Dysport vs. Botox - Which is Better?

If you’ve been thinking about Botox injections to get rid of crow’s feet or deep wrinkles on your forehead, your plastic surgeon or medical aesthetician may have recommended Dysport as an alternative Botox treatment. Dysport gained FDA approval for cosmetic use in July 2009, and has since made its way to hundreds of plastic surgery centers and medical spas around the United States. Some doctors offer Dysport injections at a lower price than Botox, and many simply prefer to use Dysport for treating lines and wrinkles.

Is Dysport really better than Botox? Here’s a close look at the key benefits and similarities of these popular injectable fillers:

Dysport and Botox: Key Findings

The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) has published data that shows Dysport is more effective for eliminating crow’s feet than Botox.  Results of the study were presented at the AAPRS 2010 Annual Fall Meeting in late September, and the conclusion is that Dysport “offers a quantifiable and demonstrable advantage in wrinkle shortening and hyper functional frown lines to Botox Cosmetic in the treatment of Crow’s feet.”

According to Dr. Corey S. Mayas, AAFPRS President for Public and Regulatory Affairs, “Botox has long been considered the gold standards of injectables, so this data showing Dysport’s strong efficacy is compelling…since injectables are the non-surgical cosmetic procedure rising fastest in popularity, it is important to continue honing new applications for existing treatments. Dysport’s potential here is exciting as Crow’s feet are a common concern for many men and women.” (Source: AAFPRS Press Release)

Differences Between Dysport and Botox

Both Botox Cosmetic and Dysport are injectable forms of botulinum toxin Type A, a toxin that paralyzes the muscles upon contact. The key difference between Dysport and Botox is that Botox takes about three to five days to completely paralyze the muscle, while Dysport takes just one to two days. Some people have reported that their wrinkles began to fade within 24 hours after the Dysport injection.

Some studies suggest that Dysport can eliminate wrinkles for six to twelve months after the treatment. Botox typically lasts just about three to six months, depending on the condition of the skin.

And what about side effects? Both injectables carry the same types of side effects, including a slight burning sensation at the injection site, swelling, light bruising and numbness. These side effects usually subside within 24 hours after treatment. One downside of getting Dysport injections, however, is that the body is more likely to develop antibodies when it detects the compounds in Dysport.

Botox is about three times more expensive than Dysport, but is also about three times stronger. You may need to purchase more units of Dysport to achieve the same effect as a single unit of Botox, so there may not truly be a cost advantage to choosing Dysport over Botox.

Learn more about injectable fillers in our information guide, or get in touch with a cosmetic surgeon in your area to discuss the pros and cons of Dysport and Botox injections.