What is BOTOX Cosmetic?

BOTOX® Cosmetic is a prescription drug that, when injected, temporarily paralyzes muscles. It contains a purified and safe form of botulinum toxin A, which is produced by the microbe that causes botulism. Manufactured by Allergan, Inc., it is used to treat permanent furrows and deep wrinkles in the skin that are formed by the continual contraction of facial muscles. In addition to its cosmetic applications, it is used to treat a number of medical problems, including excessive sweating, overactive bladder, neck spasms, crossed eyes, chronic back and jaw pain, and migraines.

BOTOX Treatment Areas

Botox was originally approved for the treatment of eye and muscle spasms, but BOTOX Cosmetic was quickly recognized for its cosmetic value. BOTOX® treatments are highly effective, and in most people will create a more alert, refreshed and younger appearance. Properly placed injections of BOTOX Cosmetic block nerve impulses sent to muscles, weakening them to the point where they cannot contract, and temporarily eliminating moderately severe wrinkles and lines. BOTOX Cosmetic is used to treat the following:

  • Forehead lines
  • Vertical “frown” lines between the eyebrows
  • Crow’s feet
  • Visible bands on the neck
  • Enhancing facial expressions by raising the brows and corners of the mouth
  • Excessive sweating

BOTOX Injections and Results

Using a very fine needle, BOTOX Cosmetic is injected directly into facial muscles that are causing furrows and lines. Results can usually be seen within 3 days of treatment, but can take up to 2 weeks for full effect.

How Long Does BOTOX last?

Botox duration varies, but can last anywhere from 3 to 6 months in most cases. The results of treatment wear off gradually as the toxin loses efficacy and muscles will start getting more active.

How Often Should I Get BOTOX Injections?

Botox injections can safely be scheduled every 3 months. The average period between touch-ups is about 12 weeks. There is no firm guideline about Botox treatments except to wait at least 90 days before getting additional treatment.


Both are a type of botulinum type A used to relax muscles that cause wrinkles, the most common being deep forehead lines, frown lines and crows feet. Both products are similar, but some prefer one over the other. Dysport is typically cheaper than Botox, but you will need more units of Dysport to equal 1 unit of Botox. Both show similar efficacy and side effects, and in most double-blind clinical studies both the patient and the doctor were unable to tell the results apart. There is anecdotal evidence that Dysport may last slightly longer, spread farther, and take effect more quickly than BOTOX (usually 2-5 days, while Botox starts working in 3-6). In truth, the dose injected for each product is more important than the specific product in regards to getting longer results. Dysport does provide an alternative for small number of individuals that develop antibodies against Botox, rendering it ineffective, since Dysport is a different molecule and not susceptible to the Botox antibody.

Anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding, or has avneuromuscular disease, should not receive Botox or Dysport.

What is Dysport?

Prescription Dysport® injectable is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment for temporarily lessening or eliminating moderate-to-severe frown lines between the eyebrows. Like BOTOX® Cosmetic, Dysport injectable is placed directly into the muscle underneath a furrow, weakening the muscle to the point where it cannot contract.

Candidates for Dysport

According to the manufacturer's website, candidates for Dysport injectable are "adults less than 65 years of age" who want "temporary improvement in the look of moderate-to-severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines)." It may not be suitable for those with the following:

  • An allergy to cow's milk protein
  • Allergies to Dysport injectable or its ingredients
  • Surgical facial changes
  • Very weak muscles in the treatment area
  • A face that looks very different on each side
  • Inflammation or infection in the area to be injected
  • Droopy eyelids or sagging eyelid folds
  • Deep facial scars
  • Thick, oily skin
  • Wrinkles that cannot be smoothed when spread apart

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