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Did you know...

In the midst of the COVID 19 stay at home order, I decided to learn more about the beginning of Botox®. Botox® or botulinum toxin is the most common cosmetic procedure performed today. (Well, technically not today because of COVID 19). The American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimated that in 2018 seven million people received botulinum injections.[1]. Botulinum injections are used for the treatment of wrinkles, muscle spasticity, migraines, severe underarm sweating and overactive bladder. How did botulinum toxin come to be the most requested aesthetic treatment at med spas across the country?

The year was 1895, a Belgium bacteriologist, Emile Pierre-Marie van Ermengem, isolated Clostridium botulinum from a piece of ham. The ham poisoned thirty four people. The victims aged 15 thru 21 showed impaired eye vision, uncontrolled action of the eye lids, weakness of muscles and speech disorder. This food poisoning incident ignited a very extensive investigation. How could scientists turn an adverse outcome into a safe, effective treatment?[2]

Let's leap forward to the 1920s. Scientists from the University of California tried their best to isolate the toxin. Research continued, but it would take nearly fifty years before benefits of botulinum toxin were commercially used. Dr. Edward Schantz and Dr. Alan B. Scott finally isolated botulinum toxin in a crystalline form. This discovery enabled the first treatments to correct strabismus (cross-eyed condition).[3]

What's all this mean for today's aesthetic botulinum toxin treatment? When Botox® is injected into the muscle, the medication prevents the release of a neurotransmitter, known as acetylcholine. Botox® works by interrupting this communication and relaxing muscle contraction. In other words, this action smoothes the wrinkles away by pausing muscle movement.[4]

Adverse effects are minimal, but include bruising, swelling, headaches, and may affect muscles around the areas injected.[4]. Injection pain is reduced by using a small-gauge needle. The chance of bruising may be reduced (with you prescribing doctor's approval) by stopping anti-inflammatory medications, blood thinning medications and vitamins two weeks prior to your treatment.

Dosages may vary depending on the patient and desired results. The effects of Botox® does wear off over time. Repeat treatments are needed to maintain results. By minimizing muscular movement for 3-5 months, your collagen breakdown is slowed. Therefore, Botox® is considered not only an existing wrinkle treatment, but also a preventive wrinkle treatment.

SAS Med Spa offers two types of botulinum toxins: Botox® and Dysport®. We are also proud providers for each brand's reward programs: Brilliant Distinctions® and Aspire®.

SAS Med Spa looks forward to reopening in the not so distant future. Thank you for your loyalty and support. A special thank you to the essential workers keeping us safe, healthy and fed.


1. ASPS National Clearinghouse Procedure Statistics. 2018 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 2019


3. From Poison to Remedy: the chequered History of Botulinum Toxin.

FJ Erbguth.JNeural Transin(Vienna) 2008.

4. Satriyasa BK. Botulinum toxin (Botox) A for reducing the appearance of facial wrinkles: a literature review of clinical use and pharmacological aspect. Clin Cosmet Investig.Dermatol. 2019

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