West Houston Dermatology

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Botox to Treat Intraoperative Scars

Botulinum toxin (a/k/a Botox) has promise beyond treating glabellar lines between the eyebrows, forehead creases, crow’s feet and extreme sweating.  It seems that using botulinum toxin intraoperatively can reduce the appearance of scars resulting from surgery (i.e., skin cancer removal) or in the appearance of pre-existing scars.  Though there are many anecdotal stories about the use of Botox for scar treatment, there have been several clinical studies (both prospective and retrospective) since 2009 that indicate this is an efficacious approach to scar minimization.  The mechanism of action is thought to be the toxin’s paralyzing effect on the muscles surrounding the scar.  When the muscles immediately around the scar are relaxed, it is easier for the wound to heal.  Dermatologists performing surgeries find success using botulinum toxin in areas such as the forehead, lower face, and in some instances around the eyes.  Dermatologists, such as Stephen Mahoney, M.D., have a keen understanding of facial musculature and enervation, so use of a toxin such as Botox can be very effective and safe for minimization of scars.