Physicians and researchers have been experimenting with Botox since the early 1800s. Today there are several medical uses, both approved by the FDA and not approved by the FDA, for the product. However, as technology increases and research continues, it can be said that the medical world has just scratched the surface of Botox's usefulness.

The Definition of Botox

Botox is the brand name of Clostridium botulinum, a naturally occurring substance made of proteins and neurotoxins. Botox is used most commonly in cosmetic procedures to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, frown lines and other facial creases. However, Botox is widely used to treat other conditions as well.

How Botox was Discovered

When Botox was first discovered, researchers labeled it "sausage poison." In fact, the term botulinum actually means sausage in Latin. After a group of people died, in the 1820s, Dr. Justinus Kerner, a physician, investigated the deaths, which were eventually contributed to poorly prepared blood sausage. Dr. Kerner realized it was the bacteria Clostridium botulinum which caused these people's death. Once Dr. Kerner identified the bacteria, he began to study it, and even injected himself with the bacteria to verify its effects.

For years after Dr. Kerner's original discovery, physicians and researchers continued to test the medical benefits of Botox injections. In 1953, Dr. Bernon Brooks discovered that small Botox injections decreased muscle contractions in spastic muscles. Although the medications effects were temporary, the results were dramatic.

Years later, doctors realized that after patients with spastic facial muscles received Botox injections, the patient's fine lines, wrinkles and facial creases also improved. After this discovery, Botox became widely known for its smoothing effects on patient's skin.

Current Uses for Botox

Today there are an abundance of uses for Botox. However, it is essential to note that not all current uses of Botox are FDA-approved. The most common FDA-approved uses for Botox include:

• *Temporarily improving wrinkles, fine lines and facial creases, especially frown lines between the eyebrows.

• *Reducing excessive blinking, a condition known as Blepharospasm.

• *Alleviating symptoms of hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating. Botox actually inhibits sweating, which helps patients who sweat profusely and cannot manage their sweating condition with topical agents.

• *The management of chronic migraines. Botox injections in the head and neck have proven effective for patients who suffer from chronic migraines.

Other Uses of Botox

Researchers are constantly coming up with new uses for Botox. Other uses for Botox include:

• *Botox may be able to help people lose weight. Researchers believe that Botox injections can increase the gastric emptying time of some patients, which would aid in weight loss.

• *Pediatric patients who are suffering from incontinence due to an overactive bladder may find relief from Botox injections.

• *Many researchers believe that Botox is beneficial in wound healing. It is believed that Botox decreases the time it takes for serious wounds to heal.

• *The same way that Botox injections decrease sweating in patients with hyperhidrosis, it may also be beneficial to patients who suffer from excessive salivation.

As technology increases, it is inevitable that researchers and physicians will find new and beneficial uses for Botox injections. Since Botox injections are a simple procedure performed in an outpatient setting, the benefits of Botox have the potential to easily improve the quality of lives of patients who have suffered for years with debilitating conditions.

Author's Bio: 

Leonardo Dawson is a medical assistant. She enjoys writing on topics that relate to women's health and sense of wellbeing. If you're considering botox injections, visit the website of La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre.