Dysport vs Botox: Which Wrinkle Injectable Has Less Side Effects?

When it comes to anti-aging and skin rejuvenation, botulinum neurotoxins Botox and Dysport are the most popular go-to treatments. These cosmetic injectables have been proven safe and effective for erasing prominent facial wrinkles and fine lines. But while it’s already been established that they have similar applications and mechanisms of action, it’s still common to wonder whether one injectable has fewer side effects than the other. 

So is there a significant difference between the potential side effects of Dysport and Botox? No, the side effects of Botox and Dysport injections are almost the same. The reason for this is that they’re both botulinum toxin products. Some of the common side effects to expect are injection site pain, minor swelling, redness, bruising, tenderness, and headache. 

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Are There Differences Between The Side Effects Of Botox and Dysport? 

For decades, Botox has been considered the gold standard for treating the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines in both men and women. It was the neurotoxin that first received FDA approval in 2002 but only seven years later, the Dysport injectable was cleared for use in glabellar lines. From then on, cosmetic providers have been able to provide more options for patients who want to eliminate the signs of wrinkles and aging on their skin. 

One question that people most likely have about Botox and Dysport treatments is how their side effects differ from each other. To put it simply, there’s very little distinction between their possible reactions. In clinical studies, both Dysport and Botox injections have been touted as an overall safe cosmetic treatment.  

The side effects that have been reported from the procedures are likewise similar since they are both derived from botulinum toxin type A. They only differ in the form of botulinum toxin and proteins that are present in the injection. 

What Are The Common Injection Reactions You Need To Know 

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Both the procedures for administering Botox and Dysport are non-invasive and low-risk as long as they’re administered by an experienced injector. There’s minimal risk for adverse effects and complications, although they can still happen due to poor injection techniques and lack of precision among other skills.

Here’s an overview of the common post-treatment side effects as well as the rare reactions that may occur from Botox and Dysport injections: 

 Botox Dysport
Most common side effectsSwelling, redness, pain, numbness, headache, bruisingInjection-site pain and discomfort swelling, bruising, redness, numbness 
Less common side effectsBrow ptosis, droopy eyelid, dry mouth, blurred vision Dry eyes, dry mouth, drooping eyelids 
Rare side effects that may require emergency medical attentionBotulism or botulinum toxicity Botulism or botulinum toxicity, allergy to cow’s milk protein 

1) Injection site reactions 

Pain, swelling, bruising, mild redness, and numbness are all common side effects that may occur at the injected site. They usually happen as a reaction to the needle penetration during the procedure since Botox and Dysport are delivered intramuscularly. Most of these reactions can be noticeable immediately and may persist for several days or weeks after treatment. The good thing is that they’re easily manageable and will go away on their own. 

2) Brow ptosis 

This side effect happens when the injected Botox or Dysport migrates to the muscles that control the eyebrows (levator muscle) and causes the brows to relax and droop downward. This can be avoided by ensuring that your injector has proper skill and training for the injections. 

Fortunately, the neurotoxin injections aren’t permanent and this side effect will resolve as the toxin wears off over months. But if you want it to be corrected immediately, you can get additional injections to correct the drooping or unevenness of the brows. 

3) Drooping of the upper eyelids 

Eyelid droop happens when the toxin is placed in the wrong site, which could cause muscle weakness to the muscles that allow the eyelids to move. Additionally, they may occur when the brows begin to sag downward and cause the skin to droop on the upper eyelid. This condition should resolve on its own within 3 to 4 weeks but it can also be remedied with apraclonidine eye drops. 

4) Headache 

Mild headaches are common in Botox and Dysport-treated patients who receive the injections for forehead lines and wrinkles. This can occur due to poor injection technique or over-contraction of the facial muscles in the forehead. Thankfully, most post-injection headaches aren’t that intense and they’ll subside within a few hours or days. It can also be alleviated by taking pain relief medications or OTC headache remedies. 

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5) Dry mouth 

When placing the neurotoxin injections in some facial areas, it may also sometimes affect saliva production and lead to mouth dryness. It can also be accompanied by some level of hoarse or sore throat and a sticky feeling inside the mouth. This can be remedied by drinking lots of water for the following days after the procedure or taking lozenges to stimulate saliva production.

6) Dry eyes

Some vision problems may also happen when Botox or Dysport are used for the treatment of lines and wrinkles around the eyes. This occurs because the neurotoxin may temporarily affect your eye movement and make it difficult to close the eyelid, which then leads to dryness of eye tissues or excessive tearing that causes blurred vision.  

7) Allergic reactions

In the case of Dysport injections, it contains cow’s milk protein and those who have an allergy to it may be at a slight risk for allergic reactions if they proceed with the treatment. People are advised to seek medical attention if they experience signs of allergic reactions such as difficulty breathing, itching, rashes, and facial swelling. 

8) Botulism

This is a complication related to the active ingredient in Botox and Dysport. Fortunately, the cosmetic injections are sterilized and diluted so there’s a low risk of botulinum toxicity but you may contract it when you consume foods that have been contaminated with the bacterium clostridium botulinum. Getting medical treatment is recommended to diagnose possible signs of botulism.

Botox and Dysport Aftercare: How To Minimize The Side Effects

Photo of a cheerful young pretty girl walking outdoors at the beach

The procedure for receiving Botox and Dysport is considered minimally invasive and most patients can expect to return to their normal activities right after. But to assure a smooth and comfortable recovery, here are several aftercare instructions that you need to remember: 

  • Apply an ice pack immediately to reduce the swelling and redness in the injected site 
  • Remain upright and keep the treated area elevated for at least several hours to avoid unwanted migration of the toxin to other locations  
  • Avoid engaging in strenuous exercise within 24 to 48 hours after the procedure 
  • Don’t take any blood-thinning medications since they may prolong bruising 
  • Don’t apply too much pressure on the facial muscles that have been injected

How Exactly Do Botox and Dysport Differ From One Another? 

As anti-wrinkle treatments, both Botox and Dysport work by inhibiting the release of certain chemical signals that cause muscle contraction. Once the facial muscles are relaxed, the appearance of severe wrinkles and fine lines will soften for a period of time. However, these two injections aren’t totally the same and there are key distinctions, particularly in their formulation. 

 Botox Dysport 
Form of botulinum toxin OnabotulinumtoxinAAbobotulinumtoxinA
Dilution and molecule sizesIts formulation contains more proteins and it has a larger molecule composition than Dysport. For this reason, Botox injections are more potent and work more effectively for smaller areas with pesky wrinkles. It’s more diluted and contains smaller molecules as well as fewer proteins compared to Botox. This means that Dysport injections can spread easier so they can treat broader areas and larger muscles. 
Common applications Botox is approved for moderate to severe forehead wrinkles, frown lines, and crow’s feet. It's also used for non-surgical brow lift and lip augmentation. 
This treatment also has several therapeutic uses, mainly for chronic migraine, focal hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating, overactive bladder, and neck muscle spasms. 
Dysport is approved only for the treatment of glabellar lines. It can also be used for chronic conditions such as cervical dystonia and upper limb spasticity. 
Onset of results and how long its effects last You can see the full effects of Botox within 7 to 14 days from the treatment. Patients can enjoy smoother and wrinkle-free skin for 4 to 6 months. Because of its unique formulation, Dysport is believed to have a quicker onset of results and improvements may be seen a few days earlier than Botox. You can enjoy its effects for at least 3 to 6 months. 

Which Cosmetic Injectable Should You Choose? 

Close up portrait of young smiling pretty woman having botox rejuvenation procedure

It’s always best to have a consultation with your dermatologist or cosmetic provider to know which injectable will effectively work for your skin concerns and desired goals. Some factors that are considered before deciding on which injectable to use are: 

  • The facial area or the type of skin problem that is being treated 
  • How soon you want to see the results - Dysport may produce faster results compared to Botox. 
  • Cost of the treatment - On average, the price for Dysport treatments is more inexpensive than Botox. 
  • Overall fit for the cosmetic procedure - To ensure the safety of the treatments, your provider will also ask about your medical history and current health condition. For example, if you have any contraindications with the treatment such as allergy to cow’s milk protein, you may not be a good candidate for Dysport. 

Effective Anti-Wrinkle Injections At The Rejuvenation Center for Mind and Body 

Botox and Dysport neurotoxin injections are changing the game for anti-aging and cosmetic procedures. Among the reasons why many people love them is that they’re safe, non-surgical, and have minimal but usually tolerable side effects. You can discover more of their benefits for facial rejuvenation by consulting with our aesthetic professionals at the Rejuvenation Center for Mind and Body. 

We’re a trusted destination for expert medical and primary care treatments, wellness services, and dermatology treatments. At RCMB, we strive to provide the best patient care possible to help manage your health, wellness, and cosmetic needs. To learn more about our suite of services or to book a consultation, call us today at (973) 240 5695

Read More: Lip Filler vs Botox: Which Cosmetic Procedure Has Less Side Effects?

A Smoother, Younger You Today

Wrinkles and fine lines are a thing of the past with a single Botox treatment. Book your first session of Botox today.



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