Frey's Syndrome

Symptoms, Doctors, Treatments, Research & More

Condition 101

What is the definition of Frey's Syndrome?

Frey's syndrome is a rare, neurological disorder that causes a person to sweat excessively while eating. It most often occurs as a complication of surgery involving the parotid gland (a major salivary gland located below the ear). It may also occur following neck dissection, facelift procedures, or trauma to the area near the parotid gland. Symptoms usually develop within several months of the procedure or trauma, but may develop several years later. The main symptoms include flushing and excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) on the cheek, temple, or behind the ear, when eating or thinking about food (gustatory sweating). Some people with Frey’s syndrome may experience a burning sensation, itching, or pain around the affected area. The symptoms are usually mild but can be severe, causing significant discomfort or social anxiety.

Frey’s syndrome is thought to be caused by damage to both the nerves that regulate the sweat glands, and the nerves that regulate the parotid glands. It is believed that the damaged nerves regrow abnormally and connect to the wrong glands. Frey’s syndrome is diagnosed based on medical history (e.g. a history of surgery or trauma) and symptoms. The diagnosis can be confirmed with a test called the Minor's starch-iodine test.

Treatment, when needed, is focused on controlling the symptoms and often involves injections of botulinum toxin A (Botox) and/or topical antiperspirants. Repeat Botox injections are often needed as symptoms return, which occurs yearly on average. Of note, although Botox injections have been reported to improve symptoms and quality of life, no randomized controlled trials of its use to treat Frey’s syndrome have been documented.

What are the alternative names for Frey's Syndrome?

  • Hyperhidrosis gustatory
  • Gustatory sweating
  • Auriculotemporal nerve syndrome
  • Frey syndrome

Top Global Doctors

Maria Grosheva
Koeln, NW, DE
Dirk Beutner
Goettingen, NI, DE
Luigi Califano
Naples, 72, IT
Giorgio Iaconetta
Salerno, 72, IT

Latest Research

Latest Advance
  • Condition: Salivary Otorrhea
  • Journal: Journal of otolaryngology - head & neck surgery = Le Journal d'oto-rhino-laryngologie et de chirurgie cervico-faciale
  • Treatment Used: Type A Botulinum Toxin
  • Number of Patients: 1
  • Published —
In this case study, researchers evaluated the outcomes of using type A botulinum toxin for the treatment of salivary otorrhea.
Latest Advance
  • Condition: Frey Syndrome after Parotidectomy
  • Journal: Lin chuang er bi yan hou tou jing wai ke za zhi = Journal of clinical otorhinolaryngology, head, and neck surgery
  • Treatment Used: Implantation of SIS
  • Number of Patients: 95
  • Published —
This study analyzed the data of the patients with parotid tumors, clarified the contributing factors of Frey syndrome, and evaluated the role of soft tissues membrane SIS in prevention of Frey syndrome after parotidectomy.

Clinical Trials

There are no recent clinical trials available for this condition. Please check back because new trials are being conducted frequently.