Just like other products you might buy, different drug companies offer versions of the same basic product in order to offer consumers a variety of options. This also helps encourage innovation in products for cosmetic rejuvenation. Botulinum toxin is a popular wrinkle treatment that is most often sold under the Botox brand. However, Botox is no longer the only option on the market for this type of injectable treatment. Two other FDA approved products are also available: Dysport and Xeomin, both promising similar results to Botox. So what is the difference between these products, and which should you choose?
The Basics of Botulinum Toxin Treatments
Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin are all variations of the same type of bacteria: botulinum toxin. These formulas all work in a very similar way, as all three are neuromodulators, which are used to manipulate muscle movement. The basic premise is that these treatments work by temporarily suppressing the nerve impulses of facial muscles, partially limiting their movement and helping to ease “dynamic” wrinkles in the face. Dynamic wrinkles occur in the most expressive areas of the face and are caused by repetitive facial movements. The most common areas to be treated with these injections include the forehead, between the eyebrows, and at the corners of the eyes (crows’ feet).
The injection process is brief and fairly simple, but it does take a skilled and artistic eye to yield good results from each treatment. Most patients tolerate the minor discomfort of the process well, and the only common side effects are minimal, typically some minor swelling and/or bruising at the injection site, which subsides quickly. No downtime is required from the treatment, and the results can be seen a few days following the procedure, depending on the product used. Results typically last about 3-4 months.
Because the three products are all slightly different formulas, there are minor differences in the results of the treatments. However, these differences are very slight, and preferences are highly subjective. Most surgeons use the products fairly interchangeably, but there are some situations in which doctors will favor one product over another. Sometimes, people develop an immunity to one of the drugs. If one formula does not work for a given patient, it may be worth trying another formula. Here are the details on each type of injectable:
The classic botulinum toxin product, Botox has a rich history and a devoted following. Proven to be safe and effective, Botox is often the first treatment people turn to when signs of aging start to creep up. It is a standard by which other treatments are often judged. Botox is thought to spread the least of the three formulas, so it may be best for patients with deep, concentrated wrinkles.
A middle ground between the other two formulas, Dysport is known to spread a bit faster than Botox, and is often the next alternative for patients who have developed an immunity to Botox. One unique benefit of Dysport is the quick results patients enjoy—typically benefits can be seen within about 2-3 days, while Botox and Xeomin can take up to 10 days to start working.
The newcomer on the scene, the biggest difference between Xeomin and the other two treatments is that this formula does not contain protective proteins. This can cause it to spread faster, but it may also be less precise than the other options. Xeomin, as a “naked” molecule, is also less likely to cause allergic reactions in patients.
Which Should You Choose?
Because the products are so similar, it can be difficult to determine which product is right for you. Many people opt for the popular choice—Botox, at least to begin with. However, Dysport and Xeomin are just as effective and may have differences in cost or other factors. Only a qualified provider can give you specific advice about which treatment might be right for you. Remember, botulinum toxin treatments are temporary, so it is fine if you want to try out a few different injections before you settle on the one you like the best.
The Right Provider
Providing consistently excellent results from injectable treatments requires a great deal of skill, and a different technique for each product. A skilled and experienced board certified plastic surgeon should be your choice for any anti-aging treatment you pursue, as you will maximize your chances of success and minimize the possibility of complications.
If you are looking for a dedicated plastic surgeon in the Boston area with expertise in botulinum toxin injections, come to Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery in Worcester (508-363-6500) or Stoneham (617-247-0033), MA and meet with Dr. Stuart Bentkover. Dr. Bentkover has decades of experience, and keeps up with relevant advances in the field to continue offering patients the best care possible. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Bentkover, call either location today.