Dysport vs. Botox may be the answer are popular cosmetic treatments used to relax certain facial muscles, giving users a more youthful appearance. Everyone eventually ages and develops wrinkles. It’s possible that wrinkles are only visible in particular environments or when viewed from specific perspectives.
No one can stop the passage of time, but injectables can make you seem years younger. But what is the difference between these two treatments, and which has the greatest benefits?
In this article, we will compare Dysport vs. Botox to help you decide which can help give you a more positive outcome based on your desired results. Let’s dive in!
What is Botox?
First introduced in 1989 for medical use, Botox was the first Botulinum Type A neuromodulator to get FDA clearance. It’s now the most well-known name in the injectables market. Botox can also be used to treat a variety of medical issues. 
Botox is a neuromodulator derived from the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. Botulinum Type A (or “Botox”) can smooth out wrinkles and fine lines when taken in small doses. This injectable helps prevent the brain from receiving impulses from the facial muscles.
Botox can be dangerous if administered by someone who isn’t trained properly, but it’s safe when administered by a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
When Botox stops nerve impulses to the face, facial muscles lose some elasticity. Because of this inactivity, the skin becomes more even, and wrinkles become much less noticeable.
What is Dysport?
Dysport was widely recognized as Botox’s European equivalent shortly after its introduction. The Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Dysport in the United States in 2009. It has since been shown to be an efficient, non-invasive method of dealing with fine lines and wrinkles. Botox and Dysport were first used medically before they were legalized for aesthetic procedures.
Dysport’s active component is Botulinum Type A, the same substance used in Botox. Dysport, once injected, stops nerves from functioning around the injection site. This reduces muscular activity, which calms the region and makes the skin more even in tone.
However, Dysport markets itself mainly to those with moderate to severe frown lines or glabellar lines (sometimes called frown lines or 11 lines) on the forehead.
What is the Difference Between Dysport and Botox?
Dysport is commonly used to smooth glabellar lines, often as frown lines, between the eyebrows. Those with moderate to severe frown lines may benefit from this treatment option.
However, Botox may be used to treat more than just frown lines. It can also smooth out crow’s feet and laugh lines on the forehead and between the eyebrows. It is the ideal choice for wrinkles that are mild to moderate in severity.
The degree of concentration in each product is the most significant difference. Dysport is diluted almost three times as much as Botox. Your doctor may require more or less injection in one place than another.
Dysport is also unique due to its distinct molecular behavior and diffusion. Because of its composition, it may spread rapidly, particularly across a wide region with very few injections. Therefore, the method your doctor administers each injection is the deciding factor.
How Do Dysport and Botox Work?
Dysport and Botox block nerve signals that cause the involuntary muscle contractions responsible for facial wrinkles. Dysport specifically targets a specific area, leading to decreased wrinkle depth without affecting other motions of facial expression.
On the other hand, Botox targets a larger area, leading to an overall ‘freezing’ effect on the facial muscles.
Benefits of Dysport vs. Botox
As said before, Botox is licensed for the treatment of crow’s feet, forehead wrinkles, and glabellar lines, but Dysport is only approved for glabellar lines.
Patients with moderate to severe glabellar wrinkles are the only ones recommended to have Dysport injections. These injections are more extensive and go a little deeper than Botox injections.
Because Dysport injections around the mouth can spread to other places and have unintended consequences, Botox may be a better option.
As for medical applications, doctors often choose Botox over Dysport for treating problems like persistent migraines or hyperhidrosis because Botox has received greater FDA approval and scientific study.
Botox has been available for longer than Dysport, giving it more time and resources to gain FDA clearance for more purposes. Dysport’s medicinal applications in adults are many and include:
- Cervical dystonia
- Upper limb spasticity
- Cervical dystonia
- Strabismus, blepharospasm, and other disorders of the eye muscles
- Spasticity of the upper and lower limbs causing muscle stiffness
- Overactive bladder
- Urinary incontinence due to neurologic disease
- Chronic migraines
Side Effects of Dysport vs. Botox
Dysport and Botox may cause a very small chance of spreading botulism toxicity. Botulinum poisoning manifests itself in various ways, including drooping eyelids, weakness in facial muscles, muscular spasms, and problems with swallowing, eating, breathing, and speaking. Get to a hospital immediately if you have any of these symptoms. 
There is also a possibility of mild adverse effects with Dysport and Botox. Headaches, rashes, infections, and soreness at the injection site are some of the most often reported adverse reactions to Dysport.
Most people have a full recovery from these symptoms within a few days. Some of Dysport’s most significant adverse effects include stomach upset, sinus infections, and breathing problems.
Redness, swelling, bruising, pain, numbness, and headaches are some of the most often reported adverse reactions to Botox. If you give it a week, you should feel better. Paralysis, albeit rare, is a more significant and potentially permanent adverse effect of Botox.
Also, Dysport and Botox should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women or people with certain medical conditions.
Botox vs. Dysport Units
One unit of Botox is about equivalent to three units of Dysport in terms of effectiveness.  Even if more Dysport is required for the same result, this in no way indicates that Botox is superior. While one unit of Dysport is less than one unit of Botox, the total cost to produce the same effect is almost the same.
Dysport vs. Botox: Which Lasts Longer?
Botox needs time to free itself from the protein used as a preservative before it can begin to smooth out wrinkles. You may see a difference after just one week of Botox, but the full effects may not show up for up to a month. The effects of a Botox injection can be seen for several months, and in some cases, even up to six months.
On the other hand, Dysport will begin to work after a few days. The effects may continue for up to 5 months. If you want the therapy results to last, you’ll need to return for further injections.
Bottomline: Dysport vs. Botox
Dysport and Botox are safe and effective treatments for reducing wrinkles and providing a more youthful appearance. Dysport is also more cost-effective than Botox as it requires fewer units per area and costs less overall. Both treatments are popular choices that can produce similar results. However, some key differences between the two treatments may make one a better choice for you than the other.
Before receiving Dysport or Botox injections, consult a medical professional to determine the best treatment plan for you and minimize any potential side effects.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.
Editorial References And Fact-Checking
- Satriyasa BK. Botulinum toxin (Botox) A for reducing the appearance of facial wrinkles: a literature review of clinical use and pharmacological aspect. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2019 Apr 10;12:223-228. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S202919. PMID: 31114283; PMCID: PMC6489637.
- Witmanowski H, Błochowiak K. The whole truth about botulinum toxin – a review. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2020 Dec;37(6):853-861. doi: 10.5114/ada.2019.82795. Epub 2019 Feb 5. PMID: 33603602; PMCID: PMC7874868.
- Ranoux D, Gury C, Fondarai J, Mas JL, Zuber M. Respective potencies of Botox and Dysport: a double blind, randomised, crossover study in cervical dystonia. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2002 Apr;72(4):459-62. doi: 10.1136/jnnp.72.4.459. PMID: 11909903; PMCID: PMC1737843.