• April 11, 2019

In-depth comparison: Botox vs. Dysport

In-depth comparison: Botox vs. Dysport

Nowadays, there are many skin treatment methods out there. In a bid to improve facial appearance and correct the ugly effects of ageing, cosmetic science has provided the world with different treatment alternatives. Dysport and Botox are two such options.

Botox and Dysport are both non-invasive skin treatment options. They are used to prevent and treat wrinkles and fine lines in adults. Both injectables improve the overall appearance of your face by relaxing specific underlying muscles in your face. By making sure that these muscles are still and relaxed, the skin situated above the muscles become smoother.

No non-invasive skin treatment can get rid of wrinkles and fine lines permanently. Botox and Dysport are not exceptions to these rules. However, they make your facial wrinkles far less noticeable than other treatment options and the results last for a few months. They are good alternatives to facial creams and lotions.

Contents of Botox and Dysport

Botox and Dysport injections are derived from the same neurotoxin. The neurotoxin that is used for these two injections is Botulinum Toxin. This neurotoxin prevents muscular contractions, making it ideal for a broad range of medical functions.

Botox and Dysport treatment can be used to treat spasms that occur as a result of neurological disorders, but this isn’t their primary function. The primary purpose of both injections lies in the treatment of facial wrinkles, fine lines, and smile lines.

They may be similar in content and applications. However, there are differences between the two cosmetic injections. Both treatments have the same primary active ingredient, but trace protein amounts may vary. Keep reading as we explore the key differences between the two treatment methods as well as their similarities.

Brief history

Botox is perhaps the most popular minimally invasive skin treatment procedure. It is estimated that over six million people annually make use of Botox injections for one reason or the other. Botox was developed around 20 years ago with extremely high efficacy and proven to be safe when used properly and injected by a certified cosmetic injector.

Dysport, on the other hand, is relatively newer than Botox. It was approved for use by the FDA in 2009. Dysport is solely marketed by a cosmetic company known as Galderma.

At Canada MedLaser Clinics, our team often receive a lot of questions about which of these two treatment methods is the better one. Therefore, we have decided to share our thoughts on both treatment methods and allow you to see the differences for yourself.

What is Botox?

Botox is the very first product that was approved by the FDA for the treatment of frown lines and crow’s feet. The treatment method improves the appearance of wrinkles in between the brows and near the eyes temporarily.

Unlike most facial rejuvenation treatments, Botox is non-invasive. It doesn’t require a surgical procedure, only a few injections and you are good to go. Botox treatments take only ten minutes and need no downtime or recovery period.

Botox is injected directly into the facial muscles that are responsible for the fine lines and wrinkles in the region that you want to treat. The ingredients in the injection block nerve signals thereby reducing the muscle’s contraction ability. This way, your facial muscles will not be able to contract to form wrinkles.

Merits of Botox treatments

Botox treatments have a number of benefits for you. Some of these benefits include:

  • Completely FDA-approved
  • Doesn’t require skin invasion
  • Treatment sessions can be completed in a few minutes
  • Can be used to treat the sensitive region surrounding the eyes
  • Requires zero downtime

How does Botox work?

If you have been considering undergoing Botox treatments, then you are probably curious about the medical workings of the procedure. Wrinkles and frown lines are formed because the underlying facial muscles repeatedly contract, thus, causing wrinkles.

Botox works in the deeper layers of your skin. Once injected, it targets the underlying facial muscles that are responsible for these wrinkles. Under normal conditions, when you frown, squint or make facial expressions, your nerves produce a neurotransmitter compound known as acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter is the one that activates your muscle receptors, causing the muscles to contract. Botox injections work by latching on to the receptors, effectively blocking off nerve signals from reaching the muscles.

After Botox injections, your nerves will still function normally. They will send signals to the muscles and acetylcholine will still be released. However, the acetylcholine will be unable to reach the muscles preventing these muscles from contracting.

Typically, Botox injections begin to work about 48 hours after they are injected into the bloodstream. The results also become noticeable after 7 – 11 days. The results will be visible for dynamic wrinkles as well as wrinkles that occur without muscle contraction. Botox treatments are highly practical, and if you want to reduce wrinkle appearance, then it is the right treatment plan for you.

Risks and possible side effects of Botox injections

Since they are minimally invasive skin procedures, Botox injections only have a number of minor risks. The main side effects that may be experienced include:

  • Headache
  • Mild pain
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Drooping eyelids or eyebrows

Before undergoing the treatment, your cosmetic injector will assess how droopy your eyelids are. If you have incredibly droopy eyelids, then you may not be eligible to undergo Botox treatments. Sometimes, a severe eyelid drooping condition known as Ptosis could form following the procedure. The good news is that many of these complications are minor and should resolve over time.

Related article: Are Botox Injections Effective and Safe?

When will the results of Botox be noticeable?

Under normal circumstances, the results of a Botox treatment should be noticed after 7 – 11 days. Of course, the results are not permanent. If proper aftercare routine is followed, the effects will last for 3-6 months. Over time, the efficacy of the injection wanes, and the muscles will return to regular activity.

Cost of Botox Injections

Botox injections are sold to patients on a per unit basis. Sometimes you may buy a unit for as much as $20. Other times, they are sold for as low as 8$ depending on the clinic choice.

Conclusively, the total price of Botox treatments ranges from $350 to $1,000 for each treatment area. You should keep in mind that this price is subject to factors such as the size of the treatment area, your geographic location, and your medical aesthetic clinic provider.

Botox treatments are not covered by insurance. However, your medical aesthetician or cosmetic injector can help you with structuring a payment plan that is easy on your wallet.

Related article: Botox Injection Prices in Canada


What is Dysport?

Dysport is also a minimally invasive injection that is targeted at paralyzing the activities of specific muscles in the face. This prevents the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. Over time, Dysport treatments can soften the incidence of existing fine lines.

Like Botox treatments, Dysport also works using Botulinum type A to prevent muscle movement and contraction. It is approved by Health Canada and the FDA in the treatment of glabellar lines and wrinkles.

Application of Dysport

Dysport treatments are a great way to reduce the overall appearance of fine lines that affect the glabella (the area surrounding your eyebrows). Glabellar lines are also known as frown lines. They are lines that extend vertically upward anytime you frown.

Alongside facial wrinkles, glabellar lines occur with age. They become more prominent even when you are not frowning. This is because your skin produces less collagen, leading to reduced skin elasticity.

If you suffer from moderate to a severe incidence of frown lines, then you should try out Dysport. It is also effective at reducing the appearance of frown lines that distort facial appearance.

How Does Dysport work?

As mentioned before, frown lines are vertical lines that surface in the skin region surrounding the eyebrows. They occur with age as a result of constant frowning and squinting. Frown lines and wrinkles are somewhat unavoidable, with age, they will surface. Frown lines and facial wrinkles are not desirable because they make you look perpetually tired, older and less beautiful.

After it is injected, Dysport works by preventing neurotransmitters from sending nerve signals to the facial muscles that cause wrinkles. This process creates a temporary paralysis of these muscles, essentially removing their ability to contract and form wrinkles. Depending on how your body breaks down Dysport, the muscle paralysis may last for 3-6 months.

Dysport can also be highly effective as a precautionary treatment. Young people can use it periodically to prevent the early onset of frown lines. If applied correctly, the results of Dysport can be effective.


Before a Dysport injection treatment, your cosmetic injector will be tasked with evaluating your physical health. If you pass, the process will be done within half an hour at your doctor’s office.

Before you are injected with Dysport, your cosmetic injector will apply a mild, topical numbing cream to the area (s) that are going to be injected. This injection will remove any pain that is felt during the injection of Dysport.

With Dysport, you don’t need to worry about recovery time or downtime. You can continue with your normal daily activities immediately after the treatment.

Eligibility for Dysport treatment

Typically, a consultation with your cosmetic injector or medical aesthetician is the best way to determine if indeed you are eligible for Dysport treatments. Generally, as long as you are younger than 65, you stand a chance of being suitable for the procedure.
Do not attempt to get Dysport treatment if you:

  • Are allergic to Dysport
  • Are allergic to protein from cow milk
  • Have any infections in the area to be treated
  • Have had prior surgical work done on your face
  • Have oily skin
  • Have deep and prominent facial scars
  • Have inflammation or irritation of any kind in the affected area
  • Are on certain medications

Side effects of Dysport

Overall, Dysport is considered to be a safe form of treatment. However, there are still a number of side effects that occur with this procedure. Some of these effects include:

  • Pain at the injection site
  • Slight swelling in the treated area
  • Mild rash as well as skin irritation
  • Headaches

Most of these side effects should clear within a few days of treatment. However, if they don’t, you should consult your doctor.

Severe side effects occur as a result of something referred to as the spread of toxin effect. This happens when you experience reactions such as muscle weakness, double vision, and loss of bladder control in areas different from the injection site. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your cosmetic surgeon immediately.

What is the cost of Dysport?

The overall cost of Dysport treatment depends on your location as well as your cosmetic clinic of choice. The total cost of treatments ranges from $200 to $500 for about 50 units of Botox. Dysport is a far cheaper treatment alternative when compared to Botox. The number of units needed also vary on each individual. The best course of action is to first head to consultation and have a good idea of the number of units that you would need.

Botox vs. Dysport: Similarities

Over time, it is inevitable that fine lines, frown lines, and wrinkles will develop in your face as a result of repeated muscle contractions caused by your everyday facial expressions. For instance, smiling and squinting will cause crow’s feet while frowning and eyebrow-raising leads to forehead lines.

Both Botox and Dysport work by relaxing underlying muscles to the point where they are unable to contact. Both products block the nerves from sending signals to muscles inducing a temporary paralysis of some sorts in the target muscles. The resulting loss of muscle movement causes a resultant reduction in the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Another similarity that binds both Botox and Dysport is that the results of the two treatment options are temporary. After a number of months, nerve impulses will be able to reach the target muscles again. When this happens, your muscles will be able to contract, and fine lines will once again appear. However,  you can maintain the results of these treatments via periodic injections.

Botox vs. Dysport: Differences

Even though these two products achieve similar effects, there are underlying differences that are present. Some of these distinctions include:

  1. Dilution: the two products are diluted differently. Dysport is diluted more than Botox. That means you may need more Dysport treatments to achieve the same results as Botox. It doesn’t mean that Botox is more effective; it just means that you need fewer treatment sessions. Additionally, the price per unit of Dysport is lower than that of Botox, so it all balances out in the end.
  2. Molecule Size: Dysport contains a smaller number of molecules when compared to Botox. This means that it can work faster than Botox treatments. For some treatment areas, this is an advantage. For others, it is not. Make sure that you consult with your cosmetic surgeon before making a decision.
  3. Diffusion: In terms of diffusion, Dysport holds the edge. Once injected, it can spread over a wide area due to its ability to diffuse effectively. This means that Dysport is useful for treating larger affected areas. However, it also means that it will be less effective when it comes to managing smaller areas with precision.
  4. Onset: Dysport works faster than Botox. Typically, it takes only 24 hours for the results of Dysport treatments to become visible. For Botox, it takes about 72 hours for the positive effects of the treatments to fully form.


Finally, the choice of whether to use Botox or Dysport may boil down to preference or your cosmetic expert’s discretion. Sometimes, skilled cosmetic injectors may even be able to use both products simultaneously to treat your concerns.

If you have any questions or are interested in Botox or Dysport treatments, visit Canada MedLaser Clinics for a free consultation. Contact us to book an appointment today!

Related article: How to Choose the Right Botox Clinic in Canada

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