When you think about tissue, does Kleenex come to mind? When you think about soda, do you want to pick up a Coke? And when you think about cosmetic injectables, is Botox the first neurotoxin that pops into your head? Like Kleenex and Coke, Botox is merely a brand. But because of their powerful, dominant position in their respective markets, their brand has become synonymous with the whole class of products. Botox is actually a type of botulinum toxin type A (BoNT-A). This classic muscle-relaxing injectable is a well-known, FDA approved product that's undergone decades of testing and studies since its appearance in 1989. The desired neuromodulator has been regarded among many other uses for temporarily relaxing facial muscles caused by repeated expressions on the forehead, between the eyebrows (frown lines), and crows feet at the corner of the eyes.
Maybe you know Botox isn't the only BoNT-A product in town. Dysport was introduced in 2009, and just like Botox, this injectable also works by relaxing muscles to improve the appearance of wrinkles. This brings us to the million-dollar question in our office: How do I know which wrinkle eraser is right for me? Comparing the two injectables is like comparing apples to apples. As any loyal apple fan knows, there is a slight difference between the sweet Fuji or the tart Pink Lady. Similar to AT&T and Verizon, the products produced are similar, but everyone has a preference! We use both Botox and Dysport in our office and discuss the differences and advantages with our patients during an initial consultation. But for now, here's a list of some of the significant similarities and differences that you have been waiting to know...
Botox is made by the pharmaceutical company Allergan, also the makers of Juvéderm dermal fillers like Juvéderm Ultra Plus and Juvéderm Voluma. Dysport is made by the pharmaceutical company Galderma, the maker of Restylane dermal fillers such as Restylane Kysse and Restylane Lyft.
Botox and Dysport are different formulations created from the same neurotoxin, botulinum toxin type A (BoNT). BoNT is considered one of the strongest and most potent toxins ever discovered, but don't let the term "toxin" hold you back from looking and feeling your best. Remember, there are no poisonous substances on the face of the earth...only poisonous doses. For example, even water can be poison when over-consumed. In the extremely small doses used, botulinum toxin is an effective, incredibly safe, and time tested solution to beautifully reduce the appearance wrinkles and temporarily relax muscles for cosmetic effect.
Botox is made of a larger protein complex when compared to Dysport. This means Botox is more precise and spreads less. Dysport can provide a softer look in specific areas such as the crow's feet because of increased product diffusion.
You will typically see maximum Botox treatment results within 7-14 days. Dysport has a quick onset, and patients usually see full results in 3-7 days.
Initially, Dysport was advertised to last longer, but studies have shown that they both last around 3-4 months. Maybe if you add Dysport's quicker onset, you can argue it lasts longer, but this is truly negligible.
At list price, the costs of Botox and Dysport appear to be significantly different. But that is because a unit of Botox and a unit of Dysport are not the same. Typically a unit of Botox is the same as 3 units of Dysport. So, if a patient needs 20 units of Botox, the same patient will need about 60 units of Dysport for equal results.
Patients that faithfully undergo regular Botox or Dysport treatments will be happy to know that Allergan and Galderma (the parent companies of Botox and Dysport) have made it easier than ever to earn points and generate discounts on your favorite treatments and products! With Allergan's rewards program-Alle and Galderma's loyalty program-Aspire, you can quickly build rewards towards future cosmetic procedures. Never pay full price again!
Overall, both neuromodulators are amazingly effective and are excellent choices for smoothing wrinkles and easily reducing the frustrating signs of aging. If you are using other products or services under Allergan's or Galderma's label, it might be to your advantage to stay in one family of products as your rewards will build more quickly. We strongly encourage you to try both to see which product is a better match for you and your body.