Botox and texting may not mix

Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:39pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Anyone contemplating Botox treatments for excessive sweating might want to consider the case of a U.S. teenager.

The 17-year-old girl, a typical whiz at sending text messages from her phone, had Botox injections to control excessive sweating on her palms -- and afterwards, she couldn't text as well, according to a case study published in Archives of Dermatology.

Doctors who use Botox said they had never heard complaints of texting impairment from patients, but they added that it wasn't entirely unexpected since the injections have been linked to muscle weakness.

"I would definitely discuss this with my patients going forward as a specific potential side effect," said Julia Lehman at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who treated the teenager.

The case "shows the importance of thinking about modern-day activities and how our treatments could potentially impair some of these modern-day activities such as texting."

Lehman's patient suffered from excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, on her hands for several years.

Along with making it difficult for some people to do their jobs and perform other tasks that require dexterity, hyperhidrosis also causes embarrassment and keeps many people away from social events.

Prescription antiperspirants are usually the first treatment step. But when the teen didn't get any better, Lehman moved on to Botox -- which, given in tiny injections on the palm and fingers, blocks the signal that causes sweat to be released.

But it also relaxes other muscles not related to sweating in the process.   Continued...

<p>A sample of Botox is seen at the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group at the Americana Manhasset luxury shopping destination in Manhasset, New York September 30, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton</p>