Dysport® vs. BOTOX®: Which Is Better for Treating Lines & Wrinkles?

BOTOX® may be the oldest treatment for lines and deep wrinkles, but it’s no longer the only name in the game! Over the last decade, new botulinum injectables have been developed, similar to BOTOX but different in some important ways. If you’re thinking of having botulinum treatment, consider the properties of Dysport® vs. BOTOX and which is the best option for you.

What Are Dysport and BOTOX?

BOTOX and Dysport are injectable treatments that contain botulinum neurotoxin. They’re used to treat the wrinkles and lines that develop over time on the face due to repetitive muscle movement. Muscle movement contributes to the development of wrinkles because when your muscles contract, the overlying skin is pulled too. Over time, the wrinkles become permanent, and they get more deeply etched with age.

When injected beneath the skin, botulinum toxin paralyzes the nerves that cause muscle contractions. This keeps the muscles from contracting and smooths out the lines and wrinkles overlying the muscles. After botulinum treatment, deep facial folds and lines smooth out and are less prominent. Some lines may disappear altogether.

BOTOX and Dysport® are temporary treatments for facial lines, wrinkles, and folds. After a series of injections of either, the effects of the treatment last for several months. The length of time is variable, and it’s different from person to person.

How Are BOTOX and Dysport Similar?

Dysport and BOTOX have many similarities. Both are:

  • Used to treat moderate to severe lines and wrinkles caused by muscle movement – They don’t work on other kinds of wrinkles, like those caused by sun damage or loss of facial volume.
  • Non-surgical ways of treating certain kinds of facial wrinkles.
  • Temporary, with effects lasting a few months.
  • Administered via skin injections that take only a few minutes – A botulinum treatment takes less than an hour, even if there are multiple areas you’d like treated.
  • Have no downtime – You can return to work the same day.

Side Effects of Dysport vs. BOTOX

Just as the effects of BOTOX and Dysport treatments are similar, the side effects are similar too. Both injectables can cause headaches and minor pain, swelling, and redness at injection sites. One minor difference is that BOTOX is more likely to cause temporary numbness. For both treatments, side effects are temporary and usually go away within a week.

Both BOTOX and Dysport are also capable of causing botulinum toxicity. This is extremely rare but can lead to side effects such as breathing difficulty, trouble swallowing or eating, and difficulty speaking. These side effects can be serious and need emergency medical treatment.

How Are Dysport and BOTOX Different?

BOTOX and Dysport are both treatments that use botulinum toxin, but they’re not interchangeable. They have some significant differences, and it’s important to consider these when deciding between them.

Dysport vs. BOTOX Treatment Effects

The effects of BOTOX and Dysport are similar, but not identical.

Dysport is for the treatment of glabella lines—the frown lines that form between the eyebrows. Most people start to see changes two to three days after their treatment. A course of Dysport injections lasts up to four months.

BOTOX can be used to treat wrinkles in multiple parts of the face. The effects of these injections typically last three to six months.

Facial areas BOTOX can treat include:

  • Forehead lines and wrinkles caused by frowning
  • Frown lines above and between the eyebrows
  • Lines and wrinkles around the eyes

BOTOX has another cosmetic use: It can treat hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) by preventing sweat glands from producing sweat. For as long as the treatment effects last, the treated area doesn’t sweat. BOTOX can be injected into the underarm area, hands, head, and scalp to reduce excessive sweating. This treatment lasts six to nine months.

Who Can Use BOTOX and Dysport?

BOTOX and Dysport injections can be used by most people. They’re not recommended during pregnancy or nursing, as the safety of these treatments for babies hasn’t been established.

The main difference in eligibility is that people with a milk protein allergy should avoid Dysport, as this product contains milk proteins. If you have a milk allergy, you may be restricted to using BOTOX only.

Dosage: How Much Do You Need?

Apart from the effects, the most important difference between the two treatments is how much of the active ingredient they contain. A unit of BOTOX contains more botulinum toxin than a unit of Dysport. There’s no official agreement on exactly how BOTOX compares to Dysport in this regard, but it is known to take at least twice as many units of Dysport to achieve the same effects as BOTOX. For instance, if you’ve previously had 20 units of BOTOX for glabella lines, you may need 40 or more units of Dysport to get similar results.

Cost of Treatment

According to user reviews, the average cost of Dysport is $450 compared to $550 for BOTOX. This may reflect the fact that there are more treatment options for BOTOX than for Dysport, contributing to a higher average cost. For instance, BOTOX for hyperhidrosis costs around $1,000 per treatment session.

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Dysport vs. BOTOX: Which one Should You Choose?

Making the choice between BOTOX and Dysport is easy in some cases. If you want a treatment for forehead lines or for wrinkles around the eyes, you’ll choose BOTOX, as Dysport is only for frown lines. If you do want to treat frown lines, you’ll need to think about other factors like:

  • The cost of treatment
  • How long the effects last

For instance, if you only want a one-off treatment, Dysport may be a good option as it’s likely a little less expensive.

Can’t decide between Dysport and BOTOX? Talk to your cosmetic practitioner! They can offer expert advice and information to help you make your choice. Elaine Ver Halen, MPAS, PA-C, at DFW Center for Aesthetics and Cosmetic Surgery is an experienced provider of both BOTOX and Dysport. Call us to schedule a consultation for your treatments!



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