CAN YOU TREAT OILY SKIN WITH BOTULINUM TOXIN?
Botox is a commercially available form of Botulinum toxin, a kind of neurotoxin produced by bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. Most people know that its injections are used to reduce the appearance of skin wrinkles. However, there is more to it, research has shown that it can be an effective and safe solution to treat oily skin. Oily complexion is common in the young age and if left untreated it may cause acne. Though there are many treatments available for oily skin, none is perfect.
WHY DOES PROBLEMS WITH OILY SKIN ARISE?
Sebum glands present in the skin produce oil like substance. This oily substance has a protective role such as lubrication, making it waterproof and helping prevent infections. However, in some individuals, there is an overproduction of sebum/oil. Reasons are numerous for oily skin like age, genetics, climate, hormonal changes (elevated androgens), diet, lifestyle, and much more. Oily skin, if is not treated adequately, would lead to enlarged pores which mean even more production of oil.
Creams, cosmetic lotions are often the first choice of anyone living with oily skin. However, the wrong kind of products creams may only worsen the condition.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE OILY SKIN?
Oily skin affects more than half of adults between the ages of 20-40 years. Although you really need a specialist to confirm if you have oily skin you, the signs are usually an oily appearing skin on the face, and skin becomes sticky, especially in the afternoons.
* ENLARGED PORES in the so-called T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin)
* Frequent ACNE
* Excess SEBUM at the base of hair follicles may cause more blackheads
* You leave OIL MARKS on phone’s screen, on clothes
* You frequently NOTICE SHINY SKIN
* Your FAMILY MEMBERS have oily skin- it may say about genetics
* MAKEUP doesn’t hold well on your skin
* You have frequent urge to WASH your face. Even after washing it never feels tight.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS OF TREATING OILY SKIN?
1. Most people living with oily skin would start treatment by using HOME REMEDIES and in general you should try to keep your skin clean, and using certain antiseptic lotions may help prevent worsening of acne.
2. If self-treatment fails some individuals would attempt COSMECEUTICALS. If you search online you might find thousands of options, the majority of them would work only in mild cases. If you have decided to buy cosmeceuticals, some of the tested components to look for are topical NIACINAMIDE, GREEN TEA emulsion, L-CARNITINE (reduces the fat content in sebaceous glands).
3. If self-treatment fails most people will seek treatment by a SPECIALIST. Some of the effective therapies prescribed are retinoid based creams or pills that contain isotretinoin. Other medications used are oral contraceptives, spironolactone.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS TO THE MEDICATIONS?
Retinoid based creams or isotretinoin pills work in treating oily skin, but they are not without adverse effects. Therapy with these agents is prolonged and often lasting for months. The longer the treatment is, the higher the risk of adverse reactions. Because of some severe side effects therapy with isotretinoin is used only in extreme cases.
Regretfully, even the most aggressive therapy may fail in many cases. Challenges in treating oily skin lead to the development of innovative treatments like photodynamic therapy, laser therapy, the use of botulinum toxin.
HOW CAN YOU USE BOTULINUM TOXIN TO TREAT OILY SKIN?
Treating oily skin with toxin is a relatively new approach, with the first study published in 2008. Nonetheless, specialists accepted it quickly due to its safety profile, and shorter duration of the treatment. The way it works is by Botulinum toxin blocking nerve signals to sebaceous glands, thus suppressing oil secretion from the glands. The treatment is by a few injections of Botulinum in the area of the skin with high oil production (usually T-zones). Often improvements are visible from the second week of treatment, unlike pills that may take months to take full effect.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS TO THIS KIND OF TREATMENT?
The side effects to using Botulinum toxin are the same as when they are used to treat wrinkles. The success and low rates of side effects are attributed to a well-trained and experienced practitioner. Regardless of this, some may develop short lasting redness at the site of injection, flu-like symptoms and headaches.
DOES THE MEDICAL SCIENCE SUPPORT THE USAGE OF BOTULINUM TOXIN FOR THIS PURPOSE?
Yes, for sure. There is now enough clinical research to claim its effectiveness confidently. RCTs (Random clinical trials) are regarded as the most significant proof of the usefulness of any therapy. In one of the RCT by Min et al. published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, a significant benefit was seen after 2, 4, and 8 weeks of follow-up.
In short, therapy with Botulinum toxin is one of the newer approaches to treat oily skin. It provides a safer and faster way to get treat it. At your consultation we will tell you more about this.