Most of my patients who benefit from Botox® Cosmetic treatments to smooth out facial creases and frown lines aren’t aware that Botox was not originally intended for this purpose.
In the 1960s, while being studied as a possible germ warfare agent, several serotypes of the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum – the cause of botulism poisoning in food – where found to cause temporary paralyze of nerves and muscles when used in minute amounts without negative side effects.
The use of Toxin Type A, the most studied of the seven different serotypes, as a therapeutic agent began in the late 1960s, first as a pediatric treatment for crossed eyes and later as a common medical treatment for blepharospasm and strabismus, two kinds of facial spasms that occur around the eye. It was first approved as a medical treatment in 1989.
It wasn’t until the 1990s that Toxin Type A was considered for cosmetic purposes, and was approved by the FDA in 2002.
Now, in addition to being one of the most popular anti-aging treatments, Botox® is also used to treat hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating) and migraine headaches.