Botulin toxin is widely known and sold under the name Botox®. It is a very strong neurotoxin that is widely used in many areas of modern medicine. Currently Botox® injections are the most popular form of non-surgical cosmetic treatments in the United States today.
It was a man named Alan Scott, who first applied tiny doses of the toxin to patients who had crossed eyes and uncontrollable blinking. A company called Allergan, Inc. then helped Scott gain regulatory approval to market his discovery as a drug. In 1988 Allergan bought the drug and in 1989 it received approval by the FDA. The drug was then named Botox Specials Santa Barbara®.
Cosmetic benefits of Botox® were soon noticed after the frown lines between eyebrows appeared to soften following treatment for eye muscle problems. This led to clinical trials and FDA approval of the drug in April 2002.
Today Botox® treatment is growing in record numbers as it is finding enormous new potential in several therapeutic areas including treating migraine headaches, eyelid muscle contraction and axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). Other uses of Botox® include urinary incontinence, nasal fissure, spastic disorders, stroke, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy.
Currently, the most popular use of Botox® has been used cosmetically to reduce the wrinkles around the eyes. This non-surgical procedure treats areas of the eye commonly referred to as ‘crow’s feet’ and creases on the forehead through an injection with a tiny needle. Depending on where it is injected side effects may include a headache, droopy eyelids and nausea. Temporary bruising around the injection area is also common.