Our ears always perk up when we hear any kind of news about acne treatments. So when we came across a study that claimed that Botox could treat acne, we were intrigued. The study, conducted by Chicago dermatologist Anil Shah, M.D., states that Botox prevents the production of sebum, which in turn starves the bacteria that causes pimples. Sound too good to be true? We asked our experts to weigh in on these findings, and here’s what they had to say:
Neurotoxins like Botox have been found to stop sweating. When you sweat, you release oils that cause dirt and debris to clog your pores, resulting in acne. “We find that when we inject the forehead, [Botox] stops sweat production and can decrease acne,” says Bay Harbor Islands, FL, dermatologist Melissa Lazarus, MD.
However, Dr. Lazarus wouldn’t use Botox as her first option to treat acne. “I wouldn’t use it specifically for acne. But it’s a nice side effect of getting Botox.”
Los Angeles dermatologist Gene Rubinstein, MD, told us that he personally hasn’t seen decreases in acne because of Botox. He also cautions against using Botox as an acne treatment. “[The study] involved injections over the entire face, and this may lead to paralysis of some facial muscles, since Botox is usually only used on certain parts of the face,” he says. “This paralysis may lead to unusual expressions, such as inability to smile on one side.”