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A decade of Cosmetic Botox

The year 2012 is turning out to be one of the milestones. A few weeks ago, we blogged about the 50th anniversary of the first silicone breast implant. Today, we’re blogging about another big anniversary; this year, Botox turns 10.

On April 15th, Botox Cosmetic hit its double digits. It was on that date, in 2002, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Botox as a cosmetic injectable. Since then, Botox has been used to smooth out facial wrinkles, reduce sweat all over the body, and even cure migraines.

Botox’s history is longer and more storied than a mere decade, mind you. Botulinum Toxin was discovered in the 1820s, by German doctor Justinus Kerner, who speculated that small doses of the toxin could be used to treat nerve disorders and excessive sweating. Over the years, Botulinum Toxin will be used to correct eye spasms, cervical dystonia, and foot pain.

Decades later, Ophthalmologist Dr. Alan Scott won approval from the FDA to test the toxin to treat crossed eyes in humans, which Dr. Scott called Oculinum. In 1988, Scott sold Oculinum to Allergan for $8 million, who renamed the drug Botox. By the year 2002, it was approved by the FDA for cosmetic use, and the rest is history.

Today, cosmetic Botox is a billion-dollar industry, and is the most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure, boasting over 2 million procedures performed in 2011. It’s a minimally invasive alternative to surgical procedures like facelifts and requires virtually no downtime.

If you’re curious about Botox, talk to your doctor about the benefits and what it could do for you. If not, at least wish it a happy birthday.

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