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Botulinum Toxin Eases Symptoms of Frey Syndrome

Toxin reduces area affected by gustatory sweating condition

FRIDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with Frey syndrome, or gustatory sweating, who are given repeated treatments of botulinum toxin type A, experience less severe symptoms and a reduction in the area affected by the condition, according to a report published in the March issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

Remco de Bree, M.D., Ph.D., of the University Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a study of 22 patients with Frey syndrome who were treated with at least three doses of intracutaneous botulinum toxin type A. The patients completed a questionnaire about their subjective symptoms and the size of the area affected was measured using a starch-iodine test.

The size of the area affected decreased according to the number of treatments and subjective symptom scores also went down the more treatments the patients had, with duration between treatments also increasing, the investigators found.

"For relief from socially embarrassing symptoms, some patients seemed to need more treatments than did others," the authors write. "The variability in the duration of effectiveness of intracutaneous injection of botulinum toxin type A may be attributed to the individual variation in disuse atrophy of the non-stimulated sweat glands, the variable regeneration pattern of sweat glands and local variations related to the prior surgical approach."

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