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The Discovery Process behind Botox®

The medicinal uses of Botox were limited and infrequent in the beginning; widespread cosmetic use did not begin until the 2000s.

The medicinal uses of Botox were limited and infrequent in the beginning; widespread cosmetic use did not begin until the 2000s.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Botox® to treat over a dozen medical and cosmetic conditions, making it a highly successful drug. Its maker, Allergan, rakes in billions of dollars annually, and it has inspired a slew of knockoffs with essentially the same active ingredient.

In the past, things were different. Early medical applications of Botox were narrow and uncommon; widescale cosmetic use did not start until the 2000s. Because of its high toxicity, the active ingredient in Botox had previously been largely avoided by the medical world.

What is the history of how and why Botox was developed? It all started in Germany two hundred years ago.

What led to the discovery of Botox?

In preindustrial Europe, serious foodborne illnesses were a part of everyday life. These illnesses were also one of the many causes of death that can now be prevented.

Things started moving in a new direction in the 1820s when a German doctor named Justinus Kerner published his findings on a widespread case of what locals called “sausage poisoning.” Food-borne botulism can cause muscle weakness, numbness, and paralysis, and in extreme cases, Dr. Kerner outlined the progression of the disease. 

Dr. Kerner’s research improved food safety rules and procedures in Germany and beyond, but he lacked the technology to identify the infectious microorganism. About seventy years later, Belgian bacteriologist Emile van Ermengem isolated Clostridium botulinum from a botulism-tainted batch of ham.

Ingesting C. botulinum was known to be harmful, and it was suspected that the bacterium produced a neurotoxic poison, but no one had yet isolated or described the substance. In 1928, Dr. Hermann Sommer, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, succeeded in purifying what would later be called botulinum toxin type A.

Preliminary Uses of Botox

Although Dr. Sommer’s discovery paved the way for future developments, Botox was not yet widely considered a viable medical or cosmetic option. 

In fact, the initial “indications” for Botox were quite unpleasant. Before and during World War II, botulinum toxin was investigated and used as a weapon by both the Axis and Allied powers, which included the US and Japan. Military intelligence officials in the United States debated whether or not to use it to kill off top enemy officials, but ultimately decided against it.

In the 1960s and 1970s, researchers began to focus on civilian applications. The Food and Drug Administration started clinical trials on patients with blepharospasm (eyelid spasm) in the late 1970s, and the FDA finally approved the condition in 1989. Dr. Jean Carruthers, a Vancouver ophthalmologist, first used Botox to treat blepharospasm in the mid-1980s. She soon discovered that the medication also effectively reduced the appearance of lines and wrinkles on her patients’ foreheads and between their brows (an area commonly referred to as the “11s”).

Dr. Carruthers, along with her husband and business partner, Dr. Alastair Carruthers, quickly shifted their attention to cosmetic procedures and pushed for the widespread use of the wonder drug in the field of aesthetic medicine.

Botox Right Now

There has been an uptick in the number of people looking for cutting-edge injectable training classes.

There has been an uptick in the number of people looking for cutting-edge injectable training classes.

The Carrutherses’ efforts in advocacy were very successful. Since its meteoric rise to prominence in the late 2000s and early 2010s, Botox has become the most popular cosmetic procedure available, with over 7 million doses administered in 2018.

Despite the potentially dangerous nature of the active ingredient, Botox’s side effects are generally mild and easily treatable, making it a more desirable alternative to conventional plastic surgery.

Botox is currently used for a wide variety of medical and cosmetic purposes, including the traditional ones of blepharospasm treatment, forehead and glabellar lines, and crow’s feet. There is a growing demand for advanced injectable training courses and courses that teach medical professionals how to use Botox and dermal fillers together. Botox’s popularity is only expected to grow in the coming years as the FDA continues to explore and accept new indications.

Successfully navigating the cosmetics industry requires taking the best Botox training courses. If you want to learn botox from seasoned professionals, the time to enroll in a course is now. Putting in the effort and dedication will allow you to perform wonders for every customer.

Dentox is a program that teaches healthcare professionals how to give Botox injections to their clients in the most effective and safe way. Dentox can assist you in developing your company and making your practice better for your patients as well.

Injectable education is an area in which Dr. Howard Katz has distinguished himself as a leading authority. He is listed on the Botulinum toxin patent application (including Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, etc.). In addition to lecturing and distributing course materials in the conventional setting of a classroom, he does so online as well. Dentox offers both online and in-person Botox training, with the former available at and the latter at

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