Botox vs Dysport: What is the difference?

Botox and Dysport are the most popular neurotoxins on the market today. They both work by blocking nerve signals to the muscles, which temporarily stops the muscle from contracting. With less movement, lines and wrinkles are softened for a more rejuvenated appearance. So Botox vs Dysport…what is the difference?

Botox vs. Dysport: A Comprehensive Comparison of Wrinkle Treatments

The main difference between Botox and Dysport lies in their concentration and molecular behavior. While both are neuromodulators made from Botulinum Type A, Dysport is more diluted and spreads faster, making it suitable for larger areas like the forehead. On the other hand, Botox has a higher concentration and is slower-moving, making it better suited for smaller areas like lip lines or crow’s feet. It is worth noting that both treatments are FDA-approved and highly successful in reducing wrinkles when administered by licensed professionals. As always, consult with a healthcare professional to determine which option is best for you.

Understanding Botox and Dysport

Before diving into the details of how Botox and Dysport work, let’s gain a better understanding of these popular wrinkle treatments. Both Botox and Dysport are injectables used to reduce the signs of wrinkles and fine lines caused by facial movement. Think of them as cosmetic miracles that allow you to turn back the clock on your skin.

Botox, short for Botulinum Toxin, was the first FDA-approved neurotoxin derived from Clostridium botulinum bacteria. It acts as a neuromodulator, blocking nerve signals in the targeted muscles of the face. This action results in a temporary reduction in muscle contraction, leading to smoother skin and diminished wrinkles.

On the other hand, we have Dysport. Also containing Botulinum Type A as its active ingredient, it functions similarly to Botox by disabling the nerves around the injection site, limiting muscle movement, and smoothing out the skin. While Dysport is commonly recommended for treating forehead lines, glabellar lines (frown lines between the eyebrows), or crow’s feet, it can also be used on other areas of the face that exhibit dynamic wrinkles.

Both Botox and Dysport are FDA-approved and have high success rates in reducing wrinkles. These injectables are usually recommended for adults between 35 and 65 who have mild to severe facial wrinkles that haven’t responded well to other skincare techniques. It’s important to note that candidates should be in good health without any preexisting skin conditions or allergies before considering these treatments.

How They Work

Now that we have a basic understanding of Botox and Dysport, let’s explore how these wrinkle treatments work their magic.

Both Botox and Dysport function by targeting the muscles responsible for facial movements that lead to wrinkles. By injecting these neurotoxins into specific areas, they block the nerve signals that trigger muscle contractions. As a result, the treated muscles become temporarily paralyzed or relaxed.

This reduction in muscle activity leads to a visible reduction in wrinkles and fine lines, as the skin in those areas is no longer being constantly stretched and creased. The smoothing effect becomes more apparent as days go by, with optimal results typically visible within one to two weeks after treatment.

It’s important to note that Botox and Dysport differ in terms of concentration and molecular behavior. Dysport is more diluted compared to Botox but is suitable for larger surface areas like the forehead due to its faster spread. On the other hand, Botox has a higher concentration and is slower-moving, making it ideal for smaller areas such as lip lines or crow’s feet.

Comparative Analysis: Botox vs Dysport

When it comes to wrinkle treatments, Botox and Dysport are two popular options that often come to mind. Both are cosmetic neurotoxins designed to soften fine lines and wrinkles, but they do have their differences. Let’s take a comprehensive look at how Botox and Dysport compare.

First and foremost, the manufacturing companies behind these products differ. Botox is manufactured by Allergan, a well-established brand in the field of cosmetic medicine. On the other hand, Dysport is manufactured by Galderma, another reputable player in the industry. The distinction in manufacturers may influence personal preferences due to brand recognition or trust built over time.

One of the most notable differences between Botox and Dysport lies in the time it takes for results to become noticeable. While Botox typically takes between 12-14 days for full effectiveness to kick in, Dysport works faster, with results fully manifesting around day 7. This difference might be significant for those seeking quicker outcomes or those with upcoming events where they want to showcase their rejuvenated appearance sooner.

Additionally, duration of efficacy also varies slightly between these two products. On average, both Botox and Dysport last around 3-5 months before requiring re-treatment. However, it’s important to note that this timeframe can vary depending on an individual’s lifestyle factors and metabolism.

Financial considerations can also play a role when choosing between these two treatments. While Dysport is often cheaper per unit compared to Botox, more units are typically required for a Dysport treatment session than for Botox. Consequently, when accounting for the total number of units needed, the price difference may end up being negligible for the client.


Botox was the first of its kind to be approved for cosmetic use. The FDA approved Botox in 2002 to temporarily treat glabellar lines. Today, Botox is the only botulinum toxin that is FDA approved to treat glabella lines, crow’s feet (around the eyes) and forehead lines. Treatment takes approximately 15 minutes with minimal side effects and discomfort. Results take full effect within 5 to 10 days and last between 3 and 5 months on average.

Botox is by far the most important non-surgical treatment performed at Utah Facial Plastics with over 7,000 treatments in the last 5 years alone. Patients appreciate the Brilliant Distinction program, a loyalty program from Allergan that helps patients save on Botox, Juvederm, Latisse and SkinMedica skincare products.


Dysport was FDA approved in 2009 for the treatment of forehead and glabellar (between the eyebrows) wrinkles. Dysport treatments are quick, like Botox, but results take effect much quicker and can be noticeable after only 2 to 3 days. On average, Dysport works as well and lasts the same length of time as Botox but results vary for each individual patient.

Patients can also save on Dysport treatments with the Aspire loyalty program from Galderma, the manufacturer of Dysport.

Differences in Procedure, Efficacy and Side Effects

When it comes to the procedure itself, Botox and Dysport have similarities. Both involve injecting neurotoxin into targeted muscles to relax them and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The administration typically takes place during a quick, in-office visit with a trained healthcare professional or licensed injector.

However, it’s crucial to note that the dosages required for each product may differ. Due to their varying potencies, more units of Dysport might be needed compared to Botox. This dosage distinction may impact cost considerations discussed earlier.

In terms of efficacy, while both Botox and Dysport are effective at reducing wrinkles, individual responses can vary. Some people might find that one product delivers better results for their specific concerns or facial structure. If you’ve had previous experience with either product and notice that its effects are not lasting as long as before, switching to the other product might be worth considering.

As for potential side effects, adverse outcomes are usually rare and can often be attributed to the injector’s technique rather than the product itself. Common side effects include temporary muscle weakness or drooping around the injection site, but these generally resolve within a few weeks. It is essential to discuss any concerns or medical history with your healthcare provider before deciding on a treatment option.

Guidelines for Ideal Candidates

Before considering any cosmetic procedure, it’s important to determine whether you are an ideal candidate for Botox or Dysport treatments. While these wrinkle treatments are generally safe and effective, there are certain factors to consider.

First and foremost, age plays a crucial role. Botox and Dysport are typically recommended for individuals aged 18 to 65, as they target dynamic wrinkles caused by muscle movement. If you’re younger than 18, your skin may still be developing and not require this type of treatment. On the other hand, if you’re older than 65, your skin might have more permanent wrinkles that would be better addressed with other procedures.

Furthermore, it’s necessary to have realistic expectations. Botox and Dysport work best on dynamic wrinkles like crow’s feet, forehead lines, and frown lines caused by repetitive facial expressions. These treatments may not be as effective for static wrinkles that are present even when your face is at rest or deep wrinkles that require more significant interventions like dermal fillers.

Another crucial consideration is overall health and medical history. Always disclose any pre-existing medical conditions to your provider before undergoing treatment. Certain conditions such as allergies to botulinum toxin or neuromuscular disorders may make you ineligible for Botox or Dysport. Additionally, being pregnant or breastfeeding is usually a contraindication for these treatments.

Lastly, choosing a qualified and experienced provider should be a top priority. Ensure the person administering the injections is a board-certified plastic surgeon or reputable specialist with extensive training in dermatology or aesthetic medicine. This will significantly reduce the risk of complications and ensure safe and effective results.

Remember, everyone’s situation is unique, so it’s essential to consult with a professional who can evaluate your specific needs and determine whether you are an ideal candidate for Botox or Dysport.

  • Before considering Botox or Dysport treatments, it’s important to evaluate whether you are an ideal candidate. Factors to consider include your age, expectations, overall health and medical history, and the qualifications of the provider administering the injections. These treatments are typically recommended for individuals aged 18 to 65 with dynamic wrinkles caused by muscle movement. Realistic expectations should be set, as Botox and Dysport work best on dynamic wrinkles rather than static or deep wrinkles. The presence of certain medical conditions or being pregnant or breastfeeding may make you ineligible for these treatments. Choosing a qualified and experienced provider is crucial to ensure safe and effective results. It is essential to consult with a professional who can assess your specific needs and determine if you are suitable for Botox or Dysport.

Cost of Botox & Dysport

The cost of Botox and Dysport comes to the same amount at Utah Facial Plastics but the units are calculated differently. For 1 unit of Botox ($12) three units of Dysport are required at $4 per unit.

Botox and Dysport are both safe and effective when it comes to treating facial wrinkles. Due to reputation and longevity on the market, Botox treatments are more popular than Dysport in our practice but Dysport is typically recommended for patients desiring a quicker response. We recommend trying both and see which one works best for you.

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To learn more about Botox or Dysport, fill out our consultation form or contact us at 801-960-3137.


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