SAN FRANCISCO (Ivanhoe Newswire/WTVM) - Millions of people use Botox to smooth out wrinkles on their forehead and erase crow's feet around the eyes. However, Botox, the brand name for what's called botulinum toxin, is most widely used for medical conditions and the results can be life-changing.
JoAnn Kemist endures hundreds of shots of Botox in her hands every three months. She suffers from hyperhidrosis — or severe sweating in her hands, feet and underarms.
It started when she was a teenager, and affects her still today. Kemist explains, "I'll never forget the gentleman simply, physically recoiled from me and said, 'how did you ever get married?' It's life changing."
She's able to control it with regular shots of Botox.
Richard Glogau, MD, Dermatologist and Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Francisco says, "You can inject the toxin into the skin and block the signal going to the sweat glands and the sweating stops. It's a life-saving procedure for a lot of these individuals."
Now, Dr. Glogau says there's hope that people like Kemist won't have to be pricked over and over again. There's a new type of botulinum toxin produced by a company called Revance, which comes as a topical lotion or an injection.
"It seems to work by holding or trapping the toxin at the target sight for a much longer period of time," Dr. Glogau explains.
Studies suggest the injectable version doubles the length of time it works. Instead of four months, this can last eight. Kemist says, "I can tell the difference right away after leaving the office."
Good news for Kemist, who spends almost $10,000 a year on Botox injections. She says, "Anything that would reduce the going through the pain of it as often and certainly reduce the cost would be an enormous life-changing thing."
And yes —Dr. Glogau says it might be available for cosmetic purposes too.
Clinical trials of the injectable form have already been performed in Canada and Mexico with good results. Trials in the United States are expected to begin this year.
If all goes well, it could be on the market in two years. Good news for millions of people, from stroke patients- to migraine sufferers, and even to Parkinson's patients, who rely on Botox to help release rigid muscles.