I recently had foot surgery and am developing a bad scar.
Can Botox Help Smooth Scars Out?
Doctor Answers 9
Botox and scars
Let me first point out that the FDA has approved Botox for specific indications. When it is used in this capacity, it is called an "off-label" use.
As Dr. Sinclair points out, if scars are aggravated or made worse by muscle action, then it would make sense that weakening the underlying muscles may improve the scar. This has been shown to be true in certain situations.
Recently there has been some evidence that very large scars (hypertrophic) or keloid scars may also benefit according to some anecdotal reports.
- Traditionally these scars have been treated with topical silicone, pressure, injected steroids, surgery and radiation therapy in order of increasing severity.
- However, there are some recent reports that the use botox and even 5 FU ( a chemotherapy agent) may also prove useful in some cases of severe scarring.
Botox To Help Smooth Scars Out
Botox has been documented to help with scar removal but the treatment is off label and risky. It is not a procedure that we perform. Other options include lasers, injections, silicone sheets, and surgery.
Foot surgery scar should be evaluated for functional problems before cosmetic.
Before you investigate Botox for scar improvement (probably not appropriate in this situation), it would be best to return to the surgeon who operated on your foot to make sure the physical foot function is good and healthy, and that the scar is only a cosmetic issue. Then ask the surgeon what can be done to improve the scar. Keep in mind that scars take 6 months to 2 years to achieve a final look, and really continue to improve every single day after that.
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Botox and Scars
Botox does improve scars but the issue is the timing of when Botox is injected. It should be injected either just before or at the time of closure to allow the tissues to heal better by preventing micro movements of the surrounding tissues. An analogy can be seen in a fracture which is cast in place to prevent the bone fragments to stay in position so that healing can occur. It is thought that Botox prevents the local tissue from moving as much, allowing it more of an opportunity to heal better.
Attached is a clip of me on RTL (German National TV) on this topic. Sorry it is German but the translation link is attached.
Scarring and Botox
Typically Botox is used to reduce or eliminate the appearance of facial wrinkles. Botox is not indicated for treatment of scars. There are better alternatives for the treatment of scars. Discuss with your dermatologist or plastic surgeon what the best treatment options there are for your scar.
Yes, Botox can help with scar revision
If a scar is unfavorable (meaning that the intrinsic forces of the tissues tends to seperate the scar) there is good evidence that Botox will help the final results of scar revision. This is an "off label" use. Insurance would likely not cover Botox for this reason. It is a reasonable option to try if you are undergoing scar revision.
Botox may be used for scars, but it's off label
There are reports that Botox may help some scars, but this use is experimental. I would try everything else that is evidence supported, before jumping to Botox.
Improving bad scars and hypertrophic scars
Bad scars have multiple causes and it is not as simple as injecting Botox. If you came to my office, I would perform a full examination and determine the source of your scars. At that point, there are options with lasers, injections, silicone sheets, and surgery.
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.