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Derm News: 2007.3(1)

Making Scents: Improvement of Olfactory Profile after Botulinum Toxin-A Treatment in Healthy Individuals

Dermatologic Surgery 33 (s1), S81-S87
Marc Heckmann MD, Sandra Kütt MD, Sabine Dittmar MD, Henning Hamm MD

Background

The axilla is particularly associated with body odor and putative pheromone production in humans. Although botulinum toxin type A (BT-A) is injected increasingly into the axillary skin to stop excessive sweating, its potential to control body odor is largely unexplored.

Objective

The objective was to measure the impact of BT-A on human axillary odor in an objective and reproducible fashion.

Methods

This study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with 51 healthy volunteers receiving 50 U of BOTOX (Allergan, Inc.) in one axilla and placebo in the other. Odor quality was assessed by treated subjects (questionnaire) as well as by independent raters who were exposed to blinded T-shirt samples.

Results

No major side effects occurred, and no subject withdrew from the study for medical reasons. Samples from the BT-A-treated side smelled less intense (p<.001) and better (p<.001) according to self-assessments. Likewise, independent raters found the BT-A-treated samples to smell less intense and better (p<.001). They preferred "to work together with the respective person" and found the odor "more erotic" (p<.001).

Conclusions

Side-by-side comparison of odor samples (T-shirt sniff test) by independent raters showed that axillary odor in healthy individuals is significantly more appealing after BT-A injection.


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The Derm News service provided by the Editorial Consultants of Skin Therapy Letter© and its founding editor Dr. Stuart Maddin.