Today, the word Botox brings only one thing to mind: wrinkle elimination. However, you may or may not know that Botox, or Botulinum Toxin Type A, is a derivative of botulism; a substance sometimes more associated with horror than help.
The History of Botulism
Botulism, a toxic bacterium, has been known to man for thousands of years. Occurring naturally, especially in improperly preserved foods, the toxin can cause severe illness and even kill. In acient times, men learned how to extract botulism from rancid meat, such as dried blood sausages, to poision their enemies. As far back as Emperor Leo VI’s rule in Byzantium, sources of botulism have been intermittently forbidden, because of the eminent threat they could pose.
Roughly 200 years ago, in Napoleonic times, dozens of people in Germany began to die after eating a dish made from pork stomach called Blunzen. This prompted scientists and physicians to begin studying the toxin in depth. They noted that within 18-36 hours of ingestion, subjects would experience double vision, slurred speech, muscle weakness, and ultimately, death. It was during this time that German physicist, Justinus Kerner, isolated the mechanism of what would be known as botulism, a Latin word meaning ‘sausage poison’.
Botulism Becomes Botox
After years of study, researchers learned that the toxins in botulism come in many forms, not all bad. In the early 1980s, San Francisco ophthalmologist, Dr. Alan Scott, was the first to utilize Botulinum Toxin Type A. Looking for a cure for Amblyopia and Strabismus, or crossed eyes, Dr. Scott noticed that in small doses, the Botulinum Toxin Type A had the unique ability to relax targeted muscles. Thus, Type A could ease the turning in of the eye.
In 1987, two Vancouver doctors accidentally uncovered the unexpected aesthetic properties offered by the toxin. Dr. Jean Carruthers was an eye doctor, treating blepharospasm (uncontrollable blinking) with a diluted version of Botulinum Toxin Type A. Over time, she noticed that when the toxin was injected closer to the forehead, glabellar lines between the brows would go away. Dr. Alastair Carruthers was her husband, as well as a dermatologist, and was quick to use his wife’s anti-wrinkle discovery in his own practice. Hence, this pair of physicians became pivotal researchers, further developing the Botox we use today across a variety of cosmetic and medical needs.
Approved by the Food and Drug Administration for cosmetic use more than 10 years ago, Botox has grown to become a billion-dollar industry. Today, Botox is America’s number one nonsurgical aesthetic treatment. Aside from the cosmetic benefits of modern Botulinum Toxin Type A, smoothing facial lines and wrinkles, the substance is now used to eliminate hyperhidrosis, quell chronic migraines, ease a spastic bladder, and improve a variety of muscle/movement disorders.
Houston’s Best Botox Cosmetic
Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique is Houston’s leading provider of Botox Cosmetic. Whether you are looking to ease deep forehead creases, Crow’s Feet, Frown Lines – or even put an end to constant sweating – the experienced and superbly trained staff at Mirror Mirror can help you achieve your goals. Schedule a complimentary Botox Comsetic consultation by calling Mirror Mirror at 281.407.9549. Busy day? Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique takes walk-in clientele for Botox and other injectibles; plus, with easy, off-the-street parking, you will be back to your busy schedule in no time.