Botox or Dysport: Which Botulinum Toxin is right for you?
If you’ve found yourself looking in the mirror lately, pulling back your face to smooth out the fine lines and wrinkles that seem to have cropped up overnight, or scrunching your forehead, looking into the future and wondering what can be done to prevent this from happening, you may be considering your options for cosmetic treatment. Trying to figure out which procedure is right for you can be daunting, especially if you are new to aesthetic medicine. If you are a complete newbie, or are dubious of more invasive, permanent methods, botulinum toxin injections (Botox / Dysport) may be your best option for testing the cosmetic waters.
These injections are some of the most common cosmetic procedures today, and for good reason: they are non-invasive, require minimal downtime, have a very high success rate and compared to a lot of other procedures, are more affordable, thus accessible to a broader population.
Wide variety of uses
Since their introduction in the 1980’s, doctors have discovered that these injections are not only useful for getting rid of frown lines, but they also have a number of non-cosmetic medical applications: they have been found to be successful in treating many chronic conditions such as temporomandibular disorders, more commonly known as TMJ—people who grind their teeth or clench their jaw—chronic tension migraines, excessive sweating and cervical dystonia (painful muscle spasms in the neck).
Botulinum toxin treatments have only continued to grow in popularity since their inception, the most common or frequently talked about being BOTOX®. Botox has become a household name and is often used as an umbrella term to describe any type of facial injection or cosmetic procedure, which is incorrect. This ubiquity is thanks not only to its effectiveness but also due to the fact that it was the first botulinum toxin treatment commercially available. Today, there are a number of options on the market and at Amadi Aesthetics, we are proud to offer both Botox and Dysport.
Though the process and application are almost identical for these two injections, there are slight variations. Let’s break it down:
What is Botulinum Toxin?
A botulinum toxin injection is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure used to treat the lines naturally created over time from frequent muscle movement i.e. frowning, worrying and furrowing your brow. These injections can be both preventative and corrective, having the added benefit of staving off the development of future wrinkles while smoothing out existing ones.
How Does Botulinum Toxin Work?
Botulinum toxin is what is known as a “neuromodulator.” This means that it alters how conduction transpires between nerves and muscles. By blocking the synapses in the nerves of the targeted muscle, botulinum toxin inhibits it from contracting, thus relaxing and softening wrinkles and lines and preventing the formation of new ones. Treated appropriately, the muscles surrounding the treatment area will be minimally affected, preserving natural facial expressions. The result? A younger, more relaxed appearance.
Where is Botulinum Toxin Used?
Cosmetically, these injections are used in frown lines, furrows in the forehead, crow’s feet and creases in the neck. They can also be used in the forehead and around the eyes to lift the eyebrows and create a more defined arch.
Here is a list of conditions and areas botulinum toxin injections are used to treat:
- Frown lines
- Worry lines
- Crow’s feet
- Brow asymmetry
- “Chemical Brow Lift”
- Bunny lines
- Down-turned mouth corners
- Neck “bands”
- 'Wide muscular jaw
- Chin dimpling
- Excessive underarm sweating
Does it hurt?
The short answer is no, it does not hurt. This is a minimally invasive and quick procedure, taking as little as 10 minutes with little-to-no discomfort or downtime. The long answer is that you may experience a momentary prick from the needle, but most patients don’t experience discomfort and are able to return to work or regular activity the same day. This is why it is often called a “lunchtime procedure,” and one reason why it is so popular.
Side effects? Is it safe?
Botulinum toxin only sounds scary. Through clinical trials, it has been proven to be very safe with few risks of complications, so long as it is administered by a licensed and experienced professional. There are many patients who are life-long devotees, having had regular treatments for more than 20 years with no adverse reaction.
Side effects from botulinum toxin are rare and temporary if injected safely and properly. Some patients may experience some redness or bruising of the injection site, but this can easily be hidden with makeup and will subside in as little as a couple of days and up to a week. There may be some residual swelling but only because the solution is diluted with saline and this should dissipate within an hour.
It is best to have your botulinum toxin treatment with an experienced injector to minimize risks of asymmetry, droopiness and other less common side effects. Although botulinum toxin is rarely dangerous, best results are obtained by experienced injectors who custom tailor treatments to their patients individual needs. Every patient is different and should be treated as such.
Depending on a number of factors such as product used and size of area treated, results will be visible in one- to fourteen-days and will generally last three- to six-months. Smaller, preventative treatments sometimes known as “Baby Botox” often require more frequent top-ups than larger areas, bringing patients back sometimes as often as once a month. To achieve optimal facial rejuvenation, both Botox and Dysport can be paired with dermal fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm; talk to your doctor and they can advise on your best course of action.
Botox or Dysport?
Both Botox and Dysport are minimally invasive treatments that target wrinkles and fine lines that result from the process of aging. Botox is the touchstone for eliminating lines and wrinkles formed naturally over time from muscle movement. Tried and true, it has been the go-to for many years, however now with more options commercially available, doctors are recognizing the individual benefits of different forms of botulinum toxin, each one with its own advantage.
Both Botox and Dysport are administered via facial injection and treat many of the same conditions. The main difference between the two procedures is in the potency of protein molecules. Dysport has smaller protein molecules compared to Botox, thus, it is used more on larger areas where diffusion is desired.
Botox vs Dysport: The Results
Results may be visible faster with Dysport, appearing within two or three days, whereas results from Botox may take up to two weeks. Both injections have similar longevity once active, lasting between three and four months.
If you’re not sure which form of botulinum toxin is right for you, don’t fret! The only person who can guide you is your doctor, who will examine your specific symptoms during your consultation and provide their qualified opinion.
Who is a candidate?
Whether you are looking to stave off future fine lines, or diminish prevalent wrinkles, treatment can assist you in reaching your beauty potential. Botulinum toxin injections are available to a wide array of patients, though, as with all medical procedures, there are exceptions.
If you have a sensitivity to botulism or an allergy to milk this treatment is not for you, nor if you happen to have a neuromuscular disease such as M.S. or myasthenia gravis. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning on becoming pregnant, it is recommended that you wait until these phases of your life are through before undergoing treatment.
It should go without saying to always be entirely upfront and honest with your doctor about any medical conditions you may have or medications you are taking to ensure that you are given the safest, utmost treatment possible.
Click here to learn more about Botox and Dysport.