Health Team

Botox Could Help Scars to Fade Away

Botox is proving useful for many different problems. It began as a way to reduce wrinkles, but researchers are looking at it as a way to make scars disappear.

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Researchers are looking into the possibility that Botox may be used to make scars disappear.

A small study at the Mayo Clinic found that if a facial wound is treated early with Botox, there will be less of a scar later on. Plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Kane said he has been using Botox that way for years.

"The basic mechanism of Botox is that it gets muscles to relax so if you can relax the muscles around the cut, there's less tension on the cut, so it heals better," Kane said.

As a cut or injury heals, muscles may pull on the wound, causing inflammation and lead to a thicker, wider scar.
Last summer, Lynne Gino had two operations the same day for a para-thyroid condition. She was concerned about a third operation just to fix the scar.

"I could always put a necklace over it, but now I don't have to feel confined to anything on my neck," Gino said.

"Just the Botox alone really has thinned out and flattened down that scar," Kane said.

Claire Smithers realized Botox was helping a scar from a car accident she had more than 20 years ago.

"I really was doing the cosmetic kind of thing and then over time, I realized that it was fading," she said.

In general, a scar takes about seven days to fully form, so if you want to smooth out a scar, it's best to use Botox within the first week.

The number of treatments needed depends on the scar. Some patients only need one session, but even one treatment can cost up to $700.