The treatment of scars is complex and often requires multiple modalities of treatment, including lasers, chemical peels, topical medications, injected medications, and even surgery. For more information on the treatment of scars, please visit the linked blog post. One proposed treatment for scars is Botox© and similar medications which are also referred to as Botulinum Toxin-A. A recent study sought to answer the question of whether Botulinum Toxin-A is an effective treatment for scars by combining the data from multiple previous studies to perform something called a systematic review and meta-analysis, which is a qualitative and quantitative study of the effects of an intervention. For more information on how physicians review the literature, please visit the linked blog post. It is recommended to seek a fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon when you have aesthetic concerns about your face or neck.
Can Botox© and Similar Products Improve the Appearance of Scars?
Dr. Jeffrey Harmon
A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Demonstrated the Effectiveness of Botox© and Similar Medications in Treating Scars
A systematic review and meta-analysis published in medical literature reviewed approximately 20 studies to evaluate the effects of Botulinum Toxin-A on scar formation. This study demonstrated an improvement in the appearance of scars with treatment with Botulinum Toxin-A when compared with incisions that were not treated, also known as the control (1). Typically, the best method to assess scar formation is with what is called a split-scar study. A split-scar study involves the treatment of half the scar with the other half of the scar serving as the control. Many of these papers included split-scar studies and utilized methods of assessing the appearance of scars that have been approved as being objective enough to be included in medical studies.
The Mechanism of Action by Which Botox Can Improve Scar Appearance is Not Known
The mechanism by which Botox and other similar products can improve the appearance of scars is not yet clear. It may be that the medication affects the cascade of signaling molecules that affect the healing process. It may also be that, by reducing the contraction of muscles around the incision, there is less tension on that incision, thereby improving the appearance of the scar. More research is required to determine the mechanism of action of Botulinum Toxin-A on scar formation.
Botox© and Similar Products are a Promising Treatment for Scars but Remain FDA Off-Label
While the potential benefits of the treatment of scars with Botulinum Toxin-A is promising, It is important to note that the FDA has not yet reviewed and approved the use of Botox© and similar products for the treatment of scars. However, as with many other interventions, the road to FDA approval starts with research demonstrating the effectiveness of the treatment, as evidenced by the above study.
Trust Your Face to a Facial Plastic Surgeon
It is important to seek a fellowship-trained specialist in plastic surgery of the face and neck when you have concerns about your face or neck.
Request a Consultation
Request a consultation with Dr. Harmon at Harmon Facial Plastic Surgery in Cincinnati. Visit our clinic. You will learn more about Dr. Harmon’s credentials, style, and approach. Build a relationship with our dedicated team. Do not stop searching “plastic surgery near me.” Get in touch with us to learn more.
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute direct medical advice. It is essential that you have a consultation with a qualified medical provider prior to considering any treatment. This will allow you the opportunity to discuss any potential benefits, risks, and alternatives to the treatment.