sweat glands from overproducing sweat.
Sweat glands are stimulated by nerves that release a chemical called acetylcholine and cause sweat production. Botulinum toxin, when injected into the vicinity of the sweat glands, blocks the release of the acetylcholine, thereby temporarily reducing or abolishing sweat production. After the injections, the skin may appear slightly bruised, and the skin will feel numb from the anaesthesia/nerve block. After 2 hours, normal activities can be resumed including exercise. In approximately 3 to 5 days after the injections, a decrease of sweating in the treated areas will be noted. The effects usually last for approximately 6 to 9 months.
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