“Botox” has been around for a considerably long time but, it wasn’t approved until 2002 by the FDA for the treatment of frown lines between the eyebrows. Since then it has become a regular part of American culture. Health Magazine reports that in 2013 there were 6.3 million Botox injections in the United States alone. The website Today.com, reported that same year that people who are as young as their early 20s were receiving Botox treatments in order to get a head start on preventing wrinkles. Thus, Botox, and its competitor Dysport, are two of the most popular Type-A Botulin Injectibles that are being used to improve facial wrinkles. Botox alone, for example, is now being used in 85 countries to treat 25 medical AND cosmetic conditions.
What are Botox and Dysport?
Both Botox and Dysport (onabotulinumtoxinA), are made from the bacterium that causes botulism. These toxin blocks nerve activity in muscles causing a temporary reduction in muscular activity. When injected into patients in small doses, Botox/Dysport blocks the release of acetylcholine. This chemical signals muscle contraction. By interfering with the muscles’ ability to contract, wrinkles and frown lines are smoothed out. In some cases, they become nearly invisible shortly after treatment. In addition to its role in lessening the appearance of facial wrinkles, Botox/Dysport has been used to treat:
- Treating severe spasms in the neck, upper limbs and lower limbs
- Underarm sweating (hyperhidrosis)
- Eye twitching and spasms
- Overactive bladder and incontinence
- Migraine headache relief
The main difference between Dysport and Botox is that Dysport works quicker than Botox (2-5 days vs. 4-7 for Botox). Dysport also spreads wider when injected, giving the patient a softer look than Botox.
During the Procedure
The procedure for receiving Botox/Dysport injections is relatively simple; it requires no anesthesia and only takes a few minutes. Botox/Dysport injections usually take place in a physician’s office. During the actual treatment, a doctor injects the patient with a thin needle in the target area (s) using a specific number of units. However many units the doctor might inject will depend on the size of the area being treated as well as the severity of the wrinkling, etc.
After the Procedure
Patients can often resume their normal schedule immediately after injections although, it is advised that they refrain from touching, rubbing, or otherwise aggravating the treated area(s) as much as possible for 3-4 hours post treatment. Usually 7 to 10 days will pass before the full effect of the treatment takes place. Side effects that can occur after Botox/Dysport injections include rash, itching, headache, neck or back pain, muscle weakness, muscle stiffness, sore throat and other ailments. Patients should consult their physician if any of these conditions become severe. Botox and Dysport have each been found to have uses far beyond their initial applications. Indeed, both are more known today for helping to control and reduce wrinkles than they are for their other uses such as for migraines, tennis elbow, gummy smile, etc. But as long as people seek to extend their youth, Botox/Dysport will continue to dominate the market for cosmetic improvement against wrinkles and aging.