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Appearance Of Facial Scars Improved By Botulinum Toxin

Researchers from Mayo Clinic have reported improved appearance of scars following injection with botulinum toxin (BOTOX?) early after// the occurrence of a wound.

The injection prevents muscle movement from wrinkling the wound site by paralyzing the region thus creating a smooth surface for healing and leaving a smoother final scar. The researchers have found that treating a facial wound in the early healing phase with the injection improves the appearance of a scar later. The findings of the research were published in the August issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

"Our findings show that botulinum toxin offers an additional tool in preventing the formation of bad scars," says Holger Gassner, M.D., lead study researcher and former Mayo Clinic ear, nose and throat surgical resident who is now a fellow in Facial Plastic Surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle. "It will give us the option to optimize healing of forehead wounds in the first place and possibly allow us to avoid later surgeries to improve the scar's appearance."

Adds David Sherris, M.D., study investigator and former Mayo Clinic ear, nose and throat specialist who is now professor and chair of Otolaryngology at the University of New York at Buffalo, "This is the first medication found to minimize scarring. This 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 and improve scars with these injections."

The researchers found that an injection with botulinum toxin early after the occurrence of a wound -- such as trauma from a dog bite, motor vehicle accident or assault, or from a skin cancer biopsy or removal -- paralyzes the region, creating a smooth surface in which the wound can heal. This prevents muscle movement from wrinkling the wound site, allowing for a flat surface for healing and leaving a smoother final scar. The same process al
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