Narrator: This is Science Today. Patients who suffer from a condition called hyperhydrosis - or sudden uncontrolled sweating - can be treated with an injection called Botox. Dr. Richard Glougau, a dermatologist at the University of California, San Francisco, says Botox is a greatly diluted form of the deadly bacteria that causes botulism - a foodbourne illness which leads to muscle paralysis.
Glogau:The effect of Botox on the nerve endings that controls the sweat glands is identical to the effect on nerves that control the muscles, so we can inject for instance, a sweaty palm and produce dryness from anywhere between six and twelve months.
Narrator: Glougau says this is a great improvement over the surgical procedure in which a nerve in the neck leading to the arm and palm is severed.
Glogau: That surgery, while it can be very effective, does have some risks. The main one being the body's tendency to compensate by sweating more in the non-treated area. Botox can produce dryness in the palms or the underarms without any compensatory sweating at all. So in has, in that respect, a much safer profile than the surgical procedure.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.