Did you know that Botox is the most common cosmetic procedure performed today? While Botox is primarily thought of as a treatment to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, it can also help with many other conditions such as migraines, overactive bladder, and excessive sweating.
Despite its popularity and many benefits, a lot of people are still hesitant about this treatment. A lot of people think of Botox as some new fad that is unsafe and all for vanity. However, it may surprise you to learn that Botox has been around for a long time and it has a pretty fascinating history.
Botox was first discovered all the way back in 1820 by a small-town German medical officer and poet named Justinus Kerner. He discovered it when researched the cause of death of Germans who consumed sausage. Kerner was able to give the first complete description of clinical botulism based on clinic observations of this “sausage poisoning”. He began running experiments with the toxin on animals and himself, eventually suggesting it might have therapeutic benefits. Many today regard him as a pioneer in modern botulinum toxin therapy.
Seventy-five years later, a professor of bacteriology Emile van Ermengem correctly described Clostridium botulinum as the bacterial source in the toxin. He discovered after a number of funeral attendees were poised after eating salted ham. Van Ermengem isolated and grew the bacterium, but it took another 20 years before Dr. Edward Schantz purified it.
Once World War II broke out, scientists began to be worried about botulinum toxin being weaponized. The Japanese fed their prisoners of war C botulinum cultures with deadly effects. During the war, Allied troops received C botulinum vaccines due to fears that Germans had successfully weaponized it.
It wasn’t until the 1960’s that this toxin began being utilized for therapeutic reasons. Dr. Alan Scott, an ophthalmologist, became the first to work on a standardized toxin in preparation for therapeutic reasons. It was then used to treat eye conditions such as crossed eyes and uncontrollable blinking.
Although Botox has been around for a long time, it wasn’t until 1989 that the name brand Botox began to be manufactured by Allergan and was formally approved by the FDA. Dr. Richard Clark, a California plastic surgeon, was the first to document the cosmetic uses of Botox.
Botox today has come a long way. It’s been 200 years since this toxin was first discovered and its uses are still being uncovered. Today, Botox is FDA approved for a number of medical and cosmetic uses such as:
- Cervical dystonia (2000)
- Glabellar lines (2002)
- Excessive sweating (2004)
- Chronic migraines (2010)
- Urinary incontinence (2011)
If you’re interested in learning more about Botox or want to see if it can help you with a specific issue, contact us to book a complimentary consultation today!