Doctor Uses Botox to Heal Facial Scars

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Mumbai doctor develops new technique for scar healing in a first-of-its-kind study suited to Indian and other melanin-rich populations.

TURNS out frown lines aren’t the only thing botox if good at erasing. A Mumbai-based plastic surgeon has developed a new technique to heal facial scares in a first-of-its-kind research study using the beauty toxin.

Dr Debraj Shome used the technique on a many as 100 patients injecting them with botox, followed by surgery with a different suturing technique, and multiple sessions of carbon dioxide laser resurfacing.  This is the first study of its kind to be conducted on the Asian population, which comes with its own set of issues due to melanin-rich skin.  The ground breaking research has been published in the prestigious international Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

How it works

Every year, more than one lakh people suffer accidents, botched surgeries burns or acid attacks that leave scares on their faces.  Despite treatments, some are left with permanent scares, which subjects them to social stigma. Facial scares, in particular, heal poorly because of continuous movements of facial muscles. This aggravates the scar tissue, leading to wider and more depressed scars. Botox temporarily paralyses those muscles, allowing them to relax, which assists in the long-term wound healing process.

Made for Indian Skin

“The study assumes importance considering that there have been very few techniques invented to improve complex wound healing and scar treatments, especially amongst coloured people of Asian, Indian, African and Hispanic origin in the last three decades.”  said the Dr Shome, director, The Esthetic Clinic.

He added, “There is no study till date has used Botox in this radical manner. There are studies in which has Botox has been used for keloids, but never for normal scar healing and prevention of widened scare and for improvement of scars. This is the first time in the world this has been done.  This research will mean scares and wounds all over the body can now look better in those individuals, in whom the presence of melanin (dark skin pigment) impacts wound healing.”

Report Card :

No. of patients: 100

Scars: On face and neck, varying between 1-7 inches wide

Age group 19-47 years.

Study duration: Six months

Results: 76% patients showed considerable improvements (scare appeared to have blended with the surrounding skin.)  Scars showed more the 80% improvements.

The Treatment :

The treatment regimen comprises a combination of botox injections injected around the scar two weeks prior to the scar revision surgery, which is followed by topical application of a cream containing Centenella Asiatica (a herb native to Indian subcontinent) for at least 6 months post-surgery.  This is accompanied by multiple sittings of carbon dioxide laser skin resurfacing. The study also clears myths associated with laser treatment.  Dr Rinky Kapoor said, “Carbon dioxide laser was through to be unsafe and fraught with complications in pigmented skin.  However, our experience has shown that with appropriate power parameters, this laser is the gold standard of treatment of facial scars even in our population. This scare treatment protocol will revolutionise scar treatment among Indians and other populations with pigmented skin.”

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