Dysport vs Botox: which treatment is best for you?

You know what are completely normal signs of aging….wrinkles. That’s right. We’ll all get them. It’s a truth about us all.

As we age, our skin loses elasticity due to reduced collagen, reduced elastin and increased sun exposure. As a result, facial expressions such as frowning, squinting, and smiling can make wrinkles appear more pronounced. If these wrinkles begin to show up and bother you, there are several cosmetic procedures that allow you to improve your appearance quickly and effectively. 

More and more people are getting injectable treatments to help reduce and prevent these signs of aging (no shame in that game!). So, if you’ve noticed more fine lines and wrinkles that just won’t seem to budge with creams or serums, it’s possible your research has led you here: to neurotoxins – most popularly Botox or Dysport treatments. 

Both neurotoxins are safe and effective, non-invasive, botulinum toxin injections that are primarily used to treat and prevent wrinkles. To help you decide which treatment is best for you, we’ll have a look at the similarities and differences between the two types of “Botox”. We put Botox in quotes here – you want to know why? Many of our patients assume all injectables are “Botox”, but that’s not that case at all. In the aesthetics space, each and every injectable product has a specific job – it’s a science and it’s an art – the perfect blend of the two allow us to help you reach your aesthetic goals.

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What is Botox?

Botox is a type of neurotoxin also known as botulinum toxin injections or Botulinum type A. Botox blocks the muscle contractions in the areas of your face it’s injected into, this lack of movement helps to smooth out your skin and significantly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

Botox was the first FDA-approved Botulinum Type A neuromodulator after it came onto the market in 1989 and was approved for cosmetic use in 2002. It has since become the most popular brand in the injectables space and can be used for a range of medical uses, as well as cosmetic treatments.

The results of Botox are so natural looking that they have become a routine treatment. In fact, it is one of the most popular med spa treatments in the US.

What is Dysport?

Since Botox has become an approved and popular treatment, other companies have also brought injectables to the market to help with wrinkles. 

Dysport was released soon after Botox and was considered to be Botox’s European counterpart, being used in over 60 countries around the world. In 2009, Dysport was approved by the FDA for use in the United States. It has proven to be an effective, non-invasive treatment for wrinkles and fine lines. 

Just like Botox, Dysport’s active ingredient is Botulinum Type A also – the difference is in it’s formula. Once it has been injected, it disables the nerves around the injection site which limits muscle movement and helps to smooth out your skin. Botox can be used to treat a wide range of areas, but Dysport is mainly used to treat moderate to severe forehead lines and glabellar lines (also known as frown lines or 11 lines).

Dysport vs Botox: How do they compare?

Dysport and Botox have a number of similarities and differences that it’s important to be aware of to understand which treatment is right for your skin. 

At first glance, it can seem as though there are no differences between Botox and Dysport. They both contain the same active ingredient (Botulinum Type A) and are used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. But, there are key differences that may mean your aesthetic injector will choose one over the other. 

Here’s a quick rundown of the key differences and more detailed information below:

Dysport Botox 
Procedure typeNon surgical Non surgical 
Areas most commonly treated Lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines) Glabellar lines, forehead lines, crow’s feet, hyperhidrosis
Cost Average cost of $450 per session Average of $550 per session 
Pain You will not feel pain during your treatment but you may feel slight tenderness at the injection site after your treatmentThis treatment does not cause any pain. You may feel some tenderness after your treatment which will dissipate quickly
Number of treatments needed You will need to return for treatment every three to four months to maintain your desired results You can expect to need additional treatment around three to four months after your treatment but it may last longer for some
Expected results Temporary results and you can expect to see improvements in ~5 days with full results at 14 daysIt can take 10-14 days to start seeing full results. The results are temporary. 
Recovery time Little to no recovery time Little to no recovery time 

How are they made? 

The main differences between Botox and Dysport are to do with the formulas of both treatments. 

These include:

  • Dosage – both are dosed differently. It will take 2-3 units of Dysport to achieve the same muscle relaxing strength as one unit of Botox. 
  • Dilution – if you are used to a certain number of Botox units for one treatment, it’s likely that the number of units will need to be increased for Dysport. A higher quantity of Dysport is needed to achieve the same results as Botox. 
  • Molecule size – Dysport contains smaller molecules which means it can work faster than Botox and spreads further. This can be beneficial for some areas of your face but not all of them so it’s important to go to a provider with experience and expertise in the neurotoxin you choose. 
  • Diffusion – Dysport diffuses more than Botox which means it can spread to a broader area once it’s been injected. This means larger treatment areas can be addressed with fewer injections which is great for larger treatment areas. It also means Dysport is less effective for treating smaller areas. 

When will you see results from Botox and Dysport? 

Within seven to 14 days of having your Botox injections, you’ll start to notice improvements. You may start to see results within a few days but it’s recommended you wait for the full 14 days to see the full effects of your treatment. 

Results can last between three to six months. Our bodies process Botox differently and the duration of results can vary from person to person. 

With Dysport, you’ll also see results within seven to 14 days of injection but you are likely to start seeing results within a few days of treatment as it works slightly quicker than Botox. You can expect your results to last anywhere between three to four months. 

Are there any differences in the effectiveness? 

Both treatments have excellent success rates for reducing facial wrinkles. Dysport lasts for three to four months and you will need to keep returning for treatment to maintain your results. 

Botox lasts 3-4 months as well, but may last longer for some depending on where it is injected. In smaller areas such as your eyes, Botox tends to last much longer. Over time, the Botox is broken down into simple proteins and absorbed by your body. This means the movement will start to come back in your facial muscles and you may start to see wrinkles again. You will need to keep returning for treatment to maintain the results of Botox.

Which areas can Botox and Dysport treat? 

When Botox is injected into your face, it stays within the injection area. As a result, Botox is usually preferred for smaller, targeted areas. On the other hand, Dysport diffuses into a larger area once it’s been injected which means it spreads further away from the injection site than Botox. This makes Dysport better for treating larger areas such as your forehead and requires fewer injections for these areas. 

Let’s have a closer look at which treatment is better for each area: 

Wrinkles around your eyes 

Wrinkles around your eyes include 11’s or frown lines, which are the lines that form between your eyebrows, as well as crow’s feet. 

Dysport is also good for treating 11 lines as these tend to be deeper wrinkles. Botox is usually used for crow’s feet as there is less risk of the toxin drifting towards your eyes. 

Forehead lines 

These are the horizontal lines that can form across your forehead. While Botox is a great option, Dysport is also very effective here as it is recommended for larger areas. Dysport spreads more easily away from the injection site so your forehead lines can be treated using fewer injections. 

Lip lines 

These are the vertical wrinkles that appear above your lip. They require a more advanced and precise injection technique which makes Botox the best choice. It will also stay within the small area into which it was injected. 


The procedure for Dysport and Botox are exactly the same. You will have an initial consultation in which your aesthetic injector will assess the current wrinkles on your face and decide on the best treatment, and where. This might involve Botox and Dysport in the same session. 

They are both non-surgical, non-invasive procedures that take less than 20 minutes and allow you to go back to your daily routine right afterwards. 

Your aesthetic injector will mark the intended injection sites and inject the Botox or Dysport into the proper places based on a thorough assessment of your facial anatomy. 

The only difference is that Dysport injections can be deeper than Botox as this helps to cover wider treatment areas. There are some key do’s and don’ts to follow after both treatments including: 

  • Avoid alcohol for 48 hours 
  • Do not massage your face or injection areas to avoid spreading the Botox or Dysport to other areas of your face 
  • Avoid exercise or strenuous activity for at least 24 hours 
  • Avoid direct sun exposure for at least 24 hours 
  • Do not lay down for four hours after treatment 


The average range of both treatments is around $400-800 a session. The range is because the number of units required will vary from person to person and this will dictate the final cost of your treatment.

Dysport usually costs around $450 a session but the price will vary depending on location, clinic and dosage. Botox tends to be more expensive at around $600 per session. Only a consultation will be able to give you an accurate cost of your treatment. 

Side effects 

Both treatments have the same potential side effects but are considered to be safe treatments. Any cosmetic or medical procedure will carry some risk. Reactions include pain and swelling at the injection site, headache and dryness around the eyes. Serious reactions can include muscle weakness, trouble swallowing and breathing but these side effects are extremely rare if your treatments are handled by a licensed professional. Experience matters. We cannot stress this enough.

To book a consultation at our Denver or Greenwood Village clinics, please contact us today.

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