If you are looking at various injectables to add to your spa’s client service menu to treat fine lines and wrinkles, there is no doubt that you have come across Botox and Dysport. But do you know the differences between the two?

Both Botox and Dysport are types of neurotoxins derived from botulinum toxin and can be used for medical conditions, like neurological disorders. However, both injectables are frequently used as nonsurgical treatments to temporarily reduce wrinkles by relaxing the muscles underneath giving the skin a smoother appearance. Both treatments take only a few minutes to administer, are highly effective, and require little to no downtime. Botox and Dysport have a similar main ingredient of trace protein in the formulations, but amounts of this protein can vary between them.

While Botox and Dysport have some similarities, there are some differences between the two treatment options, which we will delve into below.

What Is Botox?

Botox is a neurotoxin derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum that is commonly used as a non-invasive treatment option to treat forehead lines, crow’s feet, glabellar lines (those vertical lines between your eyebrows), and lines around the neck. It’s manufactured by Allergan and sold under the brand name, Botox. The generic name is OnabotulinumtoxinA. Botox is FDA approved for both medical and cosmetic use and has proven to be safe in numerous clinical studies.

The results of Botox typically last four to six months and according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost is $466 per session. The recommended dosage will vary by treatment area. If results want to be maintained, follow-up treatments will be required. While Botox is considered safe, there can be some side effects with the most common including swelling, bruising, redness, headaches, numbness, and slight pain—which the American Academy of Dermatology says will resolve on their own about a week after the procedure. However, there is a rare risk of paralysis and a slight risk of botulinum toxicity.

What Is Dysport?

Unlike Botox, which is approved to treat a variety of muscles, Dysport is a treatment that is FDA approved specifically to treat moderate or severe glabellar lines that can form in the forehead region.

Repeated muscle contractions in this area of the face can over time cause vertical lines to appear between the eyebrows and forehead. These wrinkles are sometimes referred to as “11s” with most people complaining that they look angry when they are pronounced, as is the case when frowning. These lines become more evident as a person ages due to the fact the skin loses collagen and protein fibers that provide the skin elasticity.

Another difference between the two products is how they are measured. The rule of thumb is one Botox unit equals three Dysport units. Dysport was originally manufactured by a company called Medicis but was purchased several years ago by Galderma. Dysport’s generic name is abobotulinumtoxinA‎. It’s made from the same bacterium Clostridium botulinum as Botox. But it is more diluted and contains less protein than Botox, which is the other difference between the two products.

Just like Botox, Dysport is considered to be generally safe. However, there are still some risks for minor side effects including swelling around the eyes, pain at the site of injection, headaches, as well as a rash, which tend to resolve on their own after a few days.


As we mentioned above, both Botox and Dysport are neurotoxins used to temporarily block muscle contractions and give the skin an overall smoother, more youthful appearance. While there are many similarities in terms of cost, side effects, and how long the results last. There are a few differences. Dysport is only approved to treat the glabellar lines, unlike Botox, which can be used to treat a variety of regions on the face and neck. There are also slight formulation and measurement differences between the two. Either way, both Botox and Dysport offer a highly effective, non-invasive solution to temporarily address fine lines and wrinkles, which are common aesthetic complaints.