Treating a facial wound with BOTOX® Cosmetic helps to improve the appearance of the resulting scar, according to a study.
Researchers at Mayo Clinic have found that administering an injection of BOTOX® Cosmetic (botulinum toxin type A) soon after a wound occurs can paralyse the area, creating a smooth surface where the wound can heal.
The BOTOX® Cosmetic helps to prevent muscle movement from causing wrinkling around the wound, resulting in a smoother scar.
BOTOX® Cosmetic is commonly used to alleviate muscle spasms or to weaken a muscle for therapeutic purposes, such as the treatment of squints.
It is also used for the temporary treatment of moderate to severe frown lines and is reported to have very few side-effects.
Holger Gassner, lead researcher and a facial plastic surgery fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle, said that the findings show that the toxin can be used as an additional tool in preventing the formation of bad scarring.
"It will give us the option to optimise healing of forehead wounds in the first place and possibly allow us to avoid later surgeries to improve the scar's appearance," he revealed.
Dr Gassner also said that the process could be used to help reduce scarring after revision surgery, when an existing scar is surgically removed to improve appearance.
This is the first medication found to minimise scarring, according to Dr David Sherris, professor and chair of otolaryngology at the University of New York at Buffalo.
"This is of substantial interest in the field of scar treatment," he said. "When a wound occurs, especially on the face, people are always worried about the scar. We can now try and improve scars with these injections."
The findings are published in the August issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.