To Botox or not to Botox……

Botox is one of the most fascinating psychological phenomena in our culture – allowing us to freeze the emotion from our faces......

Our facial expressions allow us to relate to one another. The 'wrinkles' on our faces are a roadmap of a lifetimes emotional expression – Sadness grief or stress in the 'frown lines' around the mouth and nose. Surprise or shock in the lines of the forehead. Non-withstanding the dreaded crow’s feet (that ironically denote joy). The use of cosmetic medicine allows us to freeze and fill the emotional expression from our faces, diminishing our ability to express ourselves. So, why is it considered so desirable?

Consider this timeline:

  • During the second world war, botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin derived from the bacterium (decomposing sausage bacteria) and considered to be deadliest substance in the world was being investigated for its use in biological warfare.

  • With the roaring 40’s in full swing researchers begin to explore the clinical benefits of botulinum (human trials were not approved until the late 70’s).

  • It’s the 80’s – everyone with shoulder pads, Miami Vice suits, munching on processed bleached ‘antibacterial’ white bread, coked out of their minds, looking for the next ‘get rich quick’ scheme and some genius (an ophthalmologist Dr. Alan B. Scott who was using Botox therapeutically in cross-eyed patients) discovers ‘hey you know you can use this stuff to treat wrinkles??!!’

  • Fast forward to 2002 and Botox is approved by the FDA in the US (the UK took a little longer having approval granted by the MHRA in 2006) for ‘cosmetic use’