The History of Botox
When it comes to the world of aesthetic injections, Botox is the most well known name. Just to put in perspective how popular it really is, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2018 more than 7 million people received Botox injections. That's as many people that live in Arizona!
While Botox is best known for its wrinkle-freezing abilities, it's quite versatile in treating conditions such as; hyperhidrosis, TMJ, migraines, and many others! How did we start injecting this neurotoxin into our bodies? The story is pretty fascinating!
The Origins of Botox
Clostridium botulinum was first discovered by a Belgian scientist named Emile Pierre van Ermengem following a botulism outbreak in Belgium. By the 1920's, scientists at the University of California were the first ones to try to isolate the botulinum toxin. However, it wasn't until 20 years later before Dr. Edward Schantz was finally able to isolate it in crystalline.
Then in the 1970's, they began testing the botulinum toxin on monkeys to treat strabismus (crossed eyes). While testing the toxin, scientists noticed that it would reduce the wrinkles in between the eyebrows (glabella). After proving to be successful in the treatment of strabismus, Allergan licensed the treatment and branded it Botox. Since then, they got Botox FDA approved for:
- Strabismus and blepharospasm in 1989
- Cervical dystonia in 2000
- Glabellar lines in 2002
- Axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) in 2004
- Chronic migraines and upper lip spasticity in 2010
- Urinary incontinence in 2011
- Crow's feet (lateral canthal lines) in 2013
You may be wondering why Botox is only FDA approved for Glabellar lines and crow's feet but you've been treated in your forehead. That would be considered "off-label". While it sounds frowned upon, it's a very common practice in the aesthetics world.
As the years go on, researchers keep finding more and more ways to use Botox and we are excited to see just how versatile it becomes! Most recently, 2016-2021, the FDA supports expanded use of Botox® for the treatment of spasticity in pediatric patients 2 years of age and older, including those with lower limb spasticity caused by cerebral palsy.