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The Cure-All: Botox for the Treatment of Acne

Migraines, excessive sweating, and now acne? Botox is becoming more and more popular for much more than just lines and wrinkles. As we discussed last week, people are constantly chasing the newest beauty treatments and going after the hottest trends. Likewise, consumers are constantly searching for the latest acne treatment, whether it’s charcoal masks or homemade remedies. Doctors are saying that Botox, when injected into the skin, helps eliminate large pores, oil production, and breakouts which could change the face of acne (literally!) for those who suffer from it.

Anil Shah, a Chicago plastic surgeon, produced a study (the only study so far on Botox for Acne) and found that 85% of the 20 patients he treated with Botox saw a decrease in pore size and oil production in the treated area. Shah attributes this to the fact that Botox stops the production of sebum in the face by blocking the chemical Acetylcholine. When the skin sebaceous glands release too much oil, or sebum, into the skin’s pores, that is when acne occurs. Bacteria uses sebum as food, multiplies, and then causes the pore to become inflamed, resulting in a pimple. So by stopping the production of sebum, you are decreasing the amount of oil in the face, and therefore minimizing the chance for acne. Botox also paralyzes the small muscles that surround the skin’s pores and cause them to expand.

The reason that this treatment hasn’t become widely popular is for a number of reasons. For one, it is a temporary fix. Just as when Botox is injected to help reduce lines and wrinkles in the face, it will eventually dissolve and need to be re-treated. Another possible issue with this treatment is that is very complex. A very diluted solution must be injected directly into a layer of skin just 1/25th of an inch thick. If injected too deeply, it will not have the same results and will alter the look of the patient’s face and facial expressions.

Dr. Shah also recommends that this treatment is not used on anyone under the age of 20 as hormonal changes are more likely permanent in those over the age of 20. With teens, acne can likely clear up naturally over time.

Acne can be detrimental to not only a person’s physical appearance but their self-confidence as well.  For some people who have tried everything with little to no success might be able to find hope in Botox treatments. The important piece is to find a doctor who is specifically trained and knowledgeable in treating acne with Botox. The neurotoxin has become so widely accepted and popular, we’re excited to see even more potential capabilities of the drug.