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Botox may help surgical scars heal better!

Published on March 14, 2018
Man  man with scar on his  hand shoulder. Laser Scar Reduction concept

A recent publication suggests that injecting botox around a sutured wound may allow them to heal with less scaring. The study was small, only 14 patients and the differences were not huge. However the differences were significant enough to be recognized by doctors who didn’t know which side of the scar had had botox or not.

There may be a scientific explanation for why botox would have this effect. We know that “tension” on a wound will usually lead to a thicker and/ or wider scar. That’s why we usually use deep internal sutures as well as skin sutures to minimize the tension on the skin edges as they heal. It may be that by partially paralyzing the surrounding facial muscles the botox is removing some of the tension that would otherwise effect the wound as the muscles contract. Furthermore there may be a biochemical effect. Other studies have indicated that Botox may have a direct inhibitory effects on fibroblasts and transforming growth factor-β1 expression. Both these properties could in theory lead to less scaring. More work is needed to confirm this potential use of botox, but so far its looking good. However dont expect insurance companies to be covering this any time soon!

 

Article Citation

Effects of Botulinum Toxin on Improving Facial Surgical Scars: A Prospective, Split-Scar, Double-Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial

Hu, Li Ph.D., M.D.; Zou, Yun M.D.; Chang, Shih-Jen M.D.; Qiu, Yajing M.D.; Chen, Hui Ph.D., M.D.; Gang, Ma Ph.D., M.D.; Jin, Yunbo Ph.D., M.D.; Lin, Xiaoxi Ph.D., M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: March 2018 – Volume 141 – Issue 3 – p 646–650

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