Botox or Dysport?
For the past few years, like most cosmetic plastic surgeons, I have been using Botox (Botulinism Toxin) to treat the small furrows that occur between the eyebrows above the nose (glabella), the crow’s feet on the side of the eyes and the horizontal lines of the forehead. The toxin, commonly referred to as the most potent toxin in the world, can cause serious conditions in people exposed to the bacteria that causes botulinism. Botulinism toxin has been extensively studied by American, Russian and Iraqi scientists in an attempt to use it as a chemical weapon. It is lethal, but weaponizing it proved too difficult. In its use as a plastic surgical aid, it is used in minuscule amounts to block the connections between nerves and muscles, effectively rendering the muscle inactive. The results have been excellent!
The tiny shots are administered through small needles, and when patients come a little earlier to their appointment, a little numbing cream makes the experience painless! I know because I get the shots myself. The material starts to work in about 7-10 days, even though many patients report effects earlier. In my experience, this is due to the swelling produced by the injection and not the pharmacological effects of the medicine. The effects last about 3-4 months and, in some cases, up to 6 months. You get used to the new wrinkle-free face so fast that when the effects do begin to wear off, you notice it quickly.”Where did those lines come from?” I’ve asked myself.
Botox has been in use in medicine for over thirty years and has only recently found its cosmetic applications. It has been used, and continues to be used, to treat facial tics and twitches stemming from neurological problems.
So what about “Dysport,” the “new” Botox? Dysport, which was approved recently for use as a neuromuscular blocker, is Botulinism toxin. It’s the same thing as Botox but is produced by a different company. The dilution is a bit different in that a greater quantity needs to be injected to achieve the same results as with Botox, and it may have a speedier onset of effects, less pain on injection and more chance of giving you a headache, but for practical purposes there are no differences, despite what the marvels of advertising may have you believe. I’m offering it now to my patients just so that one company, Allergan, the maker of Botox, does not continue to have a monopoly on the market.
So the title should really be Botox = Dysport!