The History of Botox (Botulinum Toxin)

16 Jun 2011 | Category: Cosmetic
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Botulinum Toxin History

Botulinum toxin – commonly known today by the trade name Botox – was categorized simply as a dangerous toxin before scientists began to discover its potential benefits.  Though it may seem incredible, Botox has evolved from being a lethal, dangerous poison into one of the most popular beauty treatments available today.

The history of Botox dates back to the 19th century when Justinus Kerner, a physician, began to understand the potential therapeutic uses of botulinum toxin – or “sausage poison” as it was nicknamed, due to the toxin being found in improperly handled and stored meat products.  It wasn’t until much later, however, that the discovery was made that Botox, as the diluted form of the toxin came to be named, could be injected into the skin in small doses in order to block the release of a chemical called acetylcholine which causes muscle contractions.  It was found that injecting Botox could paralyze or weaken the facial muscles that are responsible for the formation of wrinkles.

Initially used to treat eye disorders such as strabismus (cross eyes), and blepharospasm (uncontrollable blinking), studies were performed to determine the potential cosmetic benefits of Botox.  After years of research, it was determined, in 2002, that Botox was viable as a treatment for frown lines and wrinkles and could provide excellent temporary results.  Botox received FDA approval in the United States, meaning it had gone through a rigorous testing process and was deemed safe and effective for use.

Nowadays Botox is used in a number of cosmetic procedures, including the reduction of frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead creases.  Botox is injected into the muscle under the skin in order to achieve the desired results.  The effects of the injection usually last from three to six months, though in some cases the effects may last up to nine months.

Botox is also used to treat hyperhidrosis.  This is a disorder which causes excessive sweating; injecting Botox into the underarms can help to prevent sweating.  Like other Botox treatments, this is a temporary measure which needs to be repeated on a regular basis.

Most recently approval has been gained to allow the use of Botox for the treatment of chronic migraines.  Botox is injected into the head and neck muscles of sufferers in an attempt to alleviate symptoms.  It is thought that in addition to being a muscle relaxant, Botox may also interrupt the pain signals which are sent during a migraine.

Botox injections are the most popular non-surgical procedures performed today.  Along with its proven cosmetic benefits, a number of other conditions are currently being treated using Botox.  Cosmedics offers Botox injections for frown, forehead and eye lines, as well as injections for nose lines and lines around the mouth.  The procedure is quick and can be performed on the same day as the consultation for the convenience of the customer.  Each procedure only takes around 15 minutes, and the results will be visible within seven days.

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