Dysport vs. Botox: What’s the Difference?

Mirror 3D Imaging

A youthful appearance makes people feel confident and attractive—and recent advancements in cosmetic plastic surgery can help people achieve this ideal. Non-invasive cosmetic treatments like Botox and Dysport are known to dramatically reduce signs of aging by relaxing the underlying facial muscles and diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the face.

Botox remains one of the most popular non-invasive procedures, with over six million treatments performed in the United States annually. However, its market dominance was challenged in 2009 when Dysport was introduced into the American market.

Choosing Between Botox and Dysport

For some, choosing between Botox and Dysport is akin to choosing between Coke and Pepsi. In many cases, choosing between the two procedures will depend on the preference of the patient or the licensed injection specialist performing the procedure.

While there are some differences between Botox and Dysport, they’re actually quite similar. For starters, Botox and Dysport are forms of botulinum toxin type A, which means they’re nearly identical biologically and chemically. Both Botox and Dysport relax facial muscle tissue and prevent it from responding to the nerve impulses that govern muscle contraction. This is crucial, as these muscle contractions are the main cause of those dreaded fine lines and wrinkles.

Neither procedure can permanently erase wrinkles. Rather, they make wrinkles less noticeable and help the patient achieve a more youthful, smoother complexion.

As for differences, there are slight variations in the formulas. Botox is less diluted than Dysport, which alters the dosage level. Greater dilution doesn’t make Dysport less effective, and dosage is mainly a consideration for the injection specialist responsible for administering the treatment.

A Closer Look at Dysport

Dysport lessens the appearance of lines in the glabella, which is the smooth part of the forehead above and between the eyebrows. These lines extend upward toward the forehead and are more noticeable when a person frowns.

With age, the glabella lines become more prominent even when the face is rested due to the loss of collagen in the skin. While effective at treating glabella lines, Dysport can only treat patients with moderate or severe glabella lines and isn’t recommended for patients with mild glabella lines.

What’s more, the whole procedure can be done at your doctor or injection specialist’s office and requires no hospitalization and minimal downtime.

A Closer Look at Botox

Unlike Dysport, Botox is approved for treating forehead lines and crow’s feet in addition to glabella lines. Moreover, the number of units your doctor will use will depend on the desired area and results. For example, for glabella lines, 20 total units on five injection sites is usually the norm, while 24 total units on six injection sites are usually required for crow’s feet.

Administering the Treatment

Carrying out Botox or Dysport procedures is fairly simple, virtually painless, and usually lasts between 10 to 20 minutes. No anesthesia is required, but your doctor may apply an ice pack, cold compress, or anesthetic ointment on the area to help numb the skin and make the procedure more comfortable for you. For those with a lower pain tolerance, anesthesia may be administered.

Once the targeted areas have been numbed, your doctor will then begin injecting the chosen neurotoxin into strategic locations. He will make a point of injecting into the right muscles to limit the diffusion of the substance. This will ensure that the final result stays within the confines of the injected sites without affecting the other areas of the face, ensuring more pleasing and natural-looking results.

The procedure will typically require several injections, depending on how many units are needed, to bring about the desired results. Usually, larger areas or areas with thicker and stronger muscles, such as around the mouth or the space between the eyebrows, will require more units to achieve the desired results. Dysport tends to diffuse more underneath the skin, so fewer injections will be needed to treat larger areas like wide wrinkles on the forehead and laugh lines at the sides of the mouth.


Botox and Dysport procedures are often referred to as “lunchtime” cosmetic treatments due to the almost zero downtime. Patients are normally able to return to their normal day-to-day activities a few hours after leaving the doctor’s clinic. Nonetheless, aftercare instructions must still be adhered to in order to avoid unwanted side effects, such as swelling, bruising, and further diffusion of the injected substance.

How Long Before Results Become Apparent?

The onset of action for both Dysport and Botox is about five to seven days. Meanwhile, the duration of effect for both procedures is about three to four months. To continuously enjoy the benefits of Botox or Dysport, patients should undergo the treatment at least two to three times a year, or as prescribed by their physician.

All in all, the competence and expertise of the person administering the procedure is far more important than the cosmetic filler being used. Choose to work exclusively with a licensed and experienced cosmetic dermatologist or plastic surgeon to achieve the desired results.

Posted on behalf of Sedgh Plastic Surgery


When under our care, Dr. Sedgh always ensures you feel comfortable, cared for, well-informed about every aspect of your upcoming treatment, whether surgical or non-surgical. With an approach which focuses on achieving refreshed, natural-looking results, Dr. Sedgh prides himself on always acting with transparency, honesty, and the highest level of ethical treatment, from start to finish.