All About BOTOX®

BOTOX® is a name recognized, by most of the general public, as an injectable filler, used for treating wrinkles, relaxing facial muscles, and smoothening the skin. Though, not many people are too familiar with its origin story, how it works, some of the other bodily issues it can correct, nor how it shaped modern medical practices.

Origin

The history of BOTOX® can be dated as far back as 1895, in Belgium, when a series of deaths were the result of some bad ham being served at a local pub. A Belgian bacteriologist named Emile Pierre van Ermengem investigated these incidents in his laboratory, discovering that a bacterium (called Bacillus Botulinus) had produced neurotoxins in the food, resulting in what is now called ‘food-borne botulism’. He published his findings in 1897, detailing his discovery of the bacteria’s neurotoxic chemical, which he named ‘Botulinum Neurotoxin’.

In the 1920s, scientists from the University of California attempted to isolate the toxin, although it was not successfully done until 1946, at which time it was completed by Dr. Edward J Schantz. By this time, they had created a synthesized version of the toxin, called Botulinum Toxin A, which is very safe for human consumption, and is the main ingredient of BOTOX®. But the first actual injection would not be performed until 1984, when an otolaryngologist, named Dr. Andrew Blitzer used it to treat his patient’s laryngeal dystonia. He was able to treat the patient by injecting the neurotoxin into their vocal cord muscles. A couple years later, Alastair Carruthers, a dermatologist, along with his wife, Jean Carruthers, an ophthalmologist, would become some of the first people to utilize Botulinum Toxin A for cosmetic use. Finally, by 2002, the FDA had approved BOTOX® for use in the cosmetic industry. Since then, over 1,000,000 vials have been sold.

How it is injected

BOTOX® is injected around 2 to 5 millimeters into the skin. Results should be visible by the first couple of days, but since it is only meant as a temporary procedure, the results typically last between 3 and 6 months. To maintain the appearance, people usually return for touch-ups, every now and again. Contrary to what some might believe, facial expressions are still able to be made.

Great for wrinkles

Wrinkles are formed overtime, through constant contraction of our facial muscles, such as when we smile or frown. When injected, BOTOX® is used to block muscles’ nerve signals, so they can relax and stop contracting. This causes current wrinkles to smoothen while also helping to slow the formation of newer lines. One of the most common issues that BOTOX® is frequently utilized to correct is crow’s feet. It also corrects jowls, forehead lines, furrowed brows, and frown lines. For the best BOTOX® results, you should entrust your skin to a professional, like New York top facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Andrew Jacono, who specializes in dermal filler injections.

Also used for other things

Not only is BOTOX® great for rejuvenating an aging face, but it also has a place in treating severe neck spasms, crossed eyes, an overactive bladder, excessive underarm sweating, and chronic migraines.

Severe neck spasms:

Severe, and sometimes painful, muscle retractions in the neck region that can be caused by dehydration, stress, improper posture, over exertion of the shoulder or neck region. BOTOX® can be injected to relax the tensed muscles.

Crossed eyes:

A condition that stems from birth, crossed eyes affects as much as 4% of children. It can range from slightly offset eyesight to majorly obscured or hindered sight. BOTOX® is a commonly used, great option for treating this condition.

Overactive bladder:

The number of people that this affects is difficult to calculate, with an estimated 43% of people. The groups affected most by this condition range from early-30s to mid-50s. BOTOX® injections can be utilized to reduce or eliminate the urge to use the restroom more than usual.  

Excessive underarm sweating:

Roughly 5% of the population experiences excessive underarm sweating, but less than half have brought it forward to their physician. It is also great for sweaty palms.

Chronic migraines:

These are becoming increasingly more frequent in the modern day. Approximately one in every four households have a member that is experiencing, or has experienced, this. This condition limits many aspects of daily life, most notably when at work or doing mentally demanding activities. It can be reduced via the injection of BOTOX®.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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