For 15 years, since the dawn of modern cosmetic operations and procedures, the plastic surgery industry has doubled, quadrupled, and multiplied every year. The current statistics show that non-surgical procedures alone are up 365%, and it appears that Botox continues to take the cake on the most popular procedure.
Botox is short for one of its primary ingredients, botulinum toxin type A, and is the crown jewel of the cosmetic procedure industry. Botox injections topped the list of last year’s most popular aesthetical service—a status that it has held for 15 years—beating its nearest competitor (liposuction) by over a million procedures.
A collection of cosmetic procedure statistics in the past decade and a half of plastic surgery was released by the American Society for Plastic Surgery. The ASPS used the data they collected to create an infographic depicting the growing trends within cosmetic surgery and non-invasive procedures.
The numbers were astounding.
Over 9 million people had one or more cosmetic procedure as of 2011, compared to just 2.1 million in 1997.
And it doesn’t look like Botox plans to give up its prestigious title any time soon. Industry growth and popularity of non-invasive procedures are expected to continue rising as advancements in medicine and technology improve the process.
So besides making you look younger, what is Botox and what’s the hype all about?
From a medical standpoint, botulinum toxin type A is a bacterial toxin that releases a chemical to prevent nerve endings from communicating with muscle tissue. Absent of nerve stimulation, the muscle cells become rigid from disuse.
The utilization of Botox first began in the 1920s when cosmetic surgeons found that the toxin could be used to relieve excess muscle stimulation that caused spasms, contractions, and pain. It was also applied to treat patients who had hyper-sweating conditions, since the chemical interfered with nerves in the sweat glands as well.
It was through using Botox for these purposes that another side effect was discovered—a reduction of wrinkles.
The word “toxin” can be a bit intimidating, but the chemical is proven safe and has been FDA approved for the past ten years. Botox injections are virtually painless and involve a plastic surgeon inserting a fine gauge needle into specific areas of muscle tissue.
In business terms, Botox is actually a brand name. Dysport and Xeomin are also companies that market the chemical we know as Botox. The three brands essentially sell the same product, with some minor differences.
For most people, Botox means a non-invasive, anti-aging procedure that has given million of patients around the world self-confidence and rejuvenation. Change oftentimes begins externally before becoming internal, and Botox injections have allowed patients to look young so that they can begin to feel young as well.
The growing popularity of Botox bodes well for men and women interested in noninvasive cosmetic treatments, as the increased attention will undoubtedly improve safety, education, and advances in medicine and technology to bring a better product to the public.