The History of Botox

Dr. Atul Kesarwani is the medical director of the Cosmedical Rejuvenation Clinic. As a board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Kesarwani has 30+ years of experience in the field. Read more about Dr. Kesarwani >


Many people know of Botox as an effective way to reduce the appearance of wrinkles between the brows and help millions of people look years younger. However, Botox has a long history and has been researched for its ability to treat a variety of diseases and conditions. Since the botulinum toxin was first discovered in 1895, researchers have studied it and approved it for many uses – not only as a cosmetic treatment but as a prescription drug.

Botox, also known as OnabotulinumtoxinA, contains small, purified amounts of botulinum toxin protein. When injected in the muscles, it reduces glandular activity and muscle contractions. This makes Botox an excellent treatment for muscle conditions.

Botox through the Years

Although it was discovered in the late 19th century, the first Botox breakthrough didn’t come about until the 1950s. A researcher discovered that when Botox was injected in an overactive muscle, activity reduced. This created interest in Botox for therapeutic purposes.

In the late 1960s, animal studies showed that Botox may also be an effective treatment for crossed eyes. This was discovered when a researcher injected Botox into a monkey’s eye muscles and its eyes became uncrossed. At that time, the only treatment was surgery.

From this point until the 1980s, researchers began to develop Botox for human use. It was called Oculinum. In 1989, Oculinum was changed to Botox and acquired by Allergan. At this time, Botox’s uses were becoming more well-known, leading to FDA approvals.

FDA Approvals

Botox received FDA approval in the United States in 1989 to treat eye muscle problems. In 2000, it received approval as a drug to treat cervical dystonia. In 2002, it received approval as a cosmetic to remove wrinkles. In 2004, Botox gained approval to treat excessive underarm sweating. In 2010, it was granted approval to treat muscle stiffness in the finger, wrist and elbows. In that same year, Botox was granted FDA approval to treat chronic migraines.

Botox Today

Today, Botox is used in 80 countries for 21 different uses. Botox’s versatility continues to be explored by researchers and physicians. It is a widely researched medicine, having been featured in 2,100 scientific and medical journals.

Botox Can Help You Look Younger

Defy the aging process with Botox and other options that can slow down the aging process. We will work with you to find the right option for your needs. Contact us to see how we can make you look younger.

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