Dermatologists are increasingly using Botox to help prevent acne breakouts and scarring, as well as to relax wrinkled skin around existing acne scars. The procedure involves injecting a small amount of the neurotoxin into the key muscles of the face, blocking acetylcholine, a chemical in the skin's dermis that is responsible for increasing sebum production. This minimizes imperfections by paralyzing the nerves that release it into the muscle. In addition to eliminating breakouts, Botox has several unapproved uses including removing excess sweating, controlling bladder leaks, and minimizing scarring.
Dermatologists can also inject small drops of Botox along the edge of the upper lip to roll the upper lip up and out slightly to make it appear thicker. When considering whether or not to use Botox to treat acne, it is important to take a holistic approach and consult with a cosmetic dermatologist. They may call it micro or intradermal Botox, since it is injected a little more superficially (although the facial muscles are still only 1 or 2 millimeters apart) and is usually thinner than the one that smoothes wrinkles. Hormonal acne does not always respond fully to treatment with acne creams, such as topical retinoids and antibiotics.
In some cases, testosterone and DHT can be produced in the skin and blood tests would not show if too much of these hormones are being produced in the skin. This is where Botox can be beneficial, as it helps to decrease oil production and release muscle tension that causes scarring. Botox injections can also be used to combat persistent acne. Amy Wechsler, a dermatologist, has injected Botox into her scalp, forehead and temples, as well as into her armpits, palms, and soles of her feet, to stop excessive sweating in those places for six months.
Overall, Botox can be an effective treatment for hormonal acne when used in conjunction with other treatments. It is important to consult with a dermatologist before undergoing any treatment to ensure that it is right for you.