Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum), discovered over a century ago as the bacterium responsible for botulism, has risen through medical ranks to become what is one of the most requested procedures in facial rejuvenation today.
Until the 1980’s, botulinum toxin (BoNT) was merely a potent toxin with devastating effects and a 65% mortality rate.
The history of food-borne illness to therapeutic agent is chequered with tainted blood sausages, amazing clinical scientists, biological warfare and an amazing scientific breakthrough that took the history of the deadly toxin from the cause of many deaths and devastated the canning industry in the 1930’s to its clinical use today.
The clinical use of BoNT has proven circular; its initial forays into therapeutics, as a nonsurgical treatment for strabismus and blepharospasm, sparked discoveries in facial rejuvenation, which in turn, its growing popularity in the cosmetic field, led to even more research in the therapeutic fields, leading to an even greater understanding of mechanism of action and possible indications for use.
In the last few years, the use of BoNT has grown exponentially and now accounts for over half of all non-surgical cosmetic procedures. The rise in popularity of BoNT has come from a shift and change in the client’s expectations of beauty and ageing. With the rise of people starting an anti-aging regime at younger ages and the rise of social media the demand shows no sign of slowing down.
As we age the skin atrophies and sags, bones shift, and lines and wrinkles become more prominent. Removing wrinkles is one of the primary methods of reversing the aging process for clients. The fact that BoNT is able to accomplish this feat with minimal downtime or side effects and is another reason for its popularity.