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Dysport and Botox are brand names of botulinum toxin type A (BoNT). While both products are FDA approved for minimizing lines and wrinkles and are chemically similar, there are a few differences in the two.

First, let’s quickly review how BoNT works. BoNT addresses wrinkles by relaxing the muscles that cause them.

When injected, BoNT blocks acetylcholine (needed for muscle contraction) at the neuromuscular junction. Overtime, the body metabolizes the BoNT and acetylcholine is able to carry impulses resulting in both muscle contraction and the reappearance of wrinkles and lines.


The difference between the two products comes down to varying formula characteristics:

Dose - Dysport is dosed differently than Botox. So if you are used to a certain number of Botox units you will need to increase the number of units by a multiple of 3 when switching to Dysport. However, you will find that that price per unit of Dysport is typically 1/3 the price per unit of Botox, making the final cost the same.

Duration - Taken directly from their package respective package inserts: Botox: “The duration of effect of Botox Cosmetic for glabellar lines is approximately 3-4 months.” Dysport: “After Dysport is injected into the muscles that control facial

expression, the medicine stops the tightening of these muscles for up to 4 months.”

Diffusion- Most clinicians agree that diffusion of BoNT occurs however, there is dispute on extent and the clinical importance. Studies show that modifiable variables of volume, concentration, and dose play the most important roles in that, the greater the volume, concentration, or dose, the greater the risk of diffusion (Brodsky, Swope and Grimes, 2012). The authors suggest that Botox has the least potential for diffusion if all factors are the same and the Dysport dose is titrated to be equivalent to the Botox dose (Brodsky, Swope, & Grimes, 2012). Finally, I will add anecdotally, many report Dysport having a “softer” look and attribute this to diffusion.

Onset - Compared to Botox, Dysport has the quickest “onset”; with results typically being seen in 1-3 days. Botox is usually seen in 5-7 days. Although, it is important to note that either can take up to 14 days to fully establish efficacy.


In the end, both are excellent products and the choice of the two comes down to simple preference of both the injector and the patient. At times, I use both products in different areas during a single treatment session to most effectively produce a patients’ desired result.

If you’re interested in Botox, Dysport, or dermal fillers please contact Georgetown Aesthetic today to schedule a complimentary consultation or appointment.



Brodsky MA, Swope DM, Grimes D. Diffusion of botulinum toxins. Tremor Other Hyperkinet Movements (N Y). 2012;2:tre-02-85-417-1.

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