Botulinum toxin is used medically and cosmetically – and even improves the appearance of scars
Botulinum toxin is commonly known as Botox – whether it is from the company Allergan or not, Botulinum toxin is used medically and cosmetically. A recent article in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal showed that Botulinum toxin A even has the potential to influence wound healing and scar development.
Hu et al published a study in the March 2018 volume 141 of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, on pages 646 to 650, entitled “Effects of Botulinum toxin and improving facial surgical scars, a prospective split-scar, double-blind randomised controlled trial”. You cannot really get better than this peer-reviewed paper as it has met all the necessary scientific standards in order to convince us that Botulinum toxin A influences scar formation.
The research team looked at 16 patients undergoing facial surgery of which 14 completed the scar study. They examined the scars using a visual analogue scale score, and they also measured the scars. They wanted to determine whether there was an improvement in appearance and whether the scars were narrower in the Botulinum toxin type A treated group compared with the blind controlled group treated with saline.
Their study showed that early post-surgical Botulinum toxin injections could produce better, narrower width and flatter-looking facial surgical scars. This is an exciting paper, and its findings are gradually trickling down into clinical practice for oculoplastic surgeons as well as plastic surgeons.
Oculoplastic surgeons perform surgery around the eyelids, including reconstructive surgery after tumour excision, after trauma and also ptosis, drooping eyelid surgery and blepharoplasty eyelid surgery. You will find that we will start to use Botulinum toxin more often as an adjunctive treatment in the post-operative phase in our patients.