Dysport Aesthetic™ (formerly, Reloxin) is a wrinkle-reducer that competes with the more popular, Botox® Cosmetic. Having been used around the world for over 16 years, Dysport™ entered the USA in 2009 and the Canadian market in 2013. It offers subtle differences in its formulaic composition of botulinum toxin type A, making it ideal for specific types of wrinkles on the face. That is, namely, glabellar lines (vertical lines between the eyebrows) and lateral canthal lines (colloquially known as crow’s feet).
What is there to love about Dysport Aesthetic™?
Dysport™ is a non-surgical, minimally invasive way to smooth out frown lines and crow’s feet near the eyes. It can help to make you appear happier, brighter and more rested. Most people opt for this procedure because they are bothered by the look of their wrinkles, and would like a quick, pick-me-up solution – even if it is temporary (which Dysport™ is). Others find injectable facial treatments to be a great way to maintain their anti-aging regimen.
Compared to Botox®, Dysport™ patients see quicker results, within 2 to 5 days. Botox® can take 4 – 7 days for results to begin to show. Given its quick acting formula, Dysport™ can be a solution for those who want a last-minute treatment, such as for an upcoming party or event, where they want to look their best. Also, with Botox®, you may have to wait a few weeks for the ‘softer’ look, whereas Dysport™ appears ‘soft’ right away.
For regular users of Botox®, it’s possible to build up antibodies that make your skin resistant to its effects. This is because of the added proteins to the formula, which make it unique, compared to Dysport™. If you are someone who has these antibodies, but loved the effects of Botox®, you may have another chance at using this anti-wrinkle solution again, using Dysport™. Though, as mentioned above, Dysport™ is only for certain areas on the face.
Dysport™ has undergone multiple clinical trials to prove its safety and efficacy. It wouldn’t be available in Canada or the USA without this requirement, since cosmetic injectables must be approved by Health Canada or the FDA to be allowed. This is unlike the rules in other countries, were many hundreds of cosmetic injectable solutions are available. That said, Dysport™ has been used for decades in Europe, both for cosmetic and medical uses.
Different sources online will say that either Dysport™ or Botox® are longer-lasting. Some will also say that Dysport™ is cheaper, but needs a higher dosage than Botox® for the same effect. In our experience these so-called differences are hard to pinpoint (they are not scientifically confirmed yet, either). Everyone will react differently to any anti-wrinkle injectable. So the true test of which one works better will be measured on an individual basis. At our medical skin care clinic in Surrey, the cost for both treatments, along with their third alternative, Xeomin™, are the same, as is their estimated treatment frequency (every 3 to 4 months).
One thing is for sure, however: Dysport™, Botox® and Xeomin™ are not identical treatments, and can’t be used in the same way during the application process. It is extremely important that only a trained professional (i.e. a doctor) does any injections into your skin, for safety.
What types of wrinkles can Dysport Aesthetic™ be used for?
The use of Dysport™ is quite specific. It is not used for all wrinkles on the face. For aesthetics, it is primarily used on five spots around the forehead, eyebrows and near the outer corner of the eyes. It can help smooth:
- Moderate to deep glabellar lines (vertical lines between eyebrows that look like frown lines, even if you’re not frowning). It’s not the right solution for mild forms of these lines, or the type that can’t be smoothed by pressing on them.
- Lateral canthal lines (crow’s feet, the wrinkles at the corner of your eyes, sometimes referred to as laugh lines).
While Dysport™ does have medical applications for neuromuscular conditions, we choose to use Botox® for these treatments at our Surrey medi-spa clinic. We would advise you to speak to your doctor if you think either of these solutions could be a solution for your non-cosmetic needs.
Some people are not eligible Dysport Aesthetic™, or may not see effectiveness from it. This will depend on a person-to-person scenario, due to the differences in genetic conditions and features, past procedures done to the face, scars, allergies etc.
We encourage you to book an in-person consultation at our clinic, so we can take a look at your case, and make a recommended treatment plan. Our advice may be to use Dysport™, or other solutions we have at our office, of which there are many.
How does Dysport Aesthetic™ work for wrinkle reduction?
Dysport Aesthetic™ is a diluted and adapted form of botulinum toxin type A, a neurotoxic protein, which also comes in other forms under different brand names. Botulinum toxin type A, in its cosmetic and medical usage, is a neuromuscular paralytic agent that intentionally relaxes the muscles. When used for beauty treatments, the result is that it smooths the wrinkles on your skin, temporarily.
As you squint or frown, over time, these lines become ingrained in your skin. They may show even when your face is expressionless. As you age, your skin also loses elasticity and that ‘bounce back’ quality. This makes your skin sag and loosen, which adds to the problem of wrinkles.
While some cosmetic injectables (such as dermal fillers) work by adding collagen back into your skin, Dysport Aesthetic™ works by blocking neves, which then stop the movement of muscles underneath your skin, which then ‘flattens’ the wrinkles.
In this ‘family’ of cosmetic, botulinum toxin type A adaptations there are:
- onabotulinumtoxinA (this is Botox®)
- incobotulinumtoxinA (this is Xeomin™)
- abobotulinumtoxinA (this is Dysport™)
You can read more about the science of how these work, here. However, the main takeaway is that they are different, namely by their potency, molecule size, unit of measurement and additives. These very slight differences cause the neurotoxin to behave differently. That is why they are designed for different uses on the face, and also why they are not interchangeable.
Due to the specifics of the Dysport™ formula, it has more of an ability to ‘spread’ when injected. This is useful for its approved applications. However, it can have drawbacks for other areas, including for safety.
During the application of Dysport Aesthetic™, the physician must be very attuned to your specific facial anatomy. This is because the size and position of muscles in the face are different from person to person. You’ll be asked to squint and frown, and make certain facial expressions, so the doctor can measure where the needle injection should go. Since Dysport™ is different in consistency than other cosmetic injectables, it will also be very important not to inject too close to the eyebrows or eyes, for instance. Dysport™ must also be injected at specific angles, at 5 different spots, which a trained physician will know about.
No anaesthetic is needed with Dysport™ injections. Most patients are able to tolerate the minimal discomfort during the procedure.
Because of the above considerations, we can’t stress enough that only a trained, qualified physician should be using Dysport™ on you. Being a doctor led clinic, where only a doctor does injections, our practice gives you the peace of mind of not having to worry as much about the potential for droopy eyelids, unintentional muscle paralysis and other serious side effects, which can be a result of mishandling the product (though, many side effects are always ‘disclaimer’ risks).
How many Dysport™ treatments does it take to see results?
Dysport™ is a temporary solution to forehead frown lines and crow’s feet. Each injection session will last roughly 3 to 4 months. However, some people may notice that it lasts longer for them. Most often, people come in for ‘refill’ treatments to smooth their wrinkles, just as they would with Botox® or dermal fillers.
Is there downtime after Dysport™ injections? What about side effects?
For the typical patient, downtime after a Dysport™ injection is not an issue. There may be temporary swelling, redness or bruising. But these usually go away within one week. Most people return to their normal activities immediately after the treatment session at our Surrey skincare clinic.
That said, it will be important to follow certain habits around the time of your Dysport™ treatments, including:
- Not taking any blood thinning medications before and after injections (these may increase the chance of bruising). This includes aspirin and even garlic or supplements that do the same.
- Not rubbing or scratching the treatment area after injection (even if it’s itchy!). If you think something’s not right, we’ll ask you to come in to our office, but refrain from touching (it can spread the toxin too much).
- Avoiding strenuous activity, heat or cold after injection, for at least a few days.
Before a Dysport™ treatment, you will be asked about your entire health history, current medications, allergies (especially to milk), existing medical conditions, and other factors that can affect whether or not you’d be eligible for this anti-wrinkle solution. It will be important to notify us of as much detail as possible – even if you think it’s not related, and even if you didn’t have a problem with Botox® or other similar treatments before. Remember, Dysport™ is different from other injectables, and will behave differently in your body than you may expect.
We will also explain possible side effects and cautions, during your initial consultation with us.
No one under the age of 18, or over 65, or who is pregnant or breastfeeding should be receiving a Dysport™ injection.
The severe side effects of Dysport™ are very rare. While we’ll take every precaution we can to avoid them, by finding out your health history, you should know that they are technically always possible. We will be there to stand by you if anything like this happens. And, it’s ok to call us for ‘just in case’ reasons! Don’t let your concerns wait!
What is the cost of Dysport™ injections at your skin clinic?
Dysport™ cost is determined very much by your specific needs. The only way to come to a reliable estimate for your case is to see you in person, and learn about what you’re trying to solve. Since each person’s anatomy will be different, the severity of their wrinkles will also differ. This can affect how many units of Dysport™ are needed for a treatment.
Also, while media or friends may make it seem like the best thing, sometimes Dysport™ is actually not the right solution for what a patient is trying to have treated. Depending on what is bothering you, we may recommend another treatment path, or a mix of different solutions. Dysport™ is just one of many products and facial procedures available at our skincare clinic. Because of the extensiveness of what we do, we are able to give custom, ‘on target’ solutions to our clients.
So, while we can’t give exact pricing until we see you for an in-person consultation, we can let you know that typical Dysport™ treatments start at $275 and go up from there. This is just to give you a ballpark figure, to know what to expect. And, this base rate is subject to change without notice.
Our pricing is a flat fee for service time, equipment, expertise and the cost of the product itself. Plus of course, any follow up medical treatment or visits that may be needed afterwards.
Based on RealSelf.com, on over 970 reviews, people report having paid an average of $598 CAD for Dysport™ treatments. However, this from an extreme low, to an extreme high, and entirely based on user inputs. We mention this just to give you an idea of general industry pricing. That said, the same website also claims that 96% said it was “worth it”!