- Dysport and Botox both work in the same way, but the Dysport molecule is slightly smaller.
- Botox takes seven to 10 days to see the full effect, but Dysport can take as little as three.
- If you’re having the procedure for medical reasons, such as migraines, it’s best to stick with Botox.
For those looking for more youthful skin and fewer wrinkles, injectable neurotoxins like Botox offer promising results.
But Botox isn’t the only neurotoxin on the market – another cosmetic treatment, called Dysport, is another option that offers nearly the same results.
Both of these neurotoxins work in the same way: by blocking signals in the brain that normally causes muscles to move, Bielfield says. Therefore, the muscles cannot contract the way they naturally would, ultimately leading to fewer wrinkles.
But just because their main mechanism is the same does not mean that these two treatments are equivalent. In fact, Dysport offers some advantages, such as faster results – but Botox may be a better option if you choose to use the neurotoxin for medical purposes.
Here’s what you need to know about the similarities and differences between Botox and Dysport, and how to decide which one to choose.
1. They have a different—but similar—chemical structure
In theory, these differences mean that Dysport can diffuse or spread more than Botox. Hibler says some injectors claim this allows for more natural results, but the spread effect means you may sacrifice some precision.
“However, I find the difference to be quite negligible. If you have a trained provider who has experience using both of these neuromodulators, they can subtly modify the injection pattern to account for these differences,” says Hibler.
2. Dysport requires more units — but it shouldn’t affect the cost too much
When you go in for a procedure, your provider will determine how much of the neurotoxin you need based on:
- The size of the area being treated
- The depth of wrinkles
- The desired result
The amount of neurotoxin you need is measured in doses called units. For example, forehead lines may need to be reduced 10-20 units of Botox, while 50-100 units may be needed to reduce neck wrinkles.
But the dosage for Botox and Dysport is different. In fact, one unit of Botox is equal to two and a half to three units of Dysport, Hibler says. Since most practices charge per unitthis may raise some pricing concerns.
However, this should not have a large effect on the cost. Hibler says that “for clinics that charge per unit, the individual unit price for Dysport is less because more units are required.”
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost for a session with any product is $466. However, the cost will vary depending on the size of the area being treated, your geographic location, and the specific office or provider you go to.
3. Dysport works faster than Botox
Bielfield says you can see results from Dysport as soon as three days after treatment, as Dysport is a smaller molecule and can settle into the muscle faster than Botox.
On the other hand, it can take seven to 10 days for the full effect of Botox to be seen.
Dysport’s faster results can be beneficial for situations where you have an event coming up soon and want a change in a few days.
However, Hibler says it’s always best to plan ahead and allow time for either option to fully settle and reveal the full effect.
4. Botox has more FDA-approved uses
When it comes to cosmetic useBotox is FDA-approved to treat:
- Crow’s feet
- Front lines
- Glabella lines (also known as frown lines)
On the other hand, Dysport is only FDA approved for the treatment of ink lines, especially those that are moderate to severe. Anything else is technically off-label — but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad or dangerous.
Off label means the treatments haven’t gone through the FDA’s rigorous testing and studies for that particular use, but those tests aren’t always practical, Bielfield says. In fact, many drugs used in clinical practice are administered off-label.
5. Botox is best for medical uses
In terms of medical use, since Botox has been approved and studied more for the treatment of medical conditions, providers tend to stick with Botox over Dysport for conditions such as chronic migraines or hyperhidrosis.
Hibler says it’s possible Botox will have more approved uses because it’s been around longer than Dysport, so it’s had the funding and time to get FDA approval.
Approved by the FDA medical uses for Dysport in adults treatment includes:
- Cervical dystonia
- Upper extremity spasticity
Approved by the FDA medical uses of botox in adults treatment includes:
Which one should I choose?
In most cases of cosmetics, there is no significant reason for one over the other. It depends on you and your doctor’s personal preferences.
“I like the analogy of Coke and Pepsi. They’re both soft drinks that taste similar. Some people just prefer the taste of one over the other, but one isn’t empirically better than the other,” says Bielfield. .
During your session, discuss your specific cosmetic goals and any previous treatment history. For example, if you have already had Botox or Dysport treatment, you can either continue with the same treatment in the future or change it.
If you feel like you are no longer getting the results you desire, it may be time to change. “Patients can develop antibodies over time to some neuromodulators and they can lose their effectiveness, so we may want to switch to a different neurotoxin,” says Hibler.
Even if you’re happy with the results you get from either Botox or Dysport, you can still try the other type to see if you get longer-lasting or more natural-looking results with the other option.
“Some people think one works faster, is more effective or lasts longer than another.” says Humbler. But ultimately, it all boils down to the same message: “It’s often a matter of personal preference,” he says.
Botox and Dysport are both neurotoxins that are chemically similar and produce comparable results when used for cosmetic purposes.
Ultimately, whether you should choose Botox or Dysport is a personal decision. Talking to a trusted board-certified dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon can help you decide which is best for your needs, and you can always try the other option in the future if you wish.