Botulinum toxin commonly known as “Botox” is a muscle relaxant used for cosmetic and medical purposes. I wanted to discuss some of the most commonly asked questions about Botulinum toxin and the differences between Botox vs. Dysport and also just to give you more insight about the drug. This is just to give you some very general information, but you should always advise your medical practitoner if you are thinking about any BTX treatments.
What is Botulinum Toxin?
Botulinum toxin is a prescription drug that inhibits muscular movements. It was designed for cosmetic purposes to prevent the muscle action, which is responsible for dynamic lines we know as “expression lines”.
How does it work?
Muscles contract and move because of a chemical that gets released within the neuromuscular junction. This chemical cannot be released from the nerve once Botulinum toxin is administered. When the chemical (Acetylcholine) is not released the muscles cannot move. Botulinum toxin is like putting a pause button on wrinkles caused by expression, and is best used as a preventative treatment. I love the very popular phrase “if you never fold the skin, it never creases”.
However BTX is not always a miracle worker. If a wrinkle is very deep – the medical professional may need to treat the area with dermal fillers or a combination of dermal filler and BTX.
What can it treat?
There are many uses for Botulinum toxin including the treatment of fine lines and wrinkles, helping to improve the appearance of sagging features e.g. brow lift, treating migraines, teeth grinding, excessive sweating and even serious medical conditions such as cerebral palsy, hypertonic bladders plus many more.
Botox vs. Dysport
Botox is the original Botulinum toxin A formula, made by the American company Allergan in the 1990’s. Because it was the first product of its kind, there has been a large amount of studies done on the efficacy and safety of the Botox. Which has been very successful since the FDA approval in 2002. During 2013 Botox was formally recognised as the most common cosmetic procedure in the world, which has been performed over 6.3 million times in the United States alone. When administered Botox – you will start to see the full effect within 7-10 days. Botox is usually a tiny bit more expensive than Dysport. You may see advertisements that make Dysport appear like a much cheaper alternative. (E.g. Dysport $3.95 per unit and Botox $12.95 per unit.) However this is misleading due to the fact Patients using Dysport require a lot more units to get the same result as Botox. This is due to the vast dosage differences. I personally prefer Botox over Dysport – but this is a very personal decision and you need to decide the best treatment for you with your medical practitioner.
Dysport was developed during the 1990’s in the United Kingdom and approved by the FDA in 2009. Dysport is the brand name for a slightly different formula of Botulinum toxin A. It has not had as many studies done on the product as Botox due to its later approval by the Foods and Drug administration. Usually the effect of Dysport can be seen quicker than Botox. Appearing as quick as 3 days. However some medical professionals argue that Dysport doesn’t last as long. In more recent studies, the research has suggested Dysport lasts longer than Botox when being treated multiple times.
Both treatments are said to last around 4 months. However the more times you get the treatment, it is said to last longer. I can attest to that, as my treatments have become further apart each time.
If you are thinking about having a treatment done you should always talk to your doctor first, as well as get a reputable practitioner to perform the treatment. I cannot stress to you enough that the outcome of your treatment can vary dramatically due to the practitioner performing the service. So always choose someone you have confidence in and has experience performing these services.
Lots of love,