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A Look at Botulinum Toxin-A for the Treatment of Raynaud Syndrome

Researchers from the New York University School of Medicine, recently published a case study on the effects of botulinum toxin-A (botox) on Raynaud syndrome. Previous studies have shown injections of botox to be successful in treating Raynaud syndrome. 
The Skinny on Raynaud Syndrome
Raynaud syndrome is a vasospastic disorder of the fingers, toes, and other body areas.  It is often associated with emotional stress and exposure to cold temperatures. 
Case Study
In this case study, the patient was presented with multiple ulcerations and having severe resting pain of fingers and hands. A diagnosis of Raynaud syndrome in conjunction with rheumatoid arthritis had been made almost thirty years prior.  Her symptoms had started with separation of nail from the nail bed and progressed to severe resting pain in the fingers and hands. The patient was also presented with ulcerations on the fingers, ears, and nose.
Botox injections were given at several places in the patient’s hand, including into the palm side of the hand along the palmar neurovascular bundles of the metacarpophalangeal joint, the track of the digital vessels of each finger, and the middle of the web spaces between the fingers.  
Improvement of blood flow to the fingers was noticed within thirty minutes of the injections. The patient also reported that considerate, immediate improvement in resting pain was felt.  Three months after the injections the patient reported that half the ulcers on the right hand had healed. All of the ulcers on the left hand had healed and that the pain in both hands had completely resolved. 
Researchers concluded that while further research is necessary to understand why botox treatments seem to be successful in treating certain disorders like Raynaud syndrome, positive outcomes, such as this case study, demonstrate that additional studies would be valuable to find more uses for botox in treatment of chronic disorders. 
Read more about Raynaud’s Syndrome here on Dermcast
Sources: Arch Dermatol. 2012;148(4):426-428.
[Image by Karsten Schmidt]

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