Runny nose? Let me get you a kleenex. Headache? Take an aspirin. Cut yourself shaving? Put a band-aid on it. Sore? Take a soak in the jacuzzi.
Like Kleenex, Jacuzzis and Aspirin, Botox® is a brand name that’s become indistinguishable from the product. Forehead wrinkles? Need a little lift? Botox it. We know what you mean, but there are alternatives to Botox and their names are just as important. I mean, just ask anyone who asked for a Coke and got a Pepsi instead. Definitely not the same.
“One of the most common questions we get is: What is the difference between Botox, Dysport and Xeomin?” says Dana Martinez, owner of Lecada Medical Artistry. “Quickly followed by, ‘Which is better?’ There’s no good answer to that because it really depends on the person and what outcome they are looking for.”
Botox, Dysport® and Xeomin® are part of the family of neurotoxins called Botulinum Toxin type A. Botox was the first to receive FDA approval in 1989, for the treatment of misaligned eyes, facial spasms and uncontrollable blinking. It wasn’t until 2002 when Botox Cosmetic® was approved as a cosmetic treatment for improving facial frown lines and wrinkles. Dysport followed in 2009, and Xeomin in November 2011.
All three are effective treatments that originate from the same source bacterium, clostridium botulinum, and each injectable temporarily paralyzes the targeted muscle areas on the face to relax and ease out the appearance of wrinkles. Because of their proven abilities, each is often paired with a dermal filler like Juverderm, Restylane or Sculptra that results in dramatic facial rejuvenation, also know as a liquid facelift.
Despite such similarities, the nuances of each brand can make an extraordinary difference to certain patients.
Xeomin is a purified, a.k.a. naked, neurotoxin, meaning there are no additive surface proteins, just the botulinum toxin. This solitary agent migrates further and faster to effectively work upon all facial areas upon injection. There is less risk of an allergic reaction or rejection for the client from the absence of protein additives.
Comparatively, Botox and Dysport are considered ‘heavier’ because they contain added proteins. These proteins are for protection and are clustered around the botulinum for greater longevity.
One of the key benefits of Dysport is it's higher diffusion rate, which means it spreads slightly more than Botox. It is also injected at a different strength and affects a slightly larger area than Botox and Xeomin. It has been reported that Dysport typically takes two to three days until the effects of the treatment are seen. Botox takes seven to 10 days while Xeomin takes five to six days. Dysport may be the best option in areas where several injections are needed because of its easy spreading to cover a greater area on the face. In the areas where the spread needs to be minimized, Botox may be the best option to concentrate on deeper wrinkling.
"One solution does not fit everyone", cautions Martinez. "We offer all three brands at Lecada and some patients may even use more than one type to achieve the best result. Choices help both the patient and the injector."
Ultimately, WHO is injecting the product is the most important aspect of using a neurotoxin. The injector's experience and technique are more vital factors than the product being used. Prior to treatment, be sure to consult with an experienced medical professional in determining what choice is right for you.