If you have been thinking about adding injectables as an offering to your clients, you may be curious about the differences between the various neurotoxins like Botox and Xeomin. While neurotoxins as a category all work the same, which is to temporarily paralyze the muscles around the injection site, there are nuanced differences between them all.

What Is Botox?

There are four botulinum neurotoxins that are FDA approved to treat facial lines including Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeauveau. All of these brands work by temporarily weakening or paralyzing the muscles in the treatment area, yet each of them has slightly different formulations and areas in which they are approved to treat. Botox specifically is used to treat dynamic facial lines in the forehead, crow’s feet, glabellar lines (the 11 lines), and neck wrinkles. Botox is manufactured by Allergan and its generic name is onabotulinum toxin Type A. Botox is FDA approved for both medical and cosmetic use and has proven to be safe in numerous clinical studies.

Results from Botox typically last four to six months and according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost is $466 per session. Depending on the treatment area, the recommended dosage will vary. To sustain achieved results, follow-up treatments will be required accordingly. Botox is considered safe however there can be side effects. The most common side effects are 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. In rare cases, Botox can cause paralysis and carries a slight risk of botulinum toxicity.

What Is Xeomin?

Like Botox, Xeomin is another brand named neurotoxin injectable. Xeomin, which is manufactured by Merz Pharma, was FDA approved in 2010 specifically for the treatment of frown lines including ones on the forehead, between the eyebrows (11 lines), and crow’s feet around the eyes. In addition to treating wrinkles, the FDA has also approved Xeomin for treating medical conditions like excessive drooling and salivation, in addition to treating abnormal muscle contractions of the eyelids, neck, and limbs.

The main difference between the two injectables is that, unlike Botox, Xeomin does not contain an inactive protein as an additive. Many consider Xeomin to be “naked Botox” because it is the purified form of botulinum toxin type A. It’s manufactured in a way that removes the accessory protein, which is not necessary for the neurotoxin to work, from the active ingredient. This is an important distinguishing characteristic between the two injectables. The reason being is that some people who regularly receive Botox can build up antibodies to the added proteins that can lead to desensitization of the treatment, rendering it ineffective. Furthermore, the added proteins can increase the risk of allergic reactions. The cost per treatment with Xeomin is on par with Botox and the results last roughly three months.

Like Botox and the other neurotoxins, Xeomin is generally considered to be safe. However, like any procedure, there can be side effects like pain and bruising at the injection site, dry eyes or mouth, headaches, neck ache, or back pain, and the possibility of an unknown allergy to botulinum toxin type A.

Bottom Line

As we mentioned above, both Botox and Xeomin 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. Unlike Botox, Xeomin does not contain additional proteins as additives so many consider Xeomin to be the more natural or pure form of botulinum toxin type A. Either way, both botox, and Xeomin offer an effective, non-invasive treatment option to temporarily reduce fine lines and wrinkles.