We’ve all heard about Botox by now, right? Its reputation as a revolutionary prescription medication that instantly smooths dynamic wrinkles practically precedes itself. But do you know how Botox works or how it originated and evolved over time?
We’re here to share with you the secret history behind Botox.
A Neurotoxin that Beautifies
First off, Botox is a neurotoxin and works by attaching itself to nerve endings. Once this happens, the neurotransmitter responsible for triggering muscle contractions, called acetylcholine, can’t be released. To put it more simply, Botox injections temporarily relax the facial muscles that underlie and cause wrinkles. This is also why wrinkles caused by sun damage and gravity don’t respond to Botox treatments.
Although it’s only been 12 years since the FDA officially approved Botox for cosmetic use, this wrinkle-smoothing wonder has a long and surprisingly lively history.
The Botox Timeline
A Legacy of Youth and Beauty
We all know that Botox is a neurotoxin—the botulinum toxin, to be exact. But no one understood the biological basis for food poisoning until Dr. Justinus Kerner began to study a batch of improperly prepared blood sausages that killed dozens of Germans. His experiments and case studies led to a better understanding of food-borne botulism’s neurological symptoms—such as drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing, muscle weakness, and paralysis.
More than 70 years after Kerner studied botulism, Dr. Emile Pierre van Ermengem started to investigate an outbreak of botulism following a dinner where 23 people became paralyzed. He began to draw connections between different types of bacteria, and eventually identified seven strains of botulinum toxin.
With the start of World War II, the United States began researching biological weapons, including botulinum toxin, considered to be the deadliest substance in the world at that time. The United States began producing batches of gelatin capsules filled with botulinum toxin to immobilize the Japanese. However, the project was abandoned before the poison pills could be put into action.
1950’s & 1960’s
After World War II, researchers started to study the more beneficial aspects of this powerful toxin. Botulinum toxin type A was purified into a crystalline form. Dr. Vernon Brooks discovered that injecting small amounts into a hyperactive muscle blocked the release of acetylcholine from motor nerve endings, causing temporarily relaxation. Before long, botulinum toxin type A was being extensively studied.
1970’s & 1980’s
Dr. Alan Scott received approval from the FDA to inject tiny amounts of botulinum toxin into human volunteers and papers began being published on the topic. Additional research showed that the drug provided patients with temporary relief from facial spasms, neck and shoulder spasms, and even vocal cord spasms. In 1988, the FDA approved botulinum toxin type A for the treatment of eyelid muscle spasms.
As Botox research continued, other potential uses were discovered. It was found that Botox could treat bladder spasms, writer’s cramp, excessive sweating, and even cerebral palsy. But the most profound discovery came when Dr. Jean Carruthers noticed that when her patients’ eyelid spasms were treated with Botox, they began to lose their frown lines. Soon doctors all over North America started treating their patients’ wrinkles and lines with Botox.
2000’s & Beyond
In 2002, Botox Cosmetic got official approval from the FDA. Botox was also approved for other uses too, such as underarm sweating and neck and shoulder spasms. In 2006, Botox sales soared past the $1 billion mark, with cosmetic uses accounting for about half of sales. Botox is certainly one remarkable neurotoxin!
Remember: there’s a reason why millions of men and women rely on Botox – it gets results! Since Botox works by weakening facial muscles, full results are generally seen within five to seven days. You’ll see deep dynamic wrinkles gradually improve over time, in addition to the early effects seen shortly after treatment. Your results will continue to improve until about two weeks after the procedure. At that time, you’ll be looking your best. The effects of Botox will gradually wear off over the next four to six months. The wrinkles will then need to be retreated.
When used early in the aging process, Botox not only treats wrinkles but also prevents new wrinkles from forming. Botox is most effective on wrinkles that haven’t quite set in and reduces the onset of wrinkles before they become moderate or severe. By combining a Botox regimen with good skin care, sunscreen, and a healthy lifestyle, you can prevent most wrinkles from getting worse and prevent new ones from forming.
LaserAway Offers the Nation’s Best Botox Treatments
LaserAway is proud to offer the most medical spa service options of any national skincare provider. LaserAway hires only the most highly trained staff experienced and certified in administering laser and other dermatological procedures. What’s more, LaserAway uses only innovative techniques and cutting-edge laser technology. LaserAway aims to make your medical spa experience comfortable, enjoyable and satisfying. Want to learn more about Botox? Then schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today by emailing LaserAway.com or calling the staff at LaserAway at (888) 965-2737. LaserAway looks forward to helping you turn back the clock with Botox.