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Botox Reduces Facial Scarring

It's the first such drug to do so, researchers say

THURSDAY, Aug. 24, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Botox injections can help facial wounds heal with less scarring, a small study finds.

"This is the first medication found to minimize scarring," senior author Dr. David Sherris, professor and chair of the department of otolaryngology at the University at Buffalo, said in a prepared statement.

His team published the study in the August issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

The study included 31 patients who suffered wounds to the forehead or had surgery to remove skin cancers from the forehead, an area that's particularly susceptible to scarring. The patients received either an injection of Botox or saline within 24 hours after wound closure.

Photographs were taken at the time the patients received the injections and again six months later. The photographs were reviewed by two facial plastic surgeons who weren't involved in the study. They rated the patients' wound healing on a scale of zero to 10, with 10 representing the best result. The two surgeons' scores were averaged to reach a final score for each patient.

The median scores for wounds injected with Botox were 8.9, compared to 7.1 for wounds injected with saline.

"The result is of substantial interest in the field of scar treatment. When a wound occurs, especially on the face, people are always worried about the scar. We can now try to improve scars with these injections," Sherris said.

The study was funded by a clinical research grant from the Mayo Clinic.

More information

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has more about scars.

SOURCE: University at Buffalo, news release, Aug. 17, 2006
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