Dysport is a prescription cosmetic injectable that diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is FDA approved for the treatment of frown lines (also known as glabellar lines), which are located between the eyebrows and are a common sign of aging. These lines are also called the “11” lines because they normally appear as a pair of vertical lines directly above the nose. Dysport is commonly used on other areas of the face as well as the glabella. Dysport is FDA approved for patients over 18 and under 65 with moderate to severe frown lines, is an excellent alternative to Botox (Dysport vs Botox) and has been shown to be an effective anti-aging treatment.
Dysport has grown in popularity very rapidly. It is a recent competitor to Botox, which, in 2008 was the most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure performed in the United States (according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery). According to ASAPS, there were about 2.5 million Botox procedures performed in 2008 alone.
Dysport (formally known as Reloxin) received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use as a wrinkle treatment at the beginning of 2009, however, globally, it has been smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles for many years prior to its introduction into the US.
For the treatment of frown lines, Dysport is injected several times into the facial muscles between the eyes. It temporarily (for 3-4 months) prevents nerve signals from traveling to the muscles, resulting in a reduction of muscle contraction in the injected area. This in turn, smoothes the area and prevents the appearance the frown lines.
Dysport is similar to Botox in both composition and purpose (it is an injectable form of botulinum toxin Type A). It has been approved to treat forehead wrinkles and frown lines – the same FDA approval as Botox. Prior to its U.S. approval, it has been used in other countries for over 15 years to treat neurological disorders including muscle spasms.
The Difference Between Botox and Dysport Injections
One of the main differences between Botox and Dysport is that Dysport take effect more quickly – Botox typically takes at least 2 days to take effect, while Dysport effects become noticeable within 1 or 2 days. In some cases, the full effects of Dysport can be seen as quickly as 24 hours after receiving Dysport injections.
In addition to taking effect quicker, Dysport may also last longer than Botox (at least for our patients). This is because the conversion we use from Botox to Dysport is 3 units of Dysport for each unit of Botox (3 to 1). This is a higher concentration than is suggested by the FDA approval (2.5 to 1). For this reason, our patients actually get a larger equivalent amount of Dysport and therefore some patients have longer lasting results.
Dysport treatment may affect a larger treatment area as compared with Botox. The distance that the product disperses once injected is called the diffusion and Dysport has a higher diffusion than Botox. In some cases this can be problematic, but in the case of the forehead area it actually works to the patient’s advantage because not as much Dysport is required as compared to Botox to achieve the same results. The injector should be skilled in the procedure to prevent the spread of the Dysport to nearby muscles, thereby creating unwanted effects.
Is Dysport Safe?
The most common side effects of Dysport are very similar to those associated with Botox injections. These include localized numbness, bruising, swelling, or a tingling sensation at the time of the injection. In addition to these, it is also possible for Dysport injections to result in heavy or drooping eyelids and eyebrows. This most often occurs when inexperienced injectors allow the product to diffuse outside of the target area.
Cost of Dysport
Dysport (per unit) costs about one third the amount of Botox injections. However, because it is only a third of the strength, the equivalent cost (at our practice) is the same as Botox. As a result, the ultimate cost of a Dysport procedure will likely be very similar to a course of Botox treatment.
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