Jeff Nourse on Botox Turning 15
It’s hard to believe in 15 short years Botox has gone from a controversial procedure that many denied ever getting, to a widespread anti-aging treatment that millions of people rave about. However, in less than two decades this dermal injection treatment has become the most popular injectable anti-aging treatment around the globe.
Botox’s ascent to stardom started accidentally all the way back in 1987, when Dr. Jean Carruthers who shared a downtown Vancouver office with her husband, Dr. Alastair Carruthers, stumbled upon Botulinum Toxin Type A’s ability to freeze forehead wrinkles.
Dr. Carruthers was using Botulinum Toxin Type A to treat eye and muscle spasms in her patients, with much success. However, when one patient requested the doctor inject her forehead Dr. Carruthers was perplexed. The doctor couldn’t understand why she wanted the injection in a place she wasn’t having spasms. That’s when this forward thinking patient revealed to Dr. Carruthers that when she injected her in the forehead the wrinkles in between her eyebrows went away.
From that ‘Ah Ha’ moment modern Botox was born.
Of course it would take an additional 15 years for the FDA to approve it as a cosmetic treatment and another 15 before it became a household name.
Today, Botox is the most in demand cosmetic procedure around the globe with millions of injections given each year. For Dr. Carruthers and her husband they consider it their gift to the world, and that gift continues to give. As Dr. Alastair Currethers recounted when asked by a Canadian magazine.
“Jean sees botulinum toxin as a generation drug, like penicillin. In other words, it’s going to transform things in ways we don’t understand right now.”
In the years since revolutionizing the beauty industry, Botox has gone on to be used as a viable treatment for an extensive list of medical conditions and issues, such as: hyperhidrosis, juvenile cerebral palsy, migraines, over-active bladder, osteoporosis, premature ejaculation and even depression.
However, for Toronto-native and medical aesthetic entrepreneur Jeff Nourse, Botox will always be the injection that started it all. Nourse who has built and grown a number of aesthetic spas — many of which pioneered some of the most popular non-invasive cosmetic procedures in Canada — credits the Canadian discovery with transforming the cosmetic procedure industry.
“Before Botox hit the market most treatments and procedures were focused on correcting the effects of aging,” explained Nourse. “After Botox was introduced there was a seismic shift towards prevention.”
According to Nourse this shift in attitude is also responsible for the mainstream acceptance of cosmetic procedures.
“There used to be this stigma associated with getting work done, I think it stemmed largely from the idea that facelifts and similar procedures were a sign that you were getting old,” Canadian aesthetic spa entrepreneur Jeff Nourse, pointed out. “Now treatments are widely acknowledged by everyone especially celebrities.”
The rich and famous have been instrumental in demystifying cosmetic procedures while simultaneously making them widely acceptable. After uber celebrity Kim Kardashian got a Vampire Facelift — Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy — on her family’s popular reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, demand for the procedure surged. This is also the case for Botox, which became a household name after countless celebrities and trendsetters admitted to having the treatment done.
Botox has become so popular it brought in $2.45 billion in 2015 and is expected to bring in roughly $16 billion this year. The new up tick in revenue is attributed to the many medical uses that Botox can now be used for, as well as increased interest in the anti-aging benefits of Botox from men. Over the last five years the amount of men who are opting to get Botox injections has ballooned by 337 per cent since 2000.
“I have Asian men, I have African-American men, I have white men, I have everyone,” said San Francisco based plastic surgeon Dr. Seth Matarasso. “There is no demographic and to me that speaks volumes ― the fact that it’s crossing every racial, every sexual, every social demographic.”
So what is next for the miracle treatment that has literally changed the face of the world?
Well, according to the innovators that discovered the magic of Botox in 1987, the world can expect a cream form of the wrinkle-freezing product to hit the market sooner than later.
Until then here is to the 15th anniversary of Botox and the future of preventative cosmetic treatments.