Where did Botox come from? A quick history

Botox, or botulinum toxin, is a well-known cosmetic treatment that can temporarily smooth out wrinkles and fine lines on the face. But did you know that its origins date back to the late 1800s?

It all started with a Belgian microbiologist named Emile van Ermengem, who discovered the neurotoxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. In the early 1900s, it was found to have the ability to cause muscle paralysis. Fast forward to the 1940s, and botulinum toxin was being used to treat strabismus (crossed eyes) in children.

It wasn’t until the 1980s that botulinum toxin received its first FDA approval for the treatment of blepharospasm, a disorder that causes excessive blinking and eyelid spasms. And it wasn’t until the late 1990s and early 2000s that the cosmetic use of botulinum toxin really took off.

It was a husband-and-wife team of Canadian ophthalmologists, Dr. Jean Carruthers and Dr. Alastair Carruthers, who discovered that injecting small amounts of botulinum toxin into the forehead could temporarily smooth out wrinkles and frown lines. They first published their findings in the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology in 1992. And in 2002, the FDA approved the use of Botox for the treatment of wrinkles between the eyebrows, also known as “glabellar lines.”

Since then, the use of botulinum toxin has become increasingly popular in medical spas in the United States for the treatment of wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging on the face. Medical spas, also known as medispas, offer medical treatments like Botox injections alongside traditional spa services like facials and massages. And botulinum toxin is also used to treat a variety of medical conditions, such as chronic migraines, excessive sweating, and muscle spasms.

But it’s important to remember that botulinum toxin should only be administered by trained and certified medical professionals in a medical setting. The procedure is relatively safe, but complications can occur, such as infection or an allergic reaction. So, if you’re thinking about getting Botox, be sure to consult a qualified professional before undergoing any treatment.