Dysport vs Botox: What’s the Difference?

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Dysport vs Botox: What’s the Difference?


Dysport and Botox are commonly used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the face and forehead. While they both have medical uses, they’re most popular as injectable cosmetic treatments.

Both are types of neurotoxins that block muscle contractions. Derived from botulinum toxin, they are safe to use in small amounts.

Dysport and Botox are both considered nonsurgical forms of wrinkle treatment that have quick recovery rates. While they have many similarities, there are some differences between the two treatments.

Keep reading to learn more about Dysport and Botox.

Dysport and Botox injections temporarily reduce the appearance of wrinkles by relaxing the underlying muscles beneath the skin. By relaxing the muscles, the skin on top becomes smoother.

Both treatments contain a similar main ingredient, but the trace protein amounts they contain vary. This may make one treatment more effective than the other for some people. Their exact differences are being studied.

Both Dysport and Botox injections only take a few minutes to administer. The longest part of each procedure is the application and drying of the anesthetic, rather than the injections themselves.

Unless you develop immediate side effects, you’ll be able to leave shortly after your appointment.

What is Dysport?

Dysport reduces the appearance of lines that affect the glabella, the area between your eyebrows. These lines extend upward between the eyebrows toward the forehead. Glabella lines are especially noticeable when you frown or squint. Over time, glabella lines can become more prominent during times of relaxation, too.

Dysport is meant for use in people with moderate to severe glabella lines, not mild lines. Your dermatologist or plastic surgeon can help you tell the difference between mild and moderate wrinkles of this type.

If you’re a candidate for Dysport, the entire procedure is done at your doctor’s office.

Before the injections, your doctor will apply a mild anesthetic to help alleviate any pain felt during the procedure.

For the treatment of frown lines, doctors typically inject 0.05 milliliters (mL) at a time in up to five portions around your eyebrows and forehead.

What is Botox?

Botox is FDA approved for treating forehead lines and fine lines around the eyes (crow’s feet), in addition to glabellar lines. This differs from Dysport, which is only approved for glabellar lines.

The procedure involving Botox is like that of Dysport. The procedure is done at your doctor’s office with minimal recovery time.

The number of units your doctor will use depends on the area being treated and your desired results. The recommended average Botox dosages by treatment area are as follows:

  • Glabellar lines: 20 total units, 5 injection sites
  • Glabellar and forehead lines: 40 total units, 10 injection sites
  • Crow’s feet: 24 total units, 6 injection sites
  • All three types of wrinkles combined: 64 units

Dysport and Botox share many similarities, but one of these treatments might be a better fit for you over the other. Consider some similarities and differences below:

Unlike traditional surgical procedures, you’ll see the results from these cosmetic injections within a few days of treatment. Neither Dysport nor Botox require recovery time. You can go home right after the procedure is finished.

Dysport results

Dysport can start taking effect after a couple of days. Results can last up to 5 months. You’ll need to go back for more injections to maintain treatment effects.

Botox results

You may start seeing results from Botox within a week, but full results can take up to 1 month. Botox injections also last a few months at a time, with some lasting upward of 6 months.

Both Dysport and Botox injections are intended for healthy adults, 18 or over, with moderate to severe facial lines. Your doctor will review your medical history and ask you some questions to determine if you’re a good candidate.

As a rule of thumb, you may not be a candidate for either procedure if you:

  • are pregnant
  • have a history of botulinum toxin sensitivity
  • have a milk allergy
  • have a skin disorder
  • have thick skin (as determined by your doctor)
  • are over 65 years old
  • take certain medications

Several medications may interact with the ingredients in the injections. These include blood thinners and muscle relaxers.

The injections may also interact with certain medications that affect your muscles, such as anticholinergics used for Parkinson’s disease.

Check with your doctor before discontinuing use of any current medication you’re taking. It’s also important to tell your doctor about all the medications and supplements you take, even if they’re over the counter.

Although severe side effects of Dysport or Botox are rare, minor side effects are possible. Usually, these side effects resolve on their own without further issue.

Talk with your doctor about all possible side effects and risks before you get any treatment, so you know what to expect.

Side effects of Dysport

Dysport is considered an overall safe treatment, but minor side effects include:

  • minor pain at injection site
  • swelling around the eyelids
  • rash and irritation
  • headaches

These side effects typically resolve after a few days.

More serious side effects may include nausea, sinusitis, and upper respiratory infection. Call your doctor if you develop any of these side effects or if you have other side effects that worsen or persist.

Side effects of Botox

Like Dysport, Botox is considered safe and has minimal side effects. Some of the most common side effects post-treatment include:

  • redness
  • swelling
  • bruising
  • slight pain
  • numbness
  • headache

Minor side effects usually resolve within a week of the procedure, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

While extremely rare, both Dysport and Botox can cause botulinum toxicity, a serious complication. Botulinum toxicity occurs when the injection spreads to another part of the body. Seek emergency medical treatment if you suspect botulinum toxicity from your treatments.

Signs of botulinum toxicity include:

  • droopy eyelids
  • facial muscle weakness
  • muscle spasms
  • difficulty swallowing and eating
  • breathing difficulties
  • difficulty with speech

No matter which type of injection you choose, it’s important to select the right professional to administer it. Many board certified dermatologists and plastic surgeons administer Botox and Dysport at their offices, and are approved at some medi-spas.

Always check that the professional you choose will be the one to administer the injections. Never see a non-medical provider or anyone who is unwilling to show you their clinical license.

Don’t be shy about asking your provider about their experience with Dysport and Botox. Many professionals will also suggest scheduling a consultation. At that time, they can discuss which procedure might be best for you.

To find a dermatologic surgeon, consider searching location-based databases from the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery or the American Society of Plastic Surgeons as a starting point.

In addition to treating wrinkles, Botox can be used to treat conditions, such as:

Dysport can be used as a clinical treatment for:

  • cervical dystonia (abnormal head position and neck pain)
  • spasticity not caused by cerebral palsy (muscle spasms and stiffness in arms, hands, legs, and feet)

Botox and Dysport are injectable medications used to treat facial wrinkles and other conditions. Both brands are made from similar forms of botulinum toxin.

Dysport is meant for use on the vertical lines that form between the eyebrows (glabellar lines). Botox is meant for use on glabellar lines, forehead lines, and crow’s feet (laugh lines) around the eyes.

Botox and Dysport are considered safe for most people, but it’s important to talk with a qualified medical specialist before you get either treatment. If you’re interested in these treatments, schedule a consultation with a qualified dermatologist.



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