Does the Botox Help with the Acne Scarring?

Doctor Answers 14

Not so much.

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Fillers are by far much more effective for addressing acne scars.  Acne damages the collagen and fat just under the skin.  As we age, this causes the scars to stand out.  By filling, support for the skin around the scars is restored making the scar less conspicuous.  Spend your money on this type of service rather than asking BOTOX to help this type of issue.

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Botox is not used to help reduce acne scars

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By relaxing the contraction of muscles, the overlying skin doesn't crease as much. When the valleys of the creases are then made more visible as the skin relaxes and the skin smoothens out, I have seen internet reports that said after Botox they saw an enlarged pore or scar that wasn't visible before and it was hypothesized that those defects were hidden in the base of the valley of the crease before Botox made it flatter and more exposed.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Many people confuse Botox and fillers: here's the difference (use for scars?)

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Just today I had a patient ask if Botox and Restylane were the same thing. I know these are very confusing to understand, since the brand names don't clarify much. Botox (and Dysport) are not fillers. They work by allowing a microscopic neuromuscular toxin to weaken the muscles in the area injected. It doesn't really "wear off" technically. What happens is that over about 3 months your body regenerates the damaged muscle receptors so they work normally again. Botox has no physical substance that can lift a depressed scar.

On the other hand, Juvederm and Restylane are hyaluronic acid gels don't do anything to your nerves or muscles. They are clear gels made of the same molecule that already lives between your own collagen bundles under the skin's surface. They work by being physically injected under the skin to take up space, lift lines, and fill volume. They get absorbed back into the body over 6 to 18 months.

There is no long term harm with either of these treatments, nor does stopping using them make you look older than you would have normally. See only a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon for best results and safest use.

Jessica J. Krant, MD, MPH
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Botox and Acne Scarring

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Botox works by weakening the muscle that makes the lines or wrinkles on your face. Acne scarring is a static process involving the skin and therefore botox would not help or worsen the extent of your acne scarring. I hope this information helps.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Botox not a good treatment for acne scarring

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While there are many different options for treating acne scarring (fillers, subcision, laser), Botox is not one of them.  Botox is definitely helpful for wrinkling, but not for acne scarring which is damage in the deeper structures of the skin.  I would speak to your physician about other options.

Alison Stallings, MD
Tarrytown Dermatologic Surgeon

Botox will not improve acne scars

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Botox works by relaxing the muscles that are underly the wrinkles that are of concern.  Scars are permanent changes in the dermal or subcutanoues structure of the skin.   Botox should not be considered a treatment for acne scars.

Jeffrey C. Poole, MD
Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Botox has no effect on Acne scarring

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Botox has no effect on acne scarring. It works by relaxing muscles responsible for wrinkles. It is an excellent treatment for reducing wrinkles but not for acne.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon

While Botox does not treat acne scarring dermal fillers are sometimes useful

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While Botox does not treat acne scarring dermal fillers are sometimes useful. Botulinum toxin works by weakening muscle contraction whereas acne scarring results from the skin being scarred down to deeper structures. In some cases, combined subcision and treatment with dermal fillers can temporarily fill in the "divot" resulting from acne scarring.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Botox No Help Here

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I could find nothing in the medical literature showing Botox helps with acne scarring. Nor does it make biologic sense.

You might be confusing the use of Botox for acne scarring with its possible use for acne found in a relatively recent study.  In the September 2008 issue of the the Journal Drugs in Dermatology Anil Shah claimed success in 17 of 20 patients when using Botox for acne. He felt that Botox improved acne in two ways: By blocking acetylcholine, sebum (oil) production dropped and the paralysis of the tiny muscles around the pores ( arrectores pilorum) caused the pores to become tighter. The problem with the study was that it was not blinded at all and was a small study. However, the results are interesting, especially in regards to the shrinkage of pore size. Anecdotally, some of my patients have noticed an improvement in their acne following Botox injections.

Theere are two broad classifications of acne scarring: Hypertrophic and hypotrophic. Hypertrophic scars are raised, usually due to an excess of collagen. Hypertrophic, which are more common, results in depressions in the skin: pockmarks, ice pick scars, box car scars, valley scars etc. A third type of "scarring", hyper-pigmentation, is sometimes thought to be scarring, usually by darker-skinned patients, but is not. We see that scarring is basically a problem of collagen, either too much (hypertrophic) or too little ( its destruction in hyypoplastic scarring). Botox would do nothing to correct this problem. 

Further, what if it worked, for either acne treatment or scarring. Injections too deep, might hit the rather superficial facial muscle of the face causing sagging...just what you do not want! Also, would the scars return after 3-4 months?

You would best to see a dermatologist or plastic surgeon for your scar treatment. There is a full panoply of treatments available that do work: surgery, laser, peels, dermabrasion,  fillers etc. 



Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist

Botox isn't going to do anything for acne scarring.

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Botox doesn't do anything for acne scarring.  See your cosmetic surgeon for all the various methods of scar revisions. 

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.