Botox Decrease Oil Production?

Do superficial Botox injections help decrease oil production on the face?

Doctor Answers 11

Some evidence exists for Botox for decreasing oil production

There is some anecdotal evidence to support apparent decreased oil production after injection of Botox. This has not been investigated in detail. It is not clear what the mechanism of action is.

If the primary response you are looking for is decreased facial oil production, there are other tried and true treatments to achieve this purpose.

Seattle Otolaryngologist

Probably not, but topical Botox may be worth looking into

Don't get botox injections with the hope of decreasing oil production. There are some new research into topical botox that may cause some decrease in oil production and be safer but doesn't work on the wrinkles as good if at all as injectible botox does. Be patient since topical botox will be on the market before you know it and may be worth a try.

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Botox for oil production

There are common "off label" uses of Botox, but I would certainly hesitate to advise it for control of "oil production". There are many skin care topicals, microdermabrasion, peels, lasers, or combinations, that could be used with far less expense. and probably better results. See a good medical esthetician with physician supervision and consultation first.

Theodore Katz, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Preliminary Study

Some physicians and their patients have noticed that one of the positive side effects of BOTOX treatment is the decreased oiliness to the skin and consequently improvement in acne.

A Chicago plastic surgeon Anil Shah, M.D. decided to study this phenomenon, His findings were that 17 of 20 patients felt there was less sebum production and pore sizes had shrunk follwing one Botox treatment. This is an unpublished study and as Dr. Shan admits, a preliminary study. Hopefully, others will perform a study offering more scientific credence to prove this theory one way or the other.

This study was dependent on the notoriously inacurate perception of patients...placebo effect, willingness to please their physician etc. Also, Botox was not compared to other treatments or even a placebo. Further there was no scientific measurement of pore size, oil production etc.

Botox works by blocking the release of the neurotransmitter, Acetylcholine. Acetylcholine controls sweating, which is why Botox works for hyperhidrosis ( excess sweating). However, sebum production is not dependent on a neurotransmitter so it is doubtful that any effect on the oiliness of skin is due to this mechanism.

However, there are two possiblities at work here that could account for this result. By decreasing sweating, sebum (oil) will have less opportunity to "glide" along the skin and coat it. Secondly, there is the possibility that with the relaxation of facial muscles that occurs with BOTOX, the sebaceous ducts are more relaxed and therefore less pumping action and therefore less sebum.

This is an interesting hypothesis but it will be some time before Botox is used for this effect. Birth control pills, Aldactone, Accutane etc. are far more effect in this least at the present time.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Botox and Oil Production on the Face

Botox is a paralytic that will stop the nerve transmission from any nerves. Whether it be from motor nerves (nerves that make the muscles move), sensory (nerves that cause you to feel) or parasympathetic (nerves that run the body maintenance systems) it will stop these nerves. So as the others have pointed out it is an excellent way to treat Hyperhidrosis as it stops the nerve transmission to the sweat glands. So in theory it should stop the nerve transmission to the oil secreting glands and thus decrease oil secretion. I doubt that any studies have been done to prove this.

Christopher L. Hess, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Botox and oil production

While Botox may decrease oil gland production, I would not use this as the first line defense against acne. A good skin care regimen even combined with some laser treatments can help improve acne. 

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Botox and sweat glands

It may decrease sweat production and in turn decrease the movement of oils across the skin that happens with the sweat that is excreted through the sweat glands. I am not aware that Botox decreases the oil production, as the sebaceous glands are not under the same nerve pathway controls as sweat glands.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Absolutely no evidence of oil production decrease from Botox

Dear Bama

It is easy to make unsubstantiated claims on the Internet. However, just because something is claimed does not make it true. If you are getting BOTOX with the idea that it will reduce skin oil production or improve acne, recognize that there is no scientific evidence to support this idea. So if you want to try this, go for it but just be realistic. You are probably wasting your money. Consider seeing an ethical cosmetic dermatologist to actually address your concerns.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

You are referring to micro-botox

Micro-Botox was first described by Dr. Woffles Wu, a plastic surgeon who practices in Singapore. He uses many dilute injections of Botox all over the face to treat wrinkles, lines and even Acne. Just like Botox reducing sweating under the armpits, it has been found to reduce production of the skin glands that cause acne. You can find information on his website, just Google Dr. Wu.

Steven J. Pearlman, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Botox effect on glands

Botox does have some effect on the secretion of glands in your skin. It is commonly used to stop sweating in the armpits and also on the forehead and under the breast area. You need to be cautious about injecting Botox in other parts of the face and it may lead to changes in animation. Good luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 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.