Confused about your options when it comes to treating your wrinkles with injectables? Although both are FDA-approved neurotoxins for minimizing wrinkles in adults, Botox Cosmetic® and Dysport® have some key differences you should know about. Let’s shine a light on the similarities and differences so that you and your injection specialist can make the choice that is right for you and your expectations.
How are Botox Cosmetic® and Dysport® Similar?
Wrinkles naturally develop on our faces over time due to the repeated muscle contractions we make during regular facial movements. They will tend to be more prominent in areas that we are more expressive, such as the forehead, eyebrows, and eyes. Both Botox and Dysport reduce these wrinkles by relaxing the muscles that are contracting to cause them. When skillfully injected into the offending muscle, they will both block the signal from your brain to those muscle nerves to contract. In time, this will allow the muscle to relax temporarily and surface wrinkles to smooth.
Both Botox and Dysport have results that are temporary and gradually wear off. This occurs because our bodies will develop new nerve receptors to receive the signal to contract again. In time, the same wrinkles will reemerge. This is why your qualified injector will recommend an interval of anywhere from 3 to 6 months between your treatments to keep lines at bay and keep your skin looking consistently smooth and refreshed.
How are Botox Cosmetic® and Dysport® Different?
Botox and Dysport are NOT interchangeable. They have several differences that may steer you in one particular direction in regard to which product you pursue treatment with.
Difference #1 – Molecular Size
If you were to look at Botox and Dysport under a microscope, you would see that Dysport is comprised of smaller molecules compared to Botox. This smaller size allows the effects of Dysport to set in faster than Botox. It also enables Dysport to spread further than its counterpart.
Difference #2 – Diffusion
Because of Dysport's smaller molecular size, it can cover larger surface areas due to diffusion. This attribute of spreading can be beneficial in some larger areas of the face, such as the forehead, but make it less effective and precise for smaller areas, or thicker muscles that need a more concentrated dose. It is essential to go to a qualified and licensed medical professional for your injectables who has experience with BOTH products to ensure you get the safest and best results
Difference #3 – Dilution
If a clinic advertises that their Botox and Dysport is billed the same, per unit, RUN! These two products are diluted for use with very different ratios. If you have been getting 20 units of Botox between your eyebrows for years, DO NOT expect that to translate to 20 units of Dysport. Dysport requires far more units to get the same result as Botox, that is why you will generally see it advertised for a lower cost. Do not be enticed by this perceived “bargain” as you will require more units and the end price will, most likely, be similar to Botox.
Difference #4 – How Quickly You See Results
Dysport typically takes 24 hours for your results to set in, while Botox can take upwards of a week or more for results to be fully realized.
So how do you decide? Like many things in life, it comes down to personal preference! Many patients opt to try both to discern if their response is better to one or the other. Some steer towards Botox, as it is the first FDA approved neurotoxin and has a longer track record of results. Others choose Dysport because they love how their results set in faster. The best way to decide which product is right for you is to speak with a qualified injection specialist who has experience with both products. Who knows? Like many patients, you may benefit from BOTH!
Interested in reducing your wrinkles with Botox or Dysport? Katie McClellan, PA-C has experience with both products and can help you decide which may be best for you. Schedule your complimentary Botox or Dysport consultation today!