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  • Writer's pictureJoan

Face Off with Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin. Which Neurotoxin is For You?

Updated: Mar 9

The world of cosmetic enhancements has come a long way, offering various treatments that can help you achieve a more youthful and radiant appearance. When it comes to reducing wrinkles and fine lines, Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin are the big players. Though these treatments have similar applications, they are not identical. This article aims to help you understand the differences between these three popular neurotoxins and why you might choose one over the others.

Botox: The Household Name

What Is Botox?

Botox is a brand name for Botulinum Toxin Type A, a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum. In a medical setting, Botox is commonly used as an injectable treatment that temporarily paralyzes or weakens targeted muscles. This property has made it exceptionally effective for various therapeutic and cosmetic applications, including treating muscle spasms, migraines, and, most famously, diminishing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Botox received FDA approval for cosmetic use in 2002. Since then, its popularity has skyrocketed. It became a cultural phenomenon, synonymous with the quest for ageless beauty. Celebrities openly talked about their Botox treatments, and the media covered it exhaustively, contributing to its meteoric rise. Botox is probably the most popular minimally invasive cosmetic procedure in the United States.

Over the years, the use of Botox has expanded to treat a variety of medical conditions, including chronic migraines, excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), and even some gastrointestinal disorders. This versatility has further entrenched Botox as a staple in both the medical and aesthetic fields.

Why Choose Botox?

  • Broad Recognition: It's the most widely recognized and researched, making it a trusted choice for many.

  • Effectiveness: Botox delivers noticeable results, diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

  • Versatility: Besides cosmetic applications, Botox has medical uses such as treating migraines and excessive sweating.

  • Duration: Effects usually last between 3 to 6 months.

  • Convenience: Treatments are quick and require virtually no downtime.

  • Accessibility: With more healthcare providers offering Botox, it has become increasingly accessible to a broader demographic.

Dysport: The Quick Fix

What Is Dysport?

Dysport, like Botox, is a brand name for a formulation of Botulinum Toxin Type A. It serves as a neuromuscular blocking agent, which temporarily inhibits the activity of targeted muscles. Dysport has both cosmetic and therapeutic uses, with its most popular application being the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, particularly on the forehead and around the eyes.

In April 2009, Dysport received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for both aesthetic and medical uses, including treating forehead wrinkles and cervical dystonia, a disorder causing painful muscle spasms in the neck.

While Botox may be the more well-known name in the United States, Dysport has carved out a significant niche for itself in the botulinum toxin market, especially in Europe. One of the key differentiators is that Dysport is often reported to act faster than Botox, with patients seeing results in just 24 to 48 hours as opposed to the 3-5 days commonly associated with Botox.

Dysport is also praised for its more diffuse spreading properties, making it potentially better suited for treating larger areas like extensive forehead wrinkles. However, this feature can be a double-edged sword, as the broad diffusion may not be suitable for areas requiring pinpoint accuracy.

Why Choose Dysport?

  • Speed: Dysport tends to work faster, often showing results within 24 to 48 hours.

  • Spread: Dysport has a thinner consistency, allowing it to spread over a broader area. This makes it a better choice for treating larger areas like forehead wrinkles.

  • Competitive Pricing: Dysport is sometimes priced slightly lower than Botox, making it a more economical choice for some consumers.

Xeomin: The Purist’s Choice

What Is Xeomin?

Xeomin is another brand name for Botulinum Toxin Type A, serving as a neuromuscular blocking agent much like Botox and Dysport. What sets Xeomin apart is its "purity" — it is formulated without any accessory proteins, containing only the active neurotoxin. This makes it less likely to trigger allergic reactions. Xeomin is approved for both aesthetic and therapeutic uses, including the treatment of fine lines and wrinkles, cervical dystonia, and blepharospasm (blinking or other eyelid movements, like twitching, that you can't control)

Xeomin made its debut in the United States in 2010 when it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for specific therapeutic uses, including the treatment of adults with cervical dystonia and blepharospasm. It later received approval for cosmetic applications, such as treating frown lines between the eyebrows, in 2011.

Xeomin may be considered the "new kid on the block" compared to its older siblings Botox and Dysport, but it has quickly gained traction in both the medical and cosmetic communities. One of its selling points is its "naked" formulation, which reduces the risk of developing resistance that can occur with other botulinum toxin products. This makes it an appealing option for those who may have stopped responding to Botox or Dysport treatments.

Why Choose Xeomin?

  • Purity: Xeomin's clean formulation may be advantageous for people who have developed resistance to other botulinum toxin products or who are prone to allergies.

  • Efficacy: Studies have shown that Xeomin is just as effective as Botox in treating various conditions, although individual results may vary.

  • Quick Onset: Takes effect quickly, often within a few days.

How to Choose a Neurotoxin for you?

For First-Timers:

If you've never had a botulinum toxin treatment before, Botox may be chosen due to its broad recognition and extensive body of research.

For Quick Results:

If you're looking for quicker results for an upcoming event, Dysport's rapid onset may be beneficial.

For the Allergy-Prone:

If you have sensitive skin or are concerned about allergic reactions, the purity of Xeomin might be your best choice.

The Frequent Flyer :

If you have stopped responding to Botox or Dysport in the way you are used to, you may try Xeomin for the results you are looking for.

You should always consult with a licensed medical professional, like Joan Kelly, the Medical Director of Alainn Medical Aesthetics in Bedford, Massachusetts to answer any of your questions so that you are sure to make the right decision for you.

Image of bottle of neurotoxins
Popular Neurotoxins


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