The place of botulinum toxin type A in the treatment of focal hyperhidrosis

Br J Dermatol. 2004 Dec;151(6):1115-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2004.06317.x.


Background: Hyperhidrosis (primary or secondary) is excessive sweating beyond that required to return body temperature to normal. It can be localized or generalized, commonly affecting the axillae, palms, soles or face, and can have a substantial negative effect on a patient's quality of life.

Impact of disease: Objective evaluation comprising quantitative assessment (gravimetric and Minor's iodine starch test) and subjective evaluation (Dermatology Quality of Life Index and Hyperhidrosis Impact Questionnaire) allow accurate assessment of the impact of hyperhidrosis on patients.

Botulinum toxin type a: Botulinum toxin type A acts by inhibiting the release of acetylcholine at the presynaptic membrane of cholinergic neurones. It has proved useful in treating a number of diseases relating to muscular dystonia and is now proving beneficial in treating hyperhidrosis. Clinical trials investigating botulinum toxin type A use in axillary and palmar hyperhidrosis show significant benefits with few side-effects reported, with a favourable impact also being seen on patient quality of life. Botulinum toxin type A injections are generally well-tolerated with beneficial results lasting from 4 to 16 months.

Conclusions: Botulinum toxin type A injections are an effective and well-tolerated treatment for hyperhidrosis. This paper proposes a positioning of this treatment along with current established treatments, and highlights the role of botulinum toxin type A as a valuable therapy for the treatment of hyperhidrosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Axilla
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / therapeutic use*
  • Hand
  • Humans
  • Hyperhidrosis / drug therapy*
  • Neuromuscular Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Neuromuscular Agents
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A