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The history and uses of Botox

Botox has become an extremely popular treatment for skin rejuvenation, producing anti-ageing results that have become popular in the US, Europe and here in the UK, but the history behind these treatments, the Clostridium botulinum bacteria and how it came into use today might surprise you, as it has roots in research that began in the 1800s. In this article we’ll look into the history of anti-wrinkle injections, how they came into use as an anti-wrinkle treatment and the other uses that this treatment has.

Discovery in the 1800s

Botox is by no stretch of the imagination a product that is new to us in this decade, let alone this century. It might surprise you to find out that the focussed protein that can be found in Clostridium botulinum bacteria was originally discovered by a German physician called Justinus Kerner who was researching food poisoning in the 1800s. Through investigating the effects of botulism that included muscle weakness and paralysis he found that in a controlled environment there could be therapeutic benefits to the neurotoxins that the bacteria emitted.

Early Uses and Research

Research into the botulinum toxin was avoided for quite a number of years after Kerner’s research, over concerns that the neurotoxin could be used as a biological weapon, but in 1980 an ophthalmologist called Alan Scott researched how the Type A variant of the toxin could be used to treat strabismus, which is essentially a condition that causes those who suffer from it to have crossed eyes and through continued research and testing doctors found that the results of such a treatment were very promising. Doctors also researched how botulinum would affect blepharospasm; a condition that causes abnormal blinking and a tightening of the eyes, and whilst the treatment helped with this condition they found that it had an additional benefit of reducing the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes. While initially only approved by the FDA to treat these conditions, the FDA later approved Botox for the cosmetic treatments that we at Melior Clinics offer today.

Not Just For Wrinkles and the Signs of Ageing

While today people generally only think of Botox as a treatment for fine lines, wrinkles and the signs of ageing, it can also be used to treat various other medical conditions, beyond the ones that we have already mentioned. There is even evidence to suggest that such treatments may be effective at blocking pain signals to the brain, and subsequently could be used to help those experiencing a wide variety of pains such as muscular strains and back problems. Below we’ve detailed some of the conditions that we can treat in our Botox London Clinic and in our clinics across the South East.

Hyperhidrosis Treatment

Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes the excessive production of sweat and can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, which can be safely and effectively treated with Botox. There is evidence to suggest that hyperhidrosis is caused by problems with the sympathetic nervous system wherein the brain sends messages to the sweat glands, stimulating the production of sweat, it can also be caused by stress, heat, hormones or as a result of genetics. The treatments that we provide for hyperhidrosis disable the eccrine and apocrine glands, effectively preventing them from producing sweat. This type of treatment won’t cure hyperhidrosis, but it is effective at reducing sweating for extended periods of time.

Migraine Treatment

Chronic migraines can result in headaches, nausea and dizziness which can severely affect the lives of those who suffer from them. Botox helps with the effects of migraines by paralysing specific muscles in the forehead, neck and shoulders, and essentially blocking the nerve connections that are associated with migraines, subsequently alleviating pain and discomfort. It’s important to keep in mind that this treatment for migraines isn’t a cure for all future migraines but can provide temporary relief and requires repeat visits approximately once every twelve to sixteen weeks to continue to be effective.

Bruxism Treatment

Bruxism, also known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) is the grinding of one’s teeth and clenching of the jaw which is caused by an over active Masseter muscle; one of the important facial muscles located in the jaw. An enlarged Masseter muscle can also result in a square, wider or more masculine jaw, which for some women can be something that they want to resolve. Our Masseter Jaw Reduction treatments aid in the weakening of this muscle and over time can causes it to reduce in size, which in addition to achieving a softer, more rounded look to the face also helps with the teeth grinding and jaw clenching symptoms of Bruxism and TMJ.

What We Can Do For You

At Melior Clinics we have a wealth of experience in providing a range of treatments that focus on your aesthetics and well-being; our team are highly skilled, medically led and most of all focussed on ensuring that you are well informed, comfortable and have the knowledge to make the right decision for you. If you want to find out more about how our wide range of treatments could help your skin look younger and aid in your well being if you suffer from any the aforementioned conditions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Botox London Clinic or any of our clinics across the South East. You can arrange for us to call you by filling out our online contact form, you can call 0330 024 1300 where a friendly member of the team will help you with your enquiry, or alternatively you can book a free consultation online or in person at any one of our clinics.