Botox — Beyond the Wrinkle
- Posted on: Jul 30 2018
Botox is more famous than many of the celebrities who swear by it. It is now one of the world’s most recognized brand names. You’d be hard pressed to find a person who hasn’t heard of Botox.
But Botox was working busily temporarily paralyzing muscles long before it got to work on crow’s feet and the 11s. After all, the FDA initially approved Botox for the treatment of involuntary eyelid spasms. Botox has a bigger job in medicine than showing your wrinkles who’s the boss. And since it is a popular mainstay here at Dr. Lipton’s, we thought our clients maybe would be interested to know some other fun facts about Botox.
The Origins of Botox
Most people know that Botox is basically made from the bacteria that cause botulism. That would be the clostridium botulinum. That sounds kind of scary, but clostridium botulinum can actually be found in its inactive form all through the natural environment, including in cultivated soil and in forest soil, and in the sediment of lakes, streams, coastal and untreated waters. Now you know why your Mom told you not to eat dirt as a toddler!
Medicinal Uses of Botox
In 2002, when Botox first made its splash in the aesthetic world, it had already been a known commodity in the medical world for a few decades. In the 1950s, scientists discovered that the botulinum toxin type A, when injected in very small amounts, could make muscles temporarily stop contracting. Once they knew that, Botox was tested for a variety of different uses, anything where controlling muscle spasms was involved. It is now used for the following therapeutic applications, with more uses added seemingly by the month:
- Blepharospasm (involuntary eyelid spasms)
- Strabismus (crossed eyes)
- Idiopathic rotational cervical dystonia (severe neck and shoulder muscle spasms)
- Chronic migraine headaches
- Urinary incontinence
- Overactive bladder
- Severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
- Post-stroke upper limb spasticity
- Hemifacial spasm
It is also used “off-label” for:
- Allergic rhinitis
- Achalasia (esophageal problems creating difficulty swallowing)
- Sialorrhea (hypersalivation)
- Hepatopancreatic dysfunction
- Cerebral palsy
- Laryngeal dystonia (forceful contraction of the vocal cords)
- Oromandibular dystonia (forceful contraction of the jaw, face, and/or tongue)
More about Botox
Back to its wrinkle-fighting mode, more than six million Botox treatments are given each year, far and away the most of any cosmetic procedure of any type.
Although Botox is by far the most popular brand, the botulinum toxin is also sold commercially under these other brand names: Vistabel, Dysport, Bocouture, Xeomin, and Myobloc. Dr. Lipton sticks with Botox in his practice.
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Posted in: Botox