The protein used in Botox was first identified in 1905 in the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, the bacteria that causes botulism. The bacteria and protein released, called botulinum toxin, were studied for decades before the first clinical study was performed in 1977 on strabismus, or cross eyes. Other uses for Botox were subsequently investigated and it is used to treat eye spasms, involuntary muscle contraction in areas such as the neck (dystonia), excessive sweating in the underarms, palms, and soles (hyperhidrosis), migraines, bladder overactivity, and other disorders. When used for some of these purposes, Botox was found to have the side effect of decreasing wrinkles in the area. This was further studied by Alstair and Jean Carruthers in Vancouver, BC Canada in the 1980’s. The results of these Botox studies were first published in 1992. Botox cosmetic was approved by the FDA in the United States on April 12, 2002 for the treatment of frown lines, the vertical lines seen between the brows when a person frowns. Since then Botox treatments have increased in popularity and it is now a household name. Botox was subsequently approved by the FDA to treat crow’s feet around the eyes on September 11, 2013.
The most common areas of treatment with Botox are in the upper face. These include the horizontal lines seen on the upper forehead when one raises the brows, the frown lines, and the crow's feet.
Botox can be used in many people depending on their concerns. Botox can be used in people as young as 18 years of age and Botox can be used in both men and women. The ideal candidate for a Botox treatment is a person who has undesired wrinkles associated with facial expression or a person who wants to prevent such wrinkles. Being a minimally invasive treatment, Botox is perfect for those who would like an enhancement without undergoing a surgical intervention.