Botox, also known as Botulinum Toxin A (BTX-A), has long been used as a way in which to keep your youthful appearance. If you didn’t want wrinkles or sagging skin, you could opt for Botox injections and correct the problem immediately. You could then benefit from looking younger for up to four months before needing to get more Botox injections. It’s clear to see why Botox is so popular: it enables people to take a dip into the fountain of youth – at least temporarily.
However, for many people who have undergone facial reconstruction surgery, Botox injections also have another use: minimising facial scarring. According to a clinical trial with results published in the official medical journal by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Botox may help to create narrower and flatter surgical scars.
The study, titled ‘split scar’, involved 16 patients with an average age of 12. These patients underwent surgery for facial birth disfigurements such as birthmarks. During surgery, each patient received a Botox injection or placebo in one half of the scar immediately after the wound’s closure.
Independent plastic surgeons with no connection to any of the patients then took a look at those scars six months later – rating their appearance and measuring them. In all patients, the scars averaged between three and 16 centimetres.
In the patients treated with Botox injections, the scar’s appearance was far better than those without. On the scars with Botox, they rated 5.76 on average. On the scars treated with the placebo, they rated an average of 4.97.
Dr. XiaoXi Lin and co-authors of the study did note that the research contained limitations – such as the small number of patients, but it so far looks promising. Dr. Lin said paralysing the muscles surrounding the scar could help to prevent movement on the healing wound, preventing widening of the scar and relieving tension. In a previous study, it was also suggested that Botox injections could also inhibit cells to help with the healing process.
While Botox injections may begin to help those with facial scars, they are also being used by a range of medical professionals for non-cosmetic purposes. People with excess sweating, Bells Palsy, migraines, and twitching eyelids have all seen the benefit in the procedure – even if it’s a temporary fix. Time will only tell what other benefits surrounding Botox injections that researchers will find.