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A HISTORY OF BOTOX {Wow it’s weird}

Botox is a trade name.

Let’s get that straight from the start.

Like Hoover or Portacabin, it’s a brand name for a particular make of a product which has become the name we all tend to use as a generic description.

Botulinum Toxin is in fact a neurotoxic protein and if you want to what it is and how it works from a scientific perspective here is what Wikipedia says: “Botulinum toxin (BTX) is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and related species. It prevents the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from axon endings at the neuromuscular junction and thus causes flaccid paralysis.”

Clear?

In cosmetics, botulinum toxin is considered a safe and effective way to reduce of facial wrinkles, especially in the uppermost third of the face.

Injection of botulinum toxin into the muscles under facial wrinkles causes relaxation of those muscles, resulting in the smoothing of the overlying skin.

Smoothing of wrinkles is usually visible three days after treatment. The treated muscles gradually regain function, and generally return to their former appearance three to four months after treatment.

Muscles can be treated repeatedly to maintain the smoothed appearance.

But how do we know this? How did a toxin become so popular as a cosmetic procedure?

Clostridium botulinum was first discovered by a Belgian scientist named Emile Pierre van Ermengem following a botulism outbreak in Belgium. It took 20 years before the botulinum toxin was finally isolated in crystalline form.

Then in the 1970s, scientists started using botulinum toxin to treat a condition called strabismus (i.e., crossed eyes). While testing this treatment on monkeys (Do we approve?), researchers noticed that botulinum toxin reduced wrinkles in the glabella. The glabella is the skin between the eyebrows and above the nose.

Soon afterwards chemical giant Allergan licensed the treatment and branded it Botox. Subsequently, Botox received official approval for a variety of medical and cosmetic uses.

Botulinum toxic is extremely versatile and can be used for many other conditions, including eye twitch (blepharospasm), neck contracture (cervical dystonia), migraines, and even an overactive bladder. It is also used for the treatment of severe underarm sweating (i.e., hyperhidrosis).

Botulinum toxin used in cosmetics now has several brand names including Botox, Dysport, Azzalure, Xeomin and Vistabel.

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