POSTED: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 8:18am
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 9:00am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — April 15 marked 10 years since Botox Cosmetic was approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Sharon Nachman has been using it for years and just got a touch up between her brows.
"I'm a happy person. I generally smile a lot. I saw this line and I felt it was making me look more serious than I really am," she said.
Botox erased that line.
In 2011 more than 5.6 million people in the U.S. had Botox injections for cosmetic reasons.
That's more than a 500 percent increase since 2002.
Before it was used to smooth frown lines, it was originally approved to treat eye muscle problems.
"The story is an ophthalmologist who used it for crossed eyes started to notice that the wrinkles would get better around the eyes," says dermatologist Dr. Leslie Baumann.
Botox is made from a highly purified strain of botulinum toxin and works by blocking nerve impulses to muscles where it is injected.
Baumann recalled when she heard two doctors first talk about a possible cosmetic use for it.
"I remember everyone thought they were crazy to use a toxin for wrinkles," she says.
It is now one of the most widely used prescription drugs in the industry.
When Nachman used it for the first time, she said, "I had a little fear, but it wasn't tremendous. After the first injection it was nothing." She's continued to use it for six years.
More recent FDA approvals for Botox go beyond cosmetics.
It is also used for overactive bladders and chronic migraines.