BOTOX®: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Though it’s now a globally popular household name, that has not always been the case for BOTOX® Cosmetic. Toronto area cosmetic plastic surgeon Dr. Wayne Carman has watched over the years as the injectable first arrived on the market, was treated by the media as a curiosity, then surged forward in popularity to become the most frequently administered cosmetic treatment each year around the world.

BOTOX® has roots that stretch back long before that. We have to look as far back as the late 19th century when a researcher first linked cases of food poisoning in Belgium to a specific bacterium: Clostridium botulinum. For six decades after this discovery, scientists studied the microorganism and its ability to paralyze muscles in the human body—a dangerous condition when it develops unintentionally, but a potentially beneficial one if applied with precision in a medical setting.

In 1981—just shy of 100 years after the initial Clostridium botulinum discovery— the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved trials culminated in an announcement from an ophthalmologist who had determined that injections of the bacterium could safely and effectively treat strabismus, which is a muscle imbalance causing crossed eyes and squints. An FDA approval for that treatment followed, as did another for injections to calm uncontrolled blinking.

Clostridium botulinum quickly became a go-to answer for conditions marked by involuntary muscle movement. Trials and FDA approvals continued. By 2016, the injectable now known as BOTOX® was regularly used to treat neck spasms and upper and lower limb spasticity. In addition, it was also found to positively impact excessive underarm sweating by preventing sweat glands from producing moisture. It has also found a place in the treatment of bladder overactivity and chronic migraine headaches. In that time, it also landed approvals for two cosmetic uses: smoothing forehead frown lines and crow’s feet caused by repetitive muscle movement.

Research into new applications continues to this day, with reports in 2017 of scientists exploring the possibilities of using BOTOX® to treat mood. Early research seems to indicate a link between injections and a reduction in symptoms of depression.

Learn more about what BOTOX® can do and how it works. Schedule a consultation at the Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Toronto by calling Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Wayne Carman at (416) 322-7108 or 1-888-451-1140. You may also visit his practice’s website at drcarmanplasticsurgery.com.

Written by +Wayne Carman

Dr. Carman is a Toronto Plastic Surgeon practicing breast, body and facial cosmetic surgery.