Botox's New Side Effect

As we all know, Botox is widely used for a number of various cosmetic conditions including scowl lines, forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet, wrinkles around the mouth, chin dimpling, and neck bands just to name a few.  Since 2002, when the FDA had approved Botox in the United States, it has become and remains one of the most popular minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures performed each year.

Botox relaxes muscles by reducing the strength of the signal from the injected muscle's nerve ending.  However, researchers have recently found that injection of Botox will result in other various aesthetic improvements unrelated to muscles, including reduction of oil production and contraction in the size of facial pores.

A recent study in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology analyzed this “new side effect” to verify and assess Botox's mechanism of action.  The researchers in this study hypothesized that Botox accomplishes this side effect by relaxing the arrector pili muscles, which are the small muscles in the skin that makes your hair stand up when you are cold or frightened.  These muscles also indirectly affect the transport of skin oil or sebum to the surface of the skin.

In the study, the researchers injected 32 patients with botulinum toxin, oil secretion, and skin laxity.  Throughout the study, they measured the facial pore size of each patient.

Oil production was shown to decrease starting one week after injection, and was maintained for up to 12 weeks. This reduction was 24% on the forehead and 22% on the chin.

Researchers also reported significant improvement in facial pore size and counts 4 weeks after Botox injection in about 85% of patients.  These effects worked best when the injections were intradermal, which means just below the surface of the skin.  Whereas, when Botox is injected for purposes of muscle relaxation alone, it is usually placed within the muscle.

This study and review of previous studies on this topic showed that Botox injections can be effective for reducing skin oil (sebum) production, improving the appearance of facial pores, minimizing the appearance of facial dynamic wrinkles, and relaxing facial muscles. If you have any other questions on the various uses of Botox, you can talk to one of the most experienced rosters of Botox injectors in New England by calling (207) 873-2158 (Augusta) or (207) 303-0125 (Scarborough).  We can answer any burning questions you may have, or schedule you for a free and confidential consultation.