Medical and cosmetic use

    Medical and cosmetic uses Although botulinum toxin is a lethal, naturally occurring substance, it can be used as an effective and powerful medication. Researchers discovered in the 1950s that injecting overactive muscles with minute quantities of botulinum toxin would result in decreased muscle activity by blocking the action of a chemical called acetylcholine from the neuron at the neuromuscular junction. This will effectively weaken the muscle for a period of three to four months.   In cosmetic applications, a Botox injection, consisting of a small dose of botulinum toxin, can be used to prevent development of wrinkles by limiting the motion of facial muscles. Neuromodulator use is the most common cosmetic procedure with well over 12 million procedures in the United States. The wrinkle treating effect of Botox normally lasts for approximately three to four months, but can last up to six months in some patients.