Minimizing wrinkles, easing migraines, lessening underarm sweat and treating an overactive bladder. Is there anything Botox can’t treat? Recently, a new use for Botox is increasing in popularity. Medical experts are now using the toxin to prevent scars from forming after plastic surgery.
A small study recently published in the medical journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery wanted to “evaluate the effect of botulinum toxin type A on surgical facial scars.” In this study, 16 patients who had some kind of facial surgery had Botox injected randomly into half of each surgical wound after surgery. The scars were then independently assessed by two plastic surgeons six months later.
Of the 14 patients who finished assessment, the study found “significant improvement in appearance and narrower scars for the botulinum toxin type A–treated halves of the scars.” The conclusion? “Postsurgical botulinum toxin injections can produce better, narrower, and flatter facial surgical scars,” the study reports.
We talked to Dr. Michele Green, a New York dermatologist, to learn more about Botox for scar treatment.
“I have used Botox to treat scars in my practice,” Dr. Green said. “When I see a patient with a new facial laceration, especially in the area of the forehead, I use Botox to freeze that area.
“Botox helps treat the scar by freezing the muscles of facial expression,” she continues. “Every time you move, your scar can get wider and Botox prevents this movement. … So, the scar doesn’t spread and yields much better cosmetic results.”
Botox won’t treat existing scars and isn’t suitable for all locations on the body. Dr. Green says the best type of scars to treat with Botox are facial scars, particularly forehead scars. She typically combines Botox with a topical wound care treatment for best results.
“I have done this procedure on many patients and they are thrilled with the results,” adds Dr. Green.
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