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Can Botox Treat Acne Scars? Acne is a skin con­di­tion that is often a hall­mark of ado­les­cence, but some peo­ple cope with acne even longer than just dur­ing their teen years. Some­times acne lingers well into the twen­ties and even ear­ly thir­ties. And while the con­di­tion itself is hard to deal with – red skin and unsight­ly blem­ish­es – the scars acne leaves behind can be even more troubling. There is no deny­ing that a bad case of acne dur­ing the teenage years and ear­ly twen­ties (and, as we said, some­times, even lat­er) can be dev­as­tat­ing to a per­son­’s self-esteem. This skin prob­lem neg­a­tive­ly impacts an indi­vid­u­al’s devel­op­ing self-con­fi­dence. Even when acne sub­sides as the body matures, it leaves behind vis­i­ble scars that are a painful reminder of just how bad this skin con­di­tion was. In recent years, der­ma­tol­o­gists and cos­met­ic sur­geons have rec­om­mend­ed Botox as a solu­tion to those scars. Botox is a cos­met­ic treat­ment prod­uct that many peo­ple asso­ciate with Hol­ly­wood stars strug­gling to main­tain a youth­ful appear­ance. But in fact, it’s ben­e­fi­cial to “ordi­nary” folks, too, not just celebri­ties who don’t like vis­i­ble signs of aging. It helps indi­vid­u­als deal­ing with the after­ef­fects of acne – those unsight­ly scars it so often leaves in its wake. In this arti­cle, we offer some sug­ges­tions about whether seek­ing Botox treat­ments from a plas­tic sur­geon or der­ma­tol­o­gist is the way to go if you’re deal­ing with severe or mod­er­ate acne scars. We’ve done the research and inves­ti­gat­ed just what the experts say, so you can decide whether hav­ing Botox to deal with your acne scars is the right choice for you or some­one in your family.

What Causes Acne?

When you sweat, oils build up on your skin and clog your pores. In essence, that’s what caus­es acne to break out, par­tic­u­lar­ly on the fore­head, chin, and bridge of the nose – although break­outs can occur on any part of the face and back. In some peo­ple, acne even erupts on the chest and shoul­ders, too.

The Different Kinds Of Acne Scarring:

There are two types of scars left behind when acne abates. One is called Hyper­trophic, which refers to scars that rise from the sur­face of the skin and have a “puck­er­ing” look.  The oth­er is called Atroph­ic, which refers to scars that depress the skin, caus­ing the “cra­ter­ing” effect. An acne out­break caus­es inflam­ma­tion and blem­ish­es. Once the out­break has passed, left in its wake is mis­shapen and stretched skin that can be bad­ly scarred. How­ev­er, Botox goes a long way toward less­en­ing the vis­i­ble effects of acne scars, par­tic­u­lar­ly when used in con­junc­tion with der­ma fillers.

How Does Botox work?

Botox is actu­al­ly a brand name. The prod­uct itself is called bot­u­linum tox­in, which is a nerve-block­ing drug that usu­al­ly par­a­lyzes move­ment in areas of the face. Botox is inject­ed into the scarred area (only by a qual­i­fied med­ical pro­fes­sion­al!), and it relax­es your facial mus­cles. This, in turn, reduces the strain on the scarred areas. Col­la­gen is a pro­tein in the com­plex­ion that boosts hydra­tion and lessens wrin­kles, but it grad­u­al­ly depletes as we get older. That’s why many plas­tic sur­geons and oth­er spe­cial­ists often rec­om­mend that you get der­ma fillers after hav­ing Botox. Because even once Botox has relaxed the mus­cles under­neath the affect­ed areas on your face, the scars may still be vis­i­ble. Fillers can go a long way toward min­i­miz­ing the appear­ance of acne scars if they are used in con­junc­tion with Botox –a kind of one-two punch, so to speak! Der­ma fillers are usu­al­ly made of col­la­gen or hyaluron­ic acid, both of which smooth over the scars once they are inject­ed. So, first, the doc­tor uses Botox to relax the mus­cles, then they use filler to make the scar tis­sue smooth again. Using both – Botox and fillers – almost always pro­duces the best result. It depends on how bad and how deep your acne scars are. The oth­er ben­e­fit of Botox is that many der­ma­tol­o­gists use it to help pre­vent future acne out­breaks, as it inhibits the pro­duc­tion of oils in pores.

What Is Bellafill?

At present, Bel­lafill is the only FDA-approved filler spe­cial­ly designed to treat acne scars. (Oth­ers, like Juva­derm, work also, but Bel­lafill has been designed specif­i­cal­ly for the treat­ment of mod­er­ate to severe acne scars). Eighty per­cent of Bel­lafil­l’s con­tent is col­la­gen, so you get a large dose of this skin-enhanc­ing protein. The rest of this prod­uct con­sists of a sub­stance called poly­methyl­methacry­late (PMMA) which helps the body increase heal­ing. There are oth­er der­ma fillers that work on acne scars as well, includ­ing Resty­lane, which is a type of hyaluron­ic acid. Accord­ing to the research we did, many doc­tors praise Bel­lafill because of its abil­i­ty to last and its lev­el of collagen.

When Should You Consider Botox?

can botox treat acne scars - botox for acne scars Are your acne scars both­er­ing you so much that they inhib­it your hap­pi­ness, self-con­fi­dence and sat­is­fac­tion in life? If you answered “yes” or even “some­times,” a con­sul­ta­tion with a der­ma­tol­o­gist is prob­a­bly a good idea. If you don’t already have a spe­cial­ist, start with your G.P. and ask for a referral.  After all, you don’t have to live with them! Treat­ments like Botox and der­ma fillers are now rel­a­tive­ly inex­pen­sive for most peo­ple, and the ben­e­fits of hav­ing smooth, attrac­tive skin are immea­sur­able. How­ev­er, we offer one caveat here: don’t for­get to bring age into this decision. If your teenag­er is ask­ing for Botox, be sure to find out how like­ly it is they will con­tin­ue endur­ing out­breaks because of their age. It is some­times wise to wait a few years so that acne is large­ly behind them, but your doc­tor can advise you best on this matter.

Is There a Downside To Botox?

Not real­ly! Treat­ment takes very lit­tle time, and most patients don’t even feel the need to take a day away from work. The results are vir­tu­al­ly imme­di­ate, and once your scars are less vis­i­ble and your skin is smoother, you’ll start feel­ing bet­ter about your­self and your appear­ance right away, too. If there is a down­side, it is that Botox injec­tions don’t last for­ev­er. Your body will start pro­cess­ing Botox quick­ly, usu­al­ly metab­o­liz­ing it over the course of sev­er­al months. To keep your skin look­ing its best and the scars the least vis­i­ble, you should sched­ule injec­tions every three, four or per­haps six months. Most patients find the effects begin to wane after six months at the most, but every indi­vid­ual is dif­fer­ent, and you should judge when its effec­tive­ness is wan­ing based on how you feel and look. Every per­son is dif­fer­ent, and so are their expe­ri­ences with Botox and how long it lasts.

Is Botox Expensive?

Like so many ques­tions about med­ical prod­ucts and pro­ce­dures, the answer is: it depends. Fac­tors like what city you live in (big or small) and which spe­cial­ist you see impact the price. One vial of Botox can cost about $25 (USD), so the price also depends on how much prod­uct you need. In some cas­es, doc­tors charge based on the area of the face being treat­ed rather than the amount of Botox used. Either method of set­ting fees – by prod­uct amount or by the part of the body being treat­ed – is up to the med­ical professional. Your first move should be sched­ul­ing a con­sul­ta­tion with a med­ical pro­fes­sion­al and mak­ing your deci­sions based on their advice. Some spas and clin­ics also offer Botox injec­tions and fillers, but you should check the cre­den­tials of any­one you’re con­sid­er­ing hir­ing to do the pro­ce­dure. Although Botox and fillers have been proven safe and have few or no side effects, it’s impor­tant that the per­son admin­is­ter­ing them for the treat­ment of your acne scars is a qual­i­fied professional. You may also want to con­sult fam­i­ly and friends who have used Botox and der­ma fillers as treat­ments for acne scars. There is noth­ing like a per­son­al rec­om­men­da­tion from some­one you know and trust to make you feel com­fort­able about the spe­cial­ist you’re consulting.

In Conclusion…

Botox is safe for treat­ing acne scars, and doc­tors and cos­met­ic sur­geons have been rec­om­mend­ing it for years now.  There are sev­er­al fac­tors to con­sid­er, of course, includ­ing price and how often you’ll have to keep going for treat­ments. Can you afford it? Does your doc­tor per­haps have a pay­ment plan that would make the cost a lit­tle eas­i­er for you? And don’t for­get to check “before and after” pho­tos of their web­sites before choos­ing a spe­cial­ist to use. Long gone are the days when acne left life­long reminders of its effects on the face and body. Today, thanks to mod­ern med­i­cine, you don’t have to suf­fer through the scars left behind by a bad case of acne dur­ing adolescence. But this isn’t some­thing you should rush into with­out being ful­ly informed. Con­sid­er start­ing the process by see­ing your physi­cian, as they’ll know cos­met­ic sur­geons and der­ma­tol­o­gists in the community. Do lots of research and read­ing online. Take your time. Liv­ing with acne scars is dif­fi­cult, we know, but learn­ing about all your treat­ment options before choos­ing one for you is the only way you’ll make the right decision!

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