Narrator: This is Science Today. Doctors are finding more uses for a toxin called Botox, which is widely used to treat facial wrinkles. Now patients who suffer from a condition called hyperhydrosis - or sudden uncontrolled sweating - can be treated with an injection of Botox. Dr. Richard Glougau, a dermatologist at the University of California, San Francisco, says Botox is a very diluted form of the deadly bacteria that causes botulism and works by temporarily paralyzing facial muscles that cause wrinkles.
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.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.