Botox: A New Way to Treat Rosacea Symptoms?

By Gregory Nikolaidis, MD September 21, 2015 No Comments

botox for rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that results in redness and irritation of the skin, typically in the cheek area of the face. Rosacea is quite common, with an estimated 16 million Americans suffering from the condition. While relatively harmless from a medical standpoint, the redness, swelling, and acne-resembling scars stemming from the condition can lead to self-esteem issues in those who suffer from it.

Unfortunately there is no known cure for rosacea at this time. However, there are some things patients can do to control symptoms.

  • Patients can identify and avoid known “triggers” like warm weather, stress, spicy foods, alcohol and irritating skin products.
  • There are some effective skin care products on the market that temporarily help to address the symptoms (as long as one continues to use the product). One that I recommend is SkinMedica Redness Relief CalmPlex which reduces the skin’s redness and irritation by inhibiting the release of prostaglandin E2.
  • Laser treatments such as Intense Pulsating Light (IPL) and Vbeam can safely and effectively address the redness and discoloration caused by rosacea using Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL) technology to deliver bursts of light into the targeted area.

There may be another new rosacea treatment option on the horizon: Botox. According to a recent study published by the Journal of Dermatologic Surgery, Botox injections may be effective in treating facial redness stemming for Rosacea.

The study was conducted on a population of rosacea sufferers using multiple Botox injections ranging on average from 15-45 total units. Nearly all subjects noticed decreased flushing, redness, and inflammation within one week; with results continuing up to 6 months after their injection.

All study subjects indicated that they did not experience any weakness or relaxation of their smile or cheek muscles. This is because the injections where done intradermally as opposed to deeper in the skin (subdermally or intramuscularly) which is where Botox is injected to treat wrinkles.

In a previous blog post we’ve discussed the many uses of Botox in addition wrinkle reduction. While more testing will be required for Botox to be FDA approved for Rosacea treatment, it may be possible that the famous neurotoxin has yet another great medical application!


Gregory Nikolaidis, MD

Gregory A. Nikolaidis, MD is a Board Certified Dermatologist. Dr. Nikolaidis serves as a Botox® Cosmetic Black Diamond Level National Education Faculty Member, and he has additionally trained numerous physicians on Sculptra Aesthetic, Radiesse, Restylane, and other non-invasive procedure techniques. He was among the first cosmetic surgeons in the United States to offer Smartlipo laser body contouring.


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