Dysport Vs. Botox: The Difference Explained

Written by Ramona Sinha

Botox and Dysport are FDA-approved injectable neurotoxins that help numb and relax specific facial muscles (1), (2). While the FDA approves both for treating spasticity (abnormal muscle stiffness) and other medical conditions, they are popularly used to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Both have similar effects but are different in various aspects. If you are considering any of the two, keep reading to understand the differences and which one is right for you.

Dysport Vs. Botox: What Is The Difference?

Both Dysport and Botox are neurotoxins and available as intramuscular injections to prevent muscle contraction and improve the appearance of wrinkles, crow’s feet, frown lines, laugh lines, and fine lines.

Both work in the same way. However, they have different concentrations of botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A) (3). This makes them different in terms of results, cost, convenience, efficacy, and longevity.

Key DifferencesBotoxDysport
ConcentrationIt contains larger protein molecules than Dysport.It contains smaller protein molecules of the neurotoxin.
SpreadabilityThe larger protein molecules do not spread easily and are effective for targeted results.The smaller protein molecules spread quickly and are effective for treating larger areas.
Molecular WeightIt has lower variability in molecular weight and does not diffuse easily. Therefore, it is perfect for targeted and smaller areas.It has more variability in protein sizes and diffuses easily across a larger surface area. Therefore, you need fewer injections to get the desired results.

In other words, both Dysport and Botox contain the same neurotoxin, but the protein amounts may differ. This makes them effective for different target areas. The following sections of the article will help you understand the other differences between Botox and Dysport and decide which one to go for.

Dysport Vs. Botox: Which One To Choose?

The FDA approves using Dysport for moderate to severe glabellar lines – the vertical frown lines that appear between the eyebrows and extend to the forehead (2). You may see these lines when you frown or squint. The glabellar lines become prominent with age.

On the other hand, Botox can be used to improve (4):

  • Glabellar lines
  • Frown lines
  • Smoker’s lines (wrinkles around the lips)
  • Marionette lines (lines from the corner of the mouth to the outer corner of the chin)
  • Platysmal band (ridges of muscles on the neck running vertically up)

You may go for Dysport if you have deep forehead wrinkles or frown lines and Botox if you want to improve wrinkles on other facial areas.

How Botox And Dysport Work

Both Botox and Dysport contain botulinum toxin derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and have a similar mechanism. The toxin blocks nerve signals to the target muscles, restricting their movement (4). The relaxed muscles soften the appearance of wrinkles.

Remember, Dysport and Botox cannot eliminate wrinkles. You have to do follow-up sessions once the effect of the toxins starts reducing.

Dosage And Duration Of The Procedures

Both the procedures take just a few minutes. For Dysport (for glabellar lines), the FDA recommends a total dose of 50 units, divided into five equal aliquots of 10 units each (2 ).

The dosage of Botox depends on the muscles and conditions it is used to treat (5). The doctor may use 15-30 units for forehead lines and 40 units of Botox for the glabellar lines.

The Results And Longevity

For both the procedures, you may see results within a few days of the treatment. The results of Dysport may be visible in a couple of days and may last for 3-4 months.

Botox results may last for 3-4 months. However, for some people, the results may also last for anywhere between 4 to 6 months. You have to go for follow-up sessions to maintain the look for your wrinkles.

The Cost Of Botox And Dysport Procedures

A single session of Botox treatment may cost anywhere between $350-$1000. However, the price may vary depending on the area(s) of treatment and the severity of the condition.

Dysport is slightly less expensive. A single session may cost between $200 and $500.

Side Effects Of Botox And Dysport

Botox and Dysport are considered safe and effective. However, they may also cause unwanted side effects, which include:

  • Pain and swelling in the injection site
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Dry and itchy eyes along with focusing issues
  • Muscle weakness
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Uneven eyebrows
  • Teary eyes

If you have taken Botox injection around the mouth, it may also cause an asymmetric or crooked smile. These are unwanted side effects of the numbing toxin and may wear off after a few days or weeks. However, in rare cases, the toxin may cause serious side effects like:

  • Breathing issues
  • Difficulty in swallowing and speaking
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Overall weakness

If you experience any of these side effects, consult a doctor immediately.

Who Is A Good Candidate For Botox And Dysport?

If you do not have any major health issues or a history of certain medical conditions and have moderate to severe wrinkles and lines, you can go for the procedure. Before the procedure, the doctor will evaluate your medical history and ask you a few questions to determine if you can go for any procedures.
Avoid Botox and Dysport if you:

  • Are pregnant, planning to conceive, or lactating
  • Are allergic or sensitive to botulinum toxin
  • Are allergic to milk
  • Are under 18 years or over 65 years
  • Have thin skin or an existing skin condition

Botulinum toxin can interact with several drugs like blood thinners, muscle relaxers, other medications, and supplements. You may have to discontinue the medications before taking the injections. It is best to inform your doctor about all the medications and supplements you take to prevent unwanted side effects.

Here is a brief overview of the two procedures:

Dysport Vs. Botox: Comparison

Differentiating FactorsDysportBotox
What It TreatsGlabellar linesGlabellar lines, Frown lines, Crow’s feet, Smoker’s lines, and laugh lines
Treatment TimeA few minutesA few minutes
CostCheaper than BotoxExpensive
ResultsShow up sooner (in a couple of days)May take a week
Longevity3-4 months4-6 months
PainMay cause slight pain on the injection siteMay cause slight pain on the injection site
Recovery TimeLittle to no timeLittle to no time
Follow-up SessionsEvery 3-4 monthsEvery 3-6 months

The Verdict

Botox and Dysport are similar treatments and use botulinum toxin to minimize the appearance of wrinkles. Dysport is allowed only for forehead wrinkles, while Botox can be used on other facial areas. Both are extremely popular and quick ways to get a youthful appearance. However, they may cause unwanted side effects and facial asymmetry. So, it is better to consult a doctor, address your concerns, understand the side effects, take proper measures, and then go for them.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Dysport or Botox – which one is safer?

Both Dysport and Botox are considered safe. However, both may cause unwanted side effects like dry eyes, muscle weakness, asymmetric eyebrows, and drooping eyelids. Consult a doctor before going for the procedure.

Which lasts longer, Dysport or Botox?

The effects of Dysport appear sooner. However, Botox may last longer than Dysport.

Which is cheaper – Dysport or Botox?

Dysport is cheaper than Botox as it is more diluted.

What precautions should I follow after a session of Botox or Dysport?

Do not rub or massage the injected area for 4 hours after treatment, and avoid heavy physical labor, facial treatments, and sauna for 4 hours after treatment.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.


  1. Medication Guide BOTOX Cosmetic
    https://www.fda.gov/media/77359/download
  2. “DYSPORT® (abobotulinumtoxinA) for injection” for intramuscular use
    https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/125274s107lbl.pdf
  3. “Conversion Ratio between Botox®” “Dysport®” and Xeomin® in Clinical Practice
    https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6651/8/3/65/htm
  4. Botulinum toxin (Botox) A for reducing the appearance of facial wrinkles: a literature review of clinical use and pharmacological aspect
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6489637/
  5. “BOTOX (onabotulinumtoxinA) for injection” for intramuscular “intradetrusor” or intradermal use
    https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2011/103000s5232lbl.pdf

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Ramona is a journalist-turned-content writer. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has been writing for the digital world for over five years. She specializes in writing for Skin Care. She has done a certificate course titled ‘Dermatology: Trip To The Skin’, offered by Novosibirsk State University. She believes that beauty begins with a good skin care regimen and is on a mission to eliminate all toxins from her routine. She helps and guides readers in selecting products and ingredients specific to their skin type/issue. When Ramona is not working, her books and passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.