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When was botox first used?

Botox injections are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures around the world. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, over seven million people received Botox injections in 2018 alone.


Although commonly used for aesthetic purposes, Botox actually has many other uses. It can help with migraines, excessive sweating, eye twitching, and much more. Find out more about the fascinating history of Botox, why we use it, and how you can get professional Botox in Greenwood Village.

What is Botox?

Botox is a type of microbial toxin called botulinum, which is produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Although there are several serotypes of Clostridium botulinum, only the A and B types are formulated for clinical use. Used in the wrong ways, this bacteria can cause paralysis and even death. However, doctors have harnessed the microbial toxin found in botulinum to create the safe Botox procedure that we know today.

The History of Botox

It took many years for scientists to isolate the toxins found in botulinum. In fact, interest in the bacteria first occurred in 1895 after a food-borne botulism outbreak in Belgium. By the 1920s, scientists started to isolate the toxin. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s when it was first noticed to reduce wrinkles in monkeys during their treatment for strabismus (crossed eyes). The pharmaceutical company Allergan then started licensing the botulinum toxin as Botox after several successful trials and treatments of strabismus.


Over the years, Botox then went on to receive FDA approval in several areas, including for cosmetic and medical purposes. These include:

  • 1989: Strabismus (crossed eyes) and Blepharospasm (eye twitching)

  • 2000: Cervical dystonia, or spasmodic torticollis (contracting of the neck muscles)

  • 2002: Glabellar lines (frown lines between the eyebrows)

  • 2004: Axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)

  • 2010: Chronic migraines and spasticity for the upper lip

  • 2011: Urinary incontinence

  • 2013: Lateral cantonal lines (crow’s feet)

The research into the many benefits of Botox is ongoing. Each year, researchers find even more ways that the botulinum toxin helps fight disease and aging. When used for cosmetic treatments, Botox shows very few side effects. Keep reading to find out exactly how cosmetic Botox injections work.

How Botox Injections Work

The injection of Botox into a specific area creates a site-specific paralysis of the muscles. The neurotransmitter found within the facial nerve terminals, called acetylcholine, shuts down when it interacts with the botulinum toxin. This keeps the muscles in that area from spasming, as they are momentarily paralyzed by the toxin. With this paralysis, muscle pain and inflammation is also halted. This is why Botox is frequently used to treat pain in the head and neck, but it also reduces pain during cosmetic injections.


Cosmetic Botox injections rarely have adverse side effects. Although some swelling and bruising can occur, this is a relatively quick procedure that requires little downtime. Be sure to contact a professional Botox doctor in Greenwood Village for your next Botox procedure.


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