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October 28, 2022 | Botox and Dysport, Non-Surgical Procedure

The Difference Between Botox and Dysport

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The quest for eternal youth is something that many of us can relate to. With the ever-growing popularity of cosmetic procedures, it’s no surprise that Botox and Dysport have become household names.

Both Botox and Dysport are injectable wrinkle treatments that work by temporarily paralyzing the muscles that cause wrinkles. 

Aside from aesthetic purposes, they can also be used to treat conditions such as migraines, muscle spasms, and even urinary incontinence.

But what’s the difference between these two popular injectables?

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What is Dysport?

Dysport is an injectable neuromodulator that temporarily improves the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows without changing the appearance of the rest of your face. It works by blocking nerve impulses that tell muscles to contract. This relaxes and smooths the appearance of wrinkles in treated areas.

Typically, Dysport is injected into the muscles that are responsible for the appearance of frown lines. The most common injection sites are between the eyebrows, in the “11” area.

Dysport was approved by the FDA in 2009 and has been used safely and effectively for over 25 years in more than 65 countries worldwide.

It is a prescription medication, so it is important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist to see if Dysport is right for you.

What is Botox?

Botox, on the other hand, is a brand name for a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. When small doses of this toxin are injected into muscles, it can temporarily paralyze them.

It works by blocking the release of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter is responsible for transmitting signals from nerve cells to muscles, telling them to contract. So, by blocking it, Botox essentially prevents muscles from contracting.

This is why Botox injections are often used for cosmetic purposes, such as reducing wrinkles and fine lines. When injected into specific facial muscles that are responsible for these movements, Botox can relax them and smooth out the appearance of the skin above them.

You can think of Botox as a temporary “freezing” of the muscles. The effects usually last for three to four months before the muscle activity gradually returns to normal.

Dysport vs. Botox Chart

Dysport and Botox are both neuromodulators that are used to temporarily improve the appearance of wrinkles. 

They are both FDA-approved to treat wrinkles, but they can also be used off-label for other purposes such as migraines, excessive sweating, and muscle spasticity.

Although they are somewhat similar in being used to treat wrinkles, there are some key differences between Dysport and Botox:

 DysportBotox
Molecule Size800 kDa900 kDa
DiffusionDiffuses easily, kicks in fasterTakes time to diffuse
ResultsLasts up to 3 to 4 monthsLasts up to 6 months or more
ScopeGlabellar lines onlyTreats glabellar and forehead lines as well as crow’s feet
ContraindicationsPeople with milk allergies, taking muscle spasm medication, pregnancyMuscle spasm medication and pregnancy
Cost$400 per session on average$300 to $600 per session on average
Procedure and RecoveryLess than 20 minutes for procedure with little to no recovery time neededLess than 20 minutes for procedure with little to no recovery time needed

Molecule Size

The primary difference between Dysport and Botox is the size of the molecule. The active ingredient in Botox is botulinum toxin type A, which has a larger molecule (900 kDa) than the active ingredient in Dysport, which is botulinum toxin type B1 (800 kDa).

Xeomin, another injectable, has the smallest molecule size at 150 kDa. This entails the risk of diffusing even more quickly, which makes it less precise.

Diffusion

Another difference is that Dysport diffuses more readily than Botox, so it is often better for treating larger areas, such as the forehead. It is also said to kick in faster than Botox, although the results are not necessarily long-lasting.

Results

Botox, on the other hand, may last longer. The effects of one Botox treatment can last up to six months or more, while Dysport generally lasts three to four months. So, if you want your results to last a little longer, Botox may be the right choice for you.

Scope

Dysport focuses on treating glabellar lines only, while Botox can be used for a variety of facial wrinkles, including crow’s feet, forehead furrows, and the “11” lines that appear between your eyebrows.

Contraindications

People who are pregnant or taking muscle spasm medication should take Botox or Dysport injections. Additionally, if you have milk allergies, you won’t be recommended for Dysport treatment because it may have traces of cow’s milk protein.

Cost

The difference between Dysport vs Botox costs is that Botox sessions can range from $300 to $600 per session on average. Meanwhile, Dysport costs an average of $400.

Procedure and Recovery

Both procedures can take just less than 20 minutes to complete. They also require little to no recovery time. You can usually resume normal activities immediately after Botox or Dysport.

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Which is More Effective?

Now that you know what each of these injectables can do, it’s time to check which one may be more effective for you.

Dysport Results

Patients treated with Dysport showed a visible improvement in their appearance as early as two to three days after treatment. The results from Dysport typically last for three to four months, and touch-ups can be administered as needed to maintain the results.

Botox Results

Botox results may take a bit more time to show up than Dysport. It can take anywhere from three to seven days for Botox to work its magic and for you to see the full effects.

However, once the results of Botox do appear, they tend to last longer than those of Dysport. The average lifespan of a Botox treatment is about four months, although some people have reported results lasting up to six months.

Who’s a Good Candidate for Dysport and Botox?

Botulinum toxin injections are suitable for anyone aged 18 to 65 years old who is looking to temporarily improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on the face

Take note that people over 65 shouldn’t have Dysport or Botox treatments because the muscles in their skin have likely atrophied, or shrunken, due to the natural aging process.

Your doctor should give you an idea of whether Dysport or Botox is right for you during your consultation. In general, both are good for treating wrinkles on the forehead, between the eyebrows, and around the eyes.

People who have botulinum toxin sensitivity cannot have either Dysport or Botox. Pregnancy and skin disorders, such as dermatitis or psoriasis, are also contraindications for both treatments.

Having thick skin is not a contraindication for either Dysport or Botox, but the results may not be as noticeable, which is why people with thick skin are generally not good candidates for either treatment. Your doctor can help you determine whether or not you have thick skin.

As mentioned above, people with milk allergies can’t have Dysport, but they can have Botox. Taking medication for muscle spasms is also a contraindication for both procedures, along with taking blood thinners.

What Are the Side Effects?

Both procedures have minimal side effects. The most common is temporary bruising at the injection site. Other side effects may include:

  • Headache
  • Soreness
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Nausea
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Irritation

Most of these minor side effects resolve on their own within a few days. As such, you don’t need any special measures other than perhaps applying a little makeup to cover up the odd bruise.

One major severe complication to watch out for is botulinum toxicity, which can occur if the Botox or Dysport spreads beyond the injection site. This can cause facial muscle weakness, droopy eyelids, muscle spasms, and breathing difficulties.

This side effect is rare, though, and usually only occurs if the injection is not done properly. Make sure to go to a reputable clinic or doctor for your procedure to minimize the risk of complications.

Bottom Line

If you’re wondering whether to opt for Botox vs Dysport, both injectable dermatology treatments that can temporarily smooth out wrinkles, you’ve got a tough choice ahead. They’re made of different formulas and work in slightly different ways, so your results may vary depending on which one you choose. 

You may also want to consider Jeuveau, also called “Newtox,” which is the newest wrinkle relaxer available.

Botox is the more popular of the two treatments. It’s been on the market longer and is FDA-approved to treat more areas of the face. Dysport, on the other hand, may spread out over a larger area, so it’s best for treating larger wrinkles.

Both Botox and Dysport are made of botulinum toxin. This works by temporarily paralyzing your muscles, which gives your skin a chance to smooth out. 

The effects usually last for three to four months, but some have reported that Botox results can last for over six months.