Mumbai: Doctor develops new technique, uses botox to heal facial scars

Oct 20, 2018, 21:34 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

Mumbai doctor develops new technique for scar healing in a first-of-its-kind study suited to Indian and other melanin-rich populations

Mumbai: Doctor develops new technique, uses botox to heal facial scars
A majority of patients showed considerable improvement in scar healing with Dr Shome's technique

Turns out frown lines aren't the only thing botox is good at erasing. A Mumbai-based plastic surgeon has developed a new technique to heal facial scars in a first-of-its-kind research study using the beauty toxin.

Dr Debraj Shome used the technique on as many as 100 patients, injecting them with botox, followed by surgery with a different suturing technique, and multiple sessions of carbon dioxide laser resurfacing. This is the first study of its kind to be conducted on the Asian population, which comes with its own set of issues due to melanin-rich skin. The ground-breaking research has been published in the prestigious international Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Dr Debraj Shome
Dr Debraj Shome

How it works
Every year, more than one lakh people suffer accidents, botched surgeries, burns or acid attacks that leave scars on their faces. Despite treatment, some are left with permanent scars, which subjects them to social stigma. Facial scars, in particular, heal poorly because of continuous movement of facial muscles. This aggravates the scar tissue, leading to wider and more depressed scars. Botox temporarily paralyses those muscles, allowing them to relax, which assists in the long-term wound healing process.

Made for Indian skin
"The study assumes importance considering that there have been very few techniques invented to improve complex wound healing and scar treatment, especially amongst coloured people of Asian, Indian, African and Hispanic origin in the last three decades," said Dr Shome, director, The Esthetic Clinic.

He added, "There is no study till date that has used Botox in this radical manner. There are studies in which has Botox has been used for keloids, but never for normal scar healing and prevention of widened scars and for improvement of scars. This is the first time in the world this has been done. This research will mean scars and wounds all over the body can now look better in those individuals, in whom the presence of melanin (dark skin pigment) impacts wound healing."

The treatment
The treatment regimen comprises a combination of botox injections injected around the scar two weeks prior to the scar revision surgery, which is followed by topical application of a cream containing Centenella Asiatica (a herb native to Indian subcontinent) for at least 6 months post- surgery. This is accompanied by multiple sittings of carbon dioxide laser skin resurfacing. The study also clears myths associated with laser treatment. Dr Rinky Kapoor said, "Carbon dioxide laser was thought to be unsafe and fraught with complications in pigmented skin. However our experience has shown that with appropriate power parameters, this laser is the gold standard of treatment of facial scars even in our population. This scar treatment protocol will revolutionise scar treatment among Indians and other populations with pigmented skin."

Report card
No. of patients: 100
Scars: On face and neck, varying between 1-7 inches wide
Age group: 19-47 years
Study duration: Six months
Results: 76% patients showed considerable improvement (scar appeared to have blended with the surrounding skin). Scars showed more than 80% improvement.

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