Can Botox Help with Acne Scarring?
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Can Botox Help with Acne Scarring?

Anyone who has spent years struggling with frustrating bouts of acne will tell you that finally finding an effective acne treatment that truly works doesn’t always have a fairy-tale ending — at least not yet. It’s because once the skin starts to heal, you’re left to deal with an even bigger beauty dilemma: severe acne scarring.

If you’re concerned about your stubborn acne scars and have tried everything to no avail, Botox might be able to offer you a glimmer of hope. Learn all about the potential benefits of Botox for acne scars and find out if this is the right cosmetic treatment for you.

Keep on reading to learn more!

How Does Botox Work for Acne Scars?

Botox is perhaps the most popular anti-aging treatment today. It’s a minimally invasive, injectable cosmetic procedure that effectively relaxes and diminishes fine lines and wrinkles on the skin. It’s so widely recognized as an effective treatment that there were reportedly 4.4 million Botox procedures performed in 2020 based on the National Plastic Surgery Statistics. 

Acne scarring can be physically and mentally damaging for many people, leading to a loss of self-esteem and confidence. Seeing the firming effects of Botox from other treatments, many patients also wonder if Botox can assist with reducing the appearance of acne scarring. It’s perhaps one of the most frequent questions about Botox we encounter. 

In previous years, plastic surgeons have explored the potential benefits of Botox for acne scars. According to a study published in the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, Botox injections can enhance the appearance of acne scars when used on their own or when combined with other adjunct therapies for scar treatment.

Severe acne scars are often a result of inflammation from painful acne cysts or nodules that are often aggravated by popping or picking, further infecting and increasing the risks for scarring. The muscles surrounding the wounds contract, creating deep, pitted marks or raised keloids that never completely disappear.

Here’s where Botox comes in. When injected into the affected area, Botox relaxes and releases the tension of the surrounding skin that has puckered around the existing acne scar, enhancing its appearance by reducing its visibility.

Female patient receiving Botox for acne

Fillers and Botox for Acne Scars

For best results, injectable cosmetic dermal fillers, such as Juvederm and Radiesse, are often used as a complementary treatment with Botox for acne to fill up depressed acne scars. Hyaluronic-based fillers work best for pitted and isolated acne scarring. Like how hyaluronic acid works in topical skincare products, HA-based fillers attract and hold 1,000 times their weight in water and provide a beautiful plumping effect. When injected into atrophic acne scars, fillers lift the depressed area and even out the texture.
The beauty of using fillers in conjunction with Botox for acne scar treatment is that they will replenish the skin’s natural supply of collagen and hyaluronic acid, accelerating the healing process and enhancing the overall appearance not only of the scars but the surrounding area as well. Another side benefit of dermal fillers is that they’ll give you a youthful glow in the months to come as the skin-nourishing active ingredients settle and get to work inside the body.

Can Injectables Help All Types of Acne Scars?

Yes. Cosmetic injectables can be a viable treatment option for acne scarring. However, there are also many contributing factors to consider, such as how long the patient has had the scar or the severity of the scarring. The shape, size, and type of acne scars matter, too. 

Types of acne scars:

  • Atrophic acne scars: These include rolling scars, which have broad depressions with a sloping edge, respond well to fillers and Botox for acne scar treatments. On the other hand, box scars and ice pick scars, which both have irregular shapes, can be more challenging.
  • Hypertrophic acne scars: These scars are raised keloids caused by excess collagen due to skin trauma from inflammatory acne, and may be more complicated to treat than atrophic acne scars. 

We highly recommend consulting with a licensed cosmetic surgeon who can provide you with a thorough assessment of your skin condition and an expert opinion on the best acne scar treatments that are specifically suited for you. It’s necessary to work with a professional practitioner who has the expertise, years of experience, and the understanding of using Botox and dermal fillers for these types of treatment applications.

Highly skilled injectors are adept at using different injecting techniques and selecting which method and type of cosmetic dermal filler to use according to the patient’s specific needs. For instance, your doctor may choose to use the microdroplet technique to introduce a minute dose of filler to the acne scar. It has virtually no downtime following the procedure and produces subtle results.

Before and after photo comparison acne treatment

Botox as an Anti-Acne Treatment

We’ve discussed Botox for acne scars, but did you know that it’s also used to treat acne? 

Based on a study that looked into the effect of Botox on acne, it showed that sweating releases more sebaceous oils, the culprit behind clogged pores that lead to acne breakouts. When they injected Botox into the forehead or brows to reduce the fine lines in the area, they discovered that patients also experienced less sweating and acne breakouts as a side effect. 

Botulinum toxin A, the main active ingredient in Botox, works by blocking the neurotransmitters or nerves responsible for activating the body’s sweat glands. This is how Botox for acne works, like how it does in treating people with hyperhidrosis or overactive sweat glands.

Is Botox for Acne Safe?

Yes. Botox is an FDA-approved injectable cosmetic treatment that has been used safely and effectively for various treatment applications since the early 2000s. 

It is a quick, in-office procedure that typically takes 10 to 15 minutes. There may be visible redness at the injection site that clears up on its own after a few minutes. Once you step out of the office, you can go about your day as usual – it’s the perfect lunchtime cosmetic procedure, feel free to head back to your workplace or meet friends for coffee.

Please note that Botox should only be administered by professional dermatologists, aestheticians, or cosmetic nurse injectors in the presence of a licensed plastic surgeon. 

Botox for Acne Results

Typically, the initial results can be pretty noticeable right after a Botox and dermal filler procedure. Nevertheless, we recommend waiting for two to three weeks when the product has completely settled on your skin to see more significant enhancements.

Here’s where it gets even better: because Botox for acne is used in conjunction with dermal fillers that replenish your skin’s collagen and hyaluronic acid, you can expect to see your skin get smoother, more hydrated, and glowing results in the months to come.

How Long Does Botox Last for Acne Scars?

The amazing effects of Botox for acne scars are temporary. Depending on how your body metabolizes the product, the results of Botox injections can last anywhere between four to six months. However, because Botox is used with dermal fillers (which can take six to 12 months before being metabolized) there’s a possibility that it would take longer before it wears off.

Your dermatologist or plastic surgeon may recommend getting Botox for acne scar treatment at least once a year to maintain flawless-looking skin.

Female patient getting laser skin treatment for acne scars

Realistic Expectations

As with any cosmetic treatment, your doctor will always brief you about managing your expectations. The primary objective is to enhance the appearance of your acne scarring. Botox and fillers may not be the miracle cure for your acne scars, but they can definitely make a big difference. 

Chances are, your doctor will develop a long-term and personalized treatment approach, which may also include a combination of the following acne treatments:

For patients with deep acne scarring, repeated and ongoing treatments may be necessary to achieve and maintain results.

Feel Yourself; Take Control of Your Skin!

Acne scarring can be emotionally painful and make you feel like you are not your real self. There are, however, a variety of treatment options out there that can help by providing long-term results for your acne scarring. Discover which one works best for you with the help of our doctors and skincare experts.

Schedule a free consultation with McLean Clinic today!

May 29, 2021
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