Right now, 50 million Americans are battling a bout of acne. Meanwhile, more than seven million Americans will use Botox this year to lessen the physical appearance of aging. But did you know that Botulinum Toxin, or Botox, could be used to reduce your acne symptoms?

How can Botox help treat acne?

While Botox is most commonly used to keep one looking young, it’s also regularly administered to aid people with Hyperhidrosis. And it’s this finding that has led experts to conclude that Botox can alleviate the appearance of acne. An acne breakout is common when you sweat because sebaceous oils are released and this has a tendency to block up the pores. But, as Botox is capable of reducing the amount a person sweats, it means that if you’re an individual who is prone to acne, you’re less likely to be confronted with a spotty face following treatment.

Furthermore, Botox instantly sets about blocking acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter which plays a critical role in the movement of the facial muscles. The oil glands in the body and face have the same receptors as acetylcholine. As such, dermatologists, including Dr. Patricia Wexler, believe that when Botox is injected, it’s capable of not only reducing muscle movement but cutting oil production in the glands too.

Science, Botox & acne

In a small scale 2008 study, Anil R. Shah MD found that of the 20 participants in his study, 85% of them reported that the size of their pores decreased following just one dose of Botox. This also reduced the amount of oil produced in the facial area. However, there appears to have been no larger sized pieces of research to back up Shah’s findings. So, it’s important to carefully consider whether Botox is right for you before heading to your nearest dermatologist for shots.

A temporary fix for acne

Every day, millions of individuals are applying products to their acne in the hope that it will provide a long term solution to their condition. And, if this is what you’re after, then, sadly, Botox isn’t the answer. Botox will temporarily freeze the muscles and prevent excessive sweating for anywhere between a few months and a year. This means you’ll have to regularly have Botox shots to keep your skin acne-free.

What do professionals think of Botox as an acne treatment?

Medical professionals are split on their view of Botox being used to reduce acne symptoms. Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, MD says that some patients do see positive results as a result of the procedure. But, she adds that she doesn’t personally administer Botox for acne and says that she believes there are better acne treatments available. In contrast, Dr. Patricia Wexler is more positive about Botox’s effects on acne and highlights that when Botox reduces oil production, the size of the skin’s pores will naturally reduce. Ultimately, this will result in less sweating and may mean that Botox isn’t such a temporary fix after all.

If you’re an acne patient, then you’re sure to be looking for a solution to your problem. However, while there is some evidence to support Botox’s use as an acne treatment, not every expert in the field backs it up. What’s more, it will cost you a significant amount of money to endure these facial injections.