Botox Might Help Shrink Pores, Reduce Excess Oil

Botox® (botulinum toxin A) is a popular and effective treatment for wrinkles. Now using Botox might have another benefit, reducing large pores on the skin.

Having pores that are too big on the nose and forehead is a common complaint from men in clinic. Men have a higher density of sebaceous glands than women and sometimes have excessively oily skin with wide, deep pores. Excess oiliness and big pores can be difficult to treat. Surgical treatments such as lasers, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels can be used to improve the appearance, but results are often not satisfactory. Topical retinoids such as Retin-A® and Tazorac® can also effective in some people, but require applying the medication daily.

A cosmetic physican in Chicago has published a study using Botox to treat oily skin complexion and large pores. He found that 17 of 20 patients who received Botox in the skin reported a reduction in the oiliness and the pore size in the treated areas.

Botox works by blocking the release of a neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. Acetylcholine controls sweating, which is why Botox works so well to treat excess perspiration (hyperhidrosis), and can effect production of sebum. Botox injected into the skin then can block excess sebum production leading to less oily skin and to smaller pores.

The study did not compare Botox to other treatments and did not have scientific measures of pore size or of oiliness, but it did find that the majority of patients who were treated with the Botox specifically for oil problems felt that the treatment worked.

Women are more frequent users of Botox than men, but studies like this might give men another reason to try Botox to improve their appearance.

If nothing else, it can make you seem cool and collected as you watch your stocks plummet in the market.

Post written by Jeffrey Benabio, MD. All rights reserved, The Derm Blog 2008.

Photo: riNux,

6 thoughts on “Botox Might Help Shrink Pores, Reduce Excess Oil”

  1. Darrell Copeland says:

    Who was the Chicago cosmetic physician who did the study? I have very oily skin and huge pores. I am a female who lives in the Chicago area and wants to know if this would work on women.

  2. Botox, is becoming ever popular with things like this they have also said that it can stop people with sweating problems too, and I don’t doubt that decreasing pores on people who have the problem of oily skin will make many people happy, they then would spend less money on beauty products to stop this that don’t necessary work for them.

  3. This is an interesting article. We use Botox for cosmetic enhancement at our medical skin clinic in Essex, England. I will follow these studies with interest.
    elan medical skin clinic

  4. In 1993, physicians began using Botox as a means of reducing lines and wrinkles.

  5. Surely retinol is a better alternative to botox?

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