How Does Dysport® Work?
The active ingredient in Dysport® is a protein called botulinum toxin, specifically a type called abobotulinum toxin-A. This protein is a neurotoxin, which means it interferes with nerve function. In cosmetic uses, botulinum toxin blocks highly specific nerves in facial muscles that cause contraction and tension, thereby reducing the appearance of dynamic wrinkles. Experienced Dysport® providers use precisely mapped injection sites to target only the problematic muscles, delivering a very natural look that doesn’t leave your face feeling “frozen.”
While botulinum toxin was discovered due to very high amounts historically causing a disease called botulism, today’s regulated cosmetic doses only use trace amounts of the protein and are very safe for the human body. The body naturally processes the toxin out after a few months with no unwanted side effects. Dysport® is FDA-approved to treat facial wrinkles and has been rigorously tested in several independent studies.
Is Dysport® Different than Botox®?
Botox® is a widely recognized brand name in the world of botulinum toxin injectables. In fact, many people use “Botox” as a blanket term for all wrinkle relaxing injectables that use botulinum toxin as their active ingredient. But there are some subtle yet vital differences in the formulas for Botox® and Dysport® that may make one or the other more appropriate for certain clients.
Dysport® uses a different type of botulinum toxin (abobotulinum toxin-A) than Botox® (onabotulinum toxin-A) and has a lower amount of the protein in the formula. Studies estimate that it takes two or three times as much Dysport® to reach the same potency as a single dose of Botox®, making Dysport® a better choice for people who have very light lines, who want subtle effects or who have never used injectables before.
Additionally, thanks to the lower protein content, Dysport® is generally a more cost-effective treatment than Botox®: patients can still achieve beautiful results, but Dysport® uses a less expensive formula. However, given that it takes higher doses of Dysport® to achieve the same level of result, we typically advise that patients who need a stronger formula choose a smaller amount Botox®, as the costs of multiple doses of Dysport® can add up.
Another difference is that Dysport® may be more likely to “spread” over a small area around the injection site. The evidence for this is inconclusive, but in general, Dysport® works well for patients with broader areas of concern such as multiple fine lines on the forehead. The board-certified providers at Advanced Aesthetics have significant expertise in Dysport® injection placement and can ensure that you will not have too much muscle laxity due to any spread that may occur.
A final difference between Dysport® and Botox® is that patients who receive continuing injections exhibit less antibody development over time. Antibodies that develop in response to a foreign protein like botulinum toxin can cause the body to process the protein out much faster, meaning that results will not last as long. Researchers believe that the Botox® formula includes more of the extra molecules that form when botulinum toxin is developed. These molecultes trigger a higher antibody response as the body becomes accustomed to Botox® injections. If you plan to have injectable treatments for a long time, this may be something to consider when exploring these two options.
What to Expect from Your Dysport® Treatment
Dysport® treatments are quick, convenient and simple. It takes just a few minutes for our providers to map out your injection sites and complete the injection process. Most patients are in and out of their appointment in about a half hour, and can return to all normal activities right away. The syringes used to inject Dysport® are very thin and designed for comfort and minimal tissue damage. You may experience some side effects like redness or sensitivity at the injection site, but overall, the treatment is painless and has very few and very rare associated risks.
Dysport® results typically last between three and four months before additional injections are required to maintain a wrinkle-free appearance. Due to the gentle nature of these injectables, having regular treatments poses no added risk. Your Advanced Aesthetics Dysport® provider can work with you to create a maintenance plan that meets your needs and keeps you looking your best. You can adjust your doses or your schedule at any time if your aesthetic goals change — simply speak to your provider, who can advise you about the best way to make these adjustments.
If you are interested in learning more about Dysport® or our other injectable treatments, your next step is to schedule a consultation with one of the board-certified plastic surgeons at our four Atlanta-area locations. Our comfortable offices are located in Newnan, McDonough, LaGrange and Fayetteville, Georgia. Please call us at 770-461-4000 or fill in our form online to make your appointment. We can’t wait to hear from you!