The Bacteria, Clostridium botulinum, was first discovered in 1895 by a Belgian scientist named Emile Pierre van Ermengem following a botulism outbreak in Belgium. It took a further 20 years before the botulinum toxin was finally isolated by Dr. Edward Schantz.
In the 1970s, scientists started using botulinum toxin to treat strabismus (i.e., crossed eyes) and blepharospasm. It wasn’t used for the treatment of rhytids (wrinkles) until 1987 when Dr Jean Carruthers (an eye doctor) mentioned to her dermatologist husband that a patient of hers had been frustrated she hadn’t treated her forehead with Botox® and only the area round her eye. When asked why this was bothering her she replied, ‘because when you inject my forehead, my wrinkles go away!’.... and so Botox®, as a miracle wrinkle treatment entered the world thanks to Allergan!
Botox® works by stopping the signal being sent between the nerve and the muscle and so reducing or stopping movement that cause the skin to wrinkle. It takes 2-10 days to fully take effect and lasts 2-4 months. It’s also interesting as it’s the first microbial to be used to treat people. It’s now considered a very safe and widely used treatment and can be used for reduction in lines (or rhytids), excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), muscle spasms, migraine, neck pain and muscle spasm around the eye.
Its versatile and safe treatment that has brought a lot of joy to a lot of people!