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What is Dysport?
Dysport is a medication whose scientific name is “abobotulinumtoxinA.” It’s actually a protein that connects with muscle cells and relaxes them for about 3 months. This dramatically reduces wrinkles in the upper face that occur during normal facial expressions. Properly administered, Dysport will result in a smoother appearance without affecting normal expressions in the areas treated.
What areas does Dysport treat?
There are several regions and diagnoses where Dysport is effective. Here’s a concise list of common Dysport uses, or for a more extensive list you can click on the link for more extensive information on treatment options with Dysport.
Horizontal forehead lines –
The classic forehead lines, which form when you try to raise your brows upward.
Vertical frown lines (a.k.a. the 11’s) –
When you furrow your brow, these vertical or diagonal wrinkles form and can get very deep over time.
Crow’s feet –
Sometimes these are incorrectly called ‘smile lines’ because they occur when smiling. Crow’s feet are the smaller wrinkles that radiate out from the corner of the eyes when we smile.
Brow lift –
A very small (2-3 millimeter) brow lift will work in some patients treated with Dysport in the outer eyebrow.
“smoker’s lines” –
These are the smaller wrinkles that radiate out from the lips when you pucker your lips.
Jaw reduction –
Very strong jaw muscles can result in a prominent outer jawline. Dysport can relax these muscles and shrink the jawline.
Neck bands –
If you get strong neck bands when you clench your teeth and then smile, it’s likely that Dysport can at least help soften these bands.
Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) –
This is a real problem for many people and is something that Dysport can effectively treat. Whether the excessive sweating is located in the armpits, forehead, feet or palms, Dysport is likely to help.
How much Dysport is used in treatments?
In the facial regions of treatment, 62 units of Dysport are usually considered a full treatment. However, because Dysport is dosed differently from Botox, there is some debate on what the equivalent amount is. In my office we have found that there is a roughly 2.5 to 1 ratio, meaning that 62.5 units of Dysport seem to be fairly equivalent to 25 units of Botox. Therefore it’s important to note here: a unit of Dysport is not equivalent to a unit of Botox.
Much like Botox and Xeomin, Dysport is priced per unit, and when either more or less is used, the dose is adjusted accordingly for Dysport Injections.
For either lip lines or neck bands, usually 10-20 units of Dysport are used. Treatments for excessive sweating require 250 units of Dysport total (125 units per side), and for treatment of excessive jaw muscle thickness about 62 units per side are used.
How is Dysport similar to and different from Botox and Xeomin?
All three of these options are very similar, and many think they are virtually interchangeable. Though the dose of Dysport injections are a bit different from the other two options, the action of the medications is close to the same. They all relax muscles in a similar way and to a very similar degree. Dysport can affect a slightly larger area around each injection (in other words it “diffuses” a bit more), but again similar results can be achieved with any of these medications in experienced hands.
How long does each treatment last?
That depends a bit on the areas treated, and it’s worth noting that all of these time frames are the same for Dysport, Xeomin and Botox. For the wrinkles of the face and neck bands, a treatment lasts about 3 months, while for hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and jaw muscle reduction a treatment will last about 6 months. One benefit is that for the reduction of facial wrinkles over time a patient may need less and less Dysport injections, or potentially less of a dosage per treatment.
How can I be sure I’ll get the same result each time?
The short answer is: you always should go to a very qualified and experienced injector who is a physician leader in the field of aesthetic medicine. One of my techniques is to make very careful records of each treatment, mapping out every single injection and dosage so that the results are highly reproducible. Most would agree that a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who performs exclusively aesthetic medicine would be the best treatment provider to get highly consistent results.
Is Dysport Safe?
As long as you are being treated by a highly qualified individual, a Dysport treatment is very safe. Since the material is a protein, it is thought to be metabolized completely by the body’s normal enzymes that break down proteins into amino acids. There is no Dysport that can be detected in the body after the effect has worn off. Though there have been some reports of problems with Botox, the problems were always when megadoses we being used or an individual was using an illegal or counterfeit product similar to Botox.
How much does it cost?
Different prices are reported for a Dysport treatment in San Fransicso and across the country, depending on how qualified the injector is. Remember when thinking about price per unit that a unit of Dysport is not the same as a unit of Botox. Usually the strength of a unit of Dysport is considered to be about 0.4 of a unit of Botox, which means that you would need to multiply the price per Botox unit by 0.4 to see if it is roughly equivalent to a price per unit of Dysport. Dysport is priced at around $7-9 per unit in San Francisco when the injection is performed by a properly qualified individual. However, because it takes more units (62 versus 25) to treat you with Dysport, the price ends up being the same for a Botox vs Dysport treatment, or around $450-600 per area.