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The benefits of botulinum toxin (Botox/Dysport)

By: Dr. Ousama Moammar

In 1895 Émile van Ermengem, a Belgian microbiologist, discovered the bacteria that produces the botulinum toxin, Clostridium botulinum and confirmed that a toxin produced by the bacteria causes botulism ( food poisoning caused by the bacteria and its toxin).

The effect of Botox on reducing and eliminating forehead wrinkles was first described and published by Richard Clark, MD, a plastic surgeon from Sacramento, California. In 1987 Clark was challenged with eliminating the disfigurement caused by only the right side of the forehead muscles functioning after the left side of the forehead was paralyzed during a facelift procedure. This patient had desired to look better from her facelift, but was experiencing bizarre unilateral right forehead eyebrow elevation while the left eyebrow drooped, and she constantly demonstrated deep expressive right forehead wrinkles while the left side was perfectly smooth due to the paralysis. Clark was aware that Botulinum toxin was safely being used to treat babies with strabismus and he requested and was granted FDA approval to experiment with Botulinum toxin to paralyze the moving and wrinkling normal functioning right forehead muscles to make both sides of the forehead appear the same.

This study and case report of the cosmetic use of Botulinum toxin to treat a cosmetic complication of a cosmetic surgery was the first report on the specific treatment of wrinkles and was published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 1989. Editors of the journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons have clearly stated "the first described use of the toxin in aesthetic circumstances was by Clark and Berris in 1989.

That was the start of botulinum toxin use for cosmetic purposes. since that time we have got to know about the amazing benefits of Botox. Some of the main benefits are:

1- Reduces wrinkles ( face and neck)

2- Inhibits sweating

3- Improves skin texture and reducing pores size

4- Relaxes muscles and reduces their size over time ( treats TMJ, teeth grinding)

5- Improves headache and migraines


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