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Botox injections enhance facial wound healing

Study: Treating forehead injuries with toxin improves scar’s appearance
/ Source: Reuters

Injecting botulinum toxin — familiarly known as Botox — into muscles surrounding forehead wounds improves the appearance of the scar when it has healed, according to a report from the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota.

Immobilizing the muscles with botulinum toxin “promises to become a valuable additional adjunctive treatment for those physicians and patients who want to achieve the best possible cosmetic outcome,” Dr. Holger G. Gassner told Reuters Health.

Gassner’s team investigated whether botulinum toxin injections compared to inactive “placebo” injections affected the cosmetic appearance of healed forehead lacerations in 31 patients.

The average rating for appearance on a scale ranging from 0 (worst possible outcome) to 10 (ideal outcome) after 6 months was 8.9 for the botulinum toxin-treated group and 7.2 for the placebo group, a significant improvement, the researchers report in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Other than mild headaches in one placebo patient, there were no complications or adverse effects.

“Keeping the limitations of our current study in mind, it appears reasonable to offer the treatment to patients who have sustained a forehead wound that has a high likelihood of noticeable scarring,” Gassner said.

The injections often cause “mild and transient functional deficits,” such as a drooping eyelid, Gassner noted, but once patients understand this is a possibility they typically find it acceptable.

“We feel this treatment requires a physician well experienced in the injection of botulinum toxin in the face,” Gassner added.