Botox: Its History and Benefits
Wednesday Oct. 16th, 2019
Have you ever wondered about the history of BOTOX, one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in the world? Here’s how a neurotoxin became a medical and cosmetic wonder and its many benefits today.
The History of BOTOX
Long before discovering its modern uses and fame as an anti-aging treatment, BOTOX injections lived a varied life for various medical treatments. While it is still in use for these various medical treatments to this day, these have been somewhat overshadowed by its popularity as in treating wrinkles.
BOTOX, the brand name for Botulinum toxin, first appeared in 1820 when a German medical officer named Justinus Kerner performed some tests and established its ability to interrupt signal transmissions without impairing sensory or mental functions. Fast-forwarding just over 100 years to the 1930s, the botulinum toxin was being investigated for its potential use as a chemical weapon.
Over the decades that followed, research and experimentation with botulinum continued, when in the 1950s researchers discovered the potential to reduce hyperactive muscle activity. Research then continued throughout the 1960s and 1970s to explore the possibility for use for muscle disorders, and even as a treatment for crossed eyes, a technique still used today, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
The first treatment with botulinum toxin to be approved by the FDA came in 1989 when they approved the use of the toxin for treating eyelid spasms and crossed eyes, and it was given the name BOTOX. Further FDA approvals continued throughout the early 2000s when the BOTOX therapy became approved for increasingly more aesthetic treatments, such as for the treatment of various types of wrinkles and fine lines associated with aging. Around this time, treatment for conditions such as hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and muscle stiffness became FDA approved also.
To this day scientists and researchers are still finding many new medical applications for BOTOX.
The Benefits of BOTOX
Many great benefits that patients are looking to undergo BOTOX treatment can expect, ranging not only from its speed, effectiveness, and non-invasive nature to its applicability to numerous muscle-related medical treatments.
BOTOX can Treat a Range of Medical Conditions
There are myriad medical conditions for which BOTOX injections can be an incredibly effective treatment. Since BOTOX paralyzes muscle activity and can prevent nerves from sending signals to and from the brain, it has become an effective treatment for muscle-related problems like:
University of Minnesota Health
Hyperhidrosis: Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes the body, especially the armpits, to produce excessive amounts of sweat. By targeting sweat glands by blocking the nerves with BOTOX injections, the overactive nerves become paralyzed, making them unable to communicate with the sweat glands and preventing excessive sweating, according to the University of Minnesota Health
American Migraine Foundation
Migraines: When treating migraines with BOTOX injections, those suffering can see a significant reduction in the number of days in which they experience migraines and the duration for which they experience them. BOTOX also provided more pain-free days per month. Studies have shown that following two rounds of BOTOX treatment, 50% of patients saw a decrease in the number of days spent with migraines. Following 5 rounds of treatment, that number went up to 70%, according to the American Migraine Foundation.
Urinary incontinence: BOTOX injections can be an especially effective treatment for those with bladder control issues. After making around 20 injections of BOTOX around certain parts of the bladder wall, around 75% of women undergoing the treatment saw a definitive reduction in both the frequency and urgency with which they previously needed to visit the bathroom. While this is not a permanent solution, results can last for as long as 6 to 9 months.
Myofascial pain syndrome: This is a chronic condition causing sufferers to suffer symptoms of muscle pain around the neck and shoulders. Injecting BOTOX into certain trigger points block signals from being sent between muscles and nerves, leading to relief in those targeted areas.
Many other conditions can be treated with BOTOX injections too, ranging widely from TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders to crossed eyes and even to depression.
An Effective Treatment for Wrinkles
As our bodies age, wrinkles and deep lines are inevitable. One of the most effective means of dealing with age-related wrinkles is with BOTOX treatment, and in the case of static wrinkles (as opposed to dynamic wrinkles), with the assistance of dermal fillers too. While cosmetic surgery is obviously also an option, BOTOX carries dramatically less cost, recovery, downtime and is non-invasive, according to Richard W. Maloney, BOTOX expert from Naples, FL.
Some of the different types of wrinkles that can be treated with BOTOX include:
Glabellar lines: Wrinkles located between the eyebrows and above the nose
Crows feet: Wrinkles that emerge from the corners of the eyes
Bunny lines: Wrinkles located on the bridge of the nose
Marionette lines: Vertical lines running from the corners of the mouth down to the chin
A Non-Invasive, Quick, and Effective Approach to Anti-Aging
BOTOX injections are one of the most popular cosmetic treatments because they are non-invasive, meaning that no surgery or incisions are required. The procedure simply consists of somewhere between 5 and 10 injections of BOTOX injected strategically into treatment areas.
Relatively speaking, the entire procedure is a quick one. BOTOX injections take only a few minutes and don’t require any anesthesia. Your entire appointment will last no longer than 30 minutes and can be done during a lunch break.
When compared to other alternative procedures such as cosmetic surgery, BOTOX offers incredibly fast results, with most people seeing results immediately or within a few days. The full effects of BOTOX are noticeable after just one week. Just as impressive are the long-lasting results that last for around 3 to 6 months. At this point, the results of the BOTOX treatment will begin to fade while muscle action gradually resumes, however, for patients undergoing BOTOX treatment for wrinkles and fine lines, most will see those wrinkles and fine lines fading gradually over time due to the muscle shrinkage that occurs over time.
To maintain the best possible results of the BOTOX treatment, repeated injections may be required every 4 or 5 months.