The History and Evolution Of Neuromodulators


When it comes to Dysport® and BOTOX®, Boise dermatologist Dr. Naomi Brooks and her team of dermatology professionals regularly harness the injectables’ power to reduce the look of wrinkles. It was during the year 2002 when the FDA first approved BOTOX® for cosmetic dermatology use, initially giving it a green light to smooth frown lines on the forehead. The same FDA approval came in 2009 for Dysport®.


The active ingredient in both injectables, botulinum toxin type A, blocks signals that travel from the nerves to the muscles. This prevents the injected muscle from contracting, allowing any related wrinkles to relax and soften.


The Origin of Neuromodulators


The genesis of what would someday become BOTOX® and Dysport® dates all the way back to the late 1790s and early 1800s. It all began with bad sausages, which contained a foodborne bacterial neurotoxin—specifically, botulinum toxin—that caused an outbreak of sickness in the Kingdom of Wurttemberg, southern Germany. Multiple people were impacted, with symptoms of the neurotoxin including severe muscle weakness, drooping eyelids, and difficulty swallowing. While these were obviously negative effects, they kicked off centuries of research into potentially beneficial uses.


Original Applications of Botulinum Toxin


In the 1950s, after years of investigation into botulinum toxin for a variety of reasons, scientists eventually found that injecting just a small dose could successfully treat muscle spasms, as well as help manage the condition of crossed eyes. During the 1960s and 1970s, the toxin was initially tested on monkeys by scientists, and the results were positive. As more tests were performed, the results were released and the drug—come to be known as BOTOX®—was eventually approved by the FDA to treat crossed eyes, eyelid and limb spasms, squinting problems, and more. Starting in the late 2000s, the formulation known as Dysport®, made by a different manufacturer, also began collecting medical FDA approvals, including for treating cervical dystonia and limb spasticity.


Why Did These Treatments Gain Worldwide Popularity?


Long-Lasting Effects

Most surgical cosmetic procedures are considered permanent and expensive to reverse. However, this is not the case with neuromodulators. The injections will only modify the appearance of your skin for a certain amount of time. Thanks to the temporary nature of purified botulinum toxin, it allows people to give the treatment a test drive to ensure they are satisfied with what they see, before deciding to receive any additional treatments.



According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), there were 17.5 million surgical procedures and minimally invasive treatments performed in the U.S. in 2017. Neuromodulators like BOTOX® and Dysport® ranked the highest for minimally invasive treatments. The main reason why these options are so popular is due to their versatility. They can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including horizontal forehead wrinkles, bunny lines, gummy smile, neck bands, excessive sweating, migraines, and more. Dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons are continuously determining different ways to use botulinum toxin as a solution for a wide range of patients’ problems.


Do Your Research First


It’s Safe

BOTOX® and Dysport® are considered to be safe treatments—as long as they are handled by a qualified and trained dermatologist or similar medical professional.


No Recovery Time

No recovery time is needed since the treatment is nonsurgical. After injection, patients can get back to their usual daily routines. People may experience some swelling and slight numbness, but can expect those symptoms to go down an hour or two after their session.


Side Effects

Possible side effects include slight pain at the site of injection, redness, rash, itching, or swelling. To lessen the risk of these side effects, patients are discouraged from lying down for three to four hours after a treatment. Other possible side effects can be discussed at a personalized consultation. After-care instructions typically include admonitions to not touch the face and to avoid tanning or sunbathing after injections.


To learn more about Boise Dermatology and its BOTOX® and Dysport® treatments, Dr. Naomi Brooks and her team can provide answers. Call 208-888-0660 or visit