Botox, Dysport or Xeomin? What is the difference and how do I choose?

 

There are three main products used in the US to treat fine lines and wrinkles in the upper face. Botox (manufactured by Allergan), Dysport (manufactured by Galderma), and Xeomin(manufactured by Merz) are all injectable neuromodulators. What is a neuromodulator and why do I want one? Wrinkles are created by repetitive movements of the facial muscles over time. Neuromodulators temporarily block the nerve impulses (3-6 months) of targeted muscles which reduces or eliminates contraction-induced wrinkles. How cool is that?

What is it?

Each brand has a slightly different recipe of the same substance, bacterium Clostridium Botulinum, or Botulinum Toxin A. They all work the same way and block the nerve impulses of the injected muscles to temporarily paralyze muscle movements that cause wrinkles.

Botox is the steady Eddie of the group. It has been around the longest and was approved for use in the US by the FDA in 2002. Botox has FDA approval for use in the most areas including the forehead, glabellar (between the eyes) and the crows feet. It can be used in many other areas “off label” but it is important to ensure your using an experienced injector. (There are two at Illume!) Cost per unit is $11-15 a unit.

Xeomin is sometimes considered the “natural” neuromodulator, since it contains no additives or preservatives. It has been on the scene for about 7 -8 years.  It is a favorite go to for those who like the idea of a natural or organic injectable. It does not require refrigeration prior to administering it to a patient, making it easier for transportation and storage and it is sometimes a little less expensive. On average it will last 2-4 months and will cost $9-12 a unit.

Dysport was approved by the FDA in 2009 and has a reputation for having a slightly longer life span (3-6 months) and generally kicks in within 1-3 days. It requires 3 times as many units to achieve the same results as Botox or Xeomin and at $4 a unit runs about $12 compared to each Botox unit. For those who appreciate the quick onset and longer lasting results, this can be a great option. It is not appropriate for use in those who have a lactose allergy. Given the extra time it can take to wear off, we usually suggest that it be reserved for those who have tried and like Botox or Xeomin.

Uses

The most common targets of these injectables are the lines across the forehead and perpendicular frown lines between the brows (also called “The Elevens”).  Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin can be used for a variety of other areas such as  for crows feet, bunny lines, eyebrow lifting, a gummy smile, dental pain, TMJ, migraine headaches and even profuse underarm sweating. It is best to come in and discuss your goals and budget and determine the best plan for you.

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