Using Botox to treat acne?

WRITTEN BY: Elizabeth On 09/24/2009 • Skin

Using Botox to treat acne?

Chicago plastic surgeon Anil Shah M.D. recently published the only study ever done showing that Botox lowers the skin's oil production and thus, can be used to treat acne. "Botox definitely clears up acne," says Dr. Shah, who has treated about 100 patients in this way.

Of course, the media and spas around the country jumped on this information. "Another acne-treatment product to throw at consumers!" Only one small large problem. It seems like Botox as an acne treatment isn't really that great of an idea.  When tiny amounts of Botox are injected directly throughout the dermis of face, yes, oil production is limited. But, sorry Dr. Shah, seems like Botox injections are a stupid way to treat breakouts.

Submitted by Elizabeth on 09/24/2009 - 13:11

First, to significantly reduce oil production, very large areas of the face would need to be treated, resulting in the expressionless look for which Botox is often mocked.

Second, the procedure is difficult. Even Dr. Shah admits that "Experience here is really essential.“ The muscle paralyzer has to be injected directly into a layer of skin just 1/25th of an inch thick. If it's injected too deeply it can alter the patient's facial expressions.

Third, Botox as an acne treatment can be prohibitively expensive. Once you find a doctor willing to treat your break-outs in this way, a treatment can cost upwards of $500 and last for only 4 months.

Of course, this is only my opinion of Botox as an acne treatment. I tend to be skeptical of most trendy things, though. And over a few years, my skepticism usually proves to be right. Atkins Diet, anyone?

What do you think about the prospect of Botox being used to treat acne? Estheticians, skin care specialists and makeup artists - do you think Botox is a viable solution to cure or treat acne?