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Armpit Injections Reduce Sweating, Smelly Bacteria

WebMD Health News

Botox for BO

Jan. 21, 2003 -- Will Botox give Ban a run for its money? A new study shows that Botox injections can reduce body odor by shutting down sweat glands.

Botox -- a bacterial toxin that paralyzes the tight muscles that cause wrinkles -- has been tested for other uses, including headaches and hemorrhoids.

In this study, a group of German researchers investigated the effect Botox has on sweat glands. Their results appear in the January issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Three types of sweat glands -- plus skin-surface bacteria -- produce the pungent smell associated with body odor, writes lead researcher Marc Heckmann, MD, dermatologist with Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Munich.

The 16 volunteers in his study ranged from age 18 to 51. Each wore a new, white cotton T-shirt for 24 hours -- from noon until noon -- without any deodorant or perfume. They were also instructed not to eat asparagus, onions, or garlic -- or to have close personal contact with their partners for two days before and during the study.

When the 24-hour test period ended, each volunteer conducted a "sniff test," rating the shirts' armpits according to odor intensity.

Then, each volunteer was injected with Botox under one armpit. Under the other armpit, they were injected with a saline solution for comparison. No deodorant or antiperspirant was allowed.

Seven days later, the researchers repeated the sniff test. This time, volunteers rated the Botox armpits significantly lower for odor intensity compared to the other arm. They also gave higher ratings for "pleasantness". The Botox armpits were also significantly dryer.

Botox may "foster favorable odorous substances" by rebalancing the gland secretions and/or preventing unpleasant smells from skin-surface bacteria -- thus improving body odor, writes Heckmann.

Source: Archives of Dermatology, January 2003.

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