Narrator: This is Science Today. Although dermatologists have been using Botox injections for years to help eliminate patient's facial wrinkles, the Food and Drug Administration has just formally approved the drug for cosmetic use. University of California, San Francisco dermatologist, Richard Glogau, says Botox is a diluted strain of a very potent poison.
Glogau: It's a molecule which is made by the chlostridia bacteria and it's the poison which accumulates in improperly canned food and causes the disease called botulism and it has a very specific effect on the nerves which supply muscle.
Narrator: Botox injections can temporarily paralyze muscles that cause frown lines and crow's feet around the eyes. It's effect lasts about three and a half months.
Glogau: After that, the effect is gone. Voluntary muscle movement returns - but it's interesting that a lot of the patients that we treat for frown lines get aesthetic effects that go on for a lot longer - they've sort of been conditioned not to frown anymore.Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.