Botox, the most popular cosmetic treatment in the world, has turned 10.
Approved by the FDA to treat frown lines between the eyebrows in April 2002, in the past ten years the uses for Botox have grown through new approvals and off-label treatments. Allergan, the maker of Botox, says that last year about 51% of sales came from therapeutic uses and 49% from aesthetic uses.
The most recent news is that Allergan filed applications for approval to sell Botox as an overactive bladder treatment. New data showed that the injectable significantly reduced daily incontinence episodes compared to a placebo injection, according to the Wall Street Journal.
A Brief History of Botox
Botox for cosmetic applications was developed by ophthalmologist Jean Carruthers and her husband, according to USA Today. While treating a patient with it for facial muscle spasms in 1987, the patient told Carruthers she had missed a spot. “It’s just every time you treat me there, I get this beautiful, untroubled expression,” the patient told her.
An idea formed, as Carruthers knew that frown lines between the eyebrows were hard to treat. She wondered if a botulinum toxin could be the answer.
From there, she and her husband, a dermatologist, spent several years experimenting and investigating, resulting in the FDA approval of Botox for treating frown lines ten years ago.
According to Allergan, today Botox is approved for 25 different indications, including neck pain for adults with cervical dystonia; symptoms of severe underarm sweating; and headaches in adults with chronic migraine.
Botox for Crow’s Feet
Allergan reports it will be seeking approval for the use of Botox on crow’s feet. Many aesthetic physicians — including dermatologists, oculoplastic surgeons and facial plastic surgeons — already use Botox for crow’s feet and other aesthetic purposes, such as softening neck bands, as off-label treatments.