….10 years ago, to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of Botox for treating frown lines.
Over the course of that decade, botulinum toxin, as it is technically called, has profoundly changed the work of dermatologists and plastic surgeons, and broadly expanded the use of cosmetic procedures by the general public.
The most interesting things about botulinum toxins are not really mentioned in this article. It is true that a number of doctors realized far before Botox TM was FDA approved for cosmetic purposes that it could help with them. In 1997 in the Los Angeles area it was popular as an “off label” use drug for wrinkles. At first Botox TM was the only product of its type on the market. I was well aware of it before the FDA approved it for cosmetics and was using it in 1997 like many others.
What most people have only recently discovered is that there are several versions of botulinum toxin on the market. There are three botulinum toxin A products and one botulinum B product marketed under different trade names. These different products act slightly differently.
Another important point is that many others other than plastic surgeons and dermatologists are administering them. You can get them in Med Spas and the offices of doctors of all specialties looking to augment their bottom line with some easy discretionary cash. These toxins are not really all that dangerous as long as the injector is reasonably prudent but you can end up looking funny with the really inexperienced ones. At least it wears off even in this sad case.
John Di Saia MD