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Botox, Dysport and Xeomin

Botox, Dysport and Xeomin, “What is the difference between them” and “which is the best one”? These are two questions about facial injectables that commonly get asked.

Botox is a leading cosmetic treatment that drastically reduces the appearance of crow’s feet, lines on the forehead and frown lines.  However, two other companies have entered the market and are having great success as well, Dysport and Xeomin.

All three are effective treatments that originate from the same source bacterium, clostridium botulinum. They are synthesized as botulinum toxin type A, the paralyzing agent or neurotoxin that is administered.
Each injectable temporarily paralyzes the targeted muscle areas on the face to relax and ease out the appearance of wrinkles.

The most common targets are horizontal lines across the forehead and perpendicular frown lines between the brows but many also rely on Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin for crow’s feet, nasal squint lines, lines around the neck, eyebrow lifting, and even profuse underarm sweating and migraines.

When will I see results and how long does it last?

The initial effects of botulinum toxin appear 24-72 hours after injection with a maximum effect occurring at around 1-2 weeks. Temporary muscle paralysis lasts anywhere from 3-6 months, therefore injections must be repeated every 4-6 months to maintain results. If botulinum toxin is used for the treatment of hyperhidrosis, the effects usually last 6-9 months.

What does the treatment feel like? 

During the treatment, a very fine needle is injected into each specific muscle for a few seconds with only the minor discomfort of a tiny pinch.  For ultra-sensitive types, topical anesthetic cream or ice can be applied beforehand if necessary.

What are some possible complications?

  • Bleeding and bruising, temporary redness and swelling, or infection
  • Rare diffusion to other sites resulting in temporary eyelid droop (1-2% of patients and lasts 1-2 weeks), facial droop, lip droop, swallowing or breathing difficulties depending on sites of injection
  • Systemic symptoms of muscle weakness all over the body, spasticity, double or blurred vision, speech difficulty, or loss of bladder control with systemic toxin spread are possible. However, there have NOT been any confirmed serious cases of toxin spread when used for cosmetic purposes.
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