Botox, aka Botulinum, is designed to lessen the lines along the upper face. Cosmedocs has discovered the use of Botox toxin in decreasing oil, acne, and pore size. This may explain why most patients who have botox in their forehead also end up with smoother skin with improved texture. Botox does decrease the sweat production but may also decrease the sebum, oil, pore size as well as a reduction of acne.
Although there aren’t yet any published studies proving these claims, experts believe that this fortunate side effect is due to the toxin’s muscle-paralyzing powers. A relaxed duct doesn’t continually pump out sebum, so glands aren’t stimulated to refill, says Anna D. Guanche, MD, a clinical instructor of dermatology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. Facial surgeon Anil Shah, MD, one of the first doctors in New York City to use Botox to stall sebum, hypothesizes that the toxin slackens the microscopic muscles surrounding each piece by blocking nerve transmission acetylcholine, a chemical that influences oil manufacture.
To treat wrinkles, Botox is shot deep inside muscles, but for sebum minimization doctors inject a saline-diluted superficially into skin’s top layers. I focus on areas where pores the most prevalent, usually the nose, cheeks, and forehead, Shah says, adding that, depending on the patient, results can be seen in as little as 24 hours and last for approximately four months (the same amount of time Botox would typically hold up anywhere else).
The drug’s ability to reduce oil means it could control acne as well. With less sebum, bacteria can’t thrive within the pore and cause inflammation, Shah says. Ann Tilton, MD, a professor of neurology and pediatrics at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, treated 15 severe-acne sufferers with diluted Botox and found a dramatic reduction in breakouts 12 weeks post-treatment. Outright pore blockage doesn’t seem to be a problem, since oil still flows to the skin surface – just at a much slower rate.
Still, some Botox experts are wary of administering the toxin across large areas of the face (versus the pointed-muscle-approach). While admitting that possibility is very rare, Miami dermatologist Fredric Brandt, MD, says, I’m still concerned that the toxin could penetrate deeper and trigger overall facial weakening. But for those on a quest for a shine- free complexion, salvation may be worth a shot.
The theory holds value and we have treated clients for clearer complexion who have reported fewer acne. However, this treatment is generally reserved for clients with non-active/infective acne which should be controlled with traditional acne treatment first. Always seek advice of your medical practitioner.