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The “Toxins” Botox, Dysport & Xeomin. Who are they?

Neurotoxins: Botox, Dysport, Xeomin

Content for educational purposes only, and is not medical advice

Everyone knows the name Botox, Botox is everywhere. There are so many misconceptions about Botox and clients often come into the clinic worried or scared of Botox. They are concerned they will look “overdone” or “not natural”. Patients also express concern about the “toxins” in Botox. Clients often tell me they want to address their wrinkles and fine lines but don’t want to appear different or change their face. Clients are unsure when is the proper time to start Botox, or if it is too late for Botox?

Let’s address some misconceptions about Botox and neurotoxins in general.

Is Botox a dangerous chemical?


Botox belongs to a category of drugs called neuromodulators. These drugs are derived from botulinum toxin which causes botulism food poisoning. This sounds so scary! Why would you inject food poisoning into your face? Its not scary - many medications on the market have been made from a naturally occurring substance, purified and then used in a targeted way. Botox has been used since 1987 and many millions of people have been injected. The drug is very well studied and is very safe.

How was Botox Developed?

Originally Botox was introduced in 1987 to cure blepharospasm (eyelid muscle spasms) and was injected by ophthalmologists. Botox blocks the nerves from activating muscles and stops muscles from moving. By blocking the activation or firing of nerves to the muscles, the muscle spasm was broken. Ophthalmologists started to notice their Botox patients were looking relaxed and younger, the fine lines and wrinkles around their eyes were disappearing!!!! Botox Cosmetic was born. 

After extensive FDA and Health Canada studies Botox Cosmetic was approved for use in the “11” lines in 2002. Since 2002 millions of people world wide have been injected with Botox for cosmetic reasons.

How Long does Botox Last?

For most people Botox starts to work around 7-10 days after being injected and lasts approximately 3-4 months. The effects of Botox are gradual in onset and wear off gradually over time. 

If I start on Botox will I need to Keep Injecting it?

Botox relaxes muscles and therefore decreases the depth of wrinkles. Because you aren’t actively using the muscles you are not increasing the depth of wrinkles during the time the medication is active. Once it wears off you will not be worse off than when you started. Several studies have shown that long term, continued used of Botox slows down the appearance of facial aging. There is no danger to not continuing Botox once you start.

What Else is Botox Used For?

Botox has found many medical uses and is currently used for a variety of different indications including, migraines, excessive sweating, muscle spasms in children with CP, bladder spasms, fissures and many more indications. The safety profile is well known.

How is Botox Injected?

Botox is injected using the smallest possible needles. There can be a small pinprick sensation from the needle and occasionally a small pinpoint bruise or swelling can occur at the site of injection. It is important to follow all post procedure instructions very carefully to maximize the outcome of your Botox treatment and minimize the chance of complications.

Make sure to tell your doctor if you have any pre-existing neurological problems or are on blood thinners.

What is Dysport?

Although everyone knows the name Botox, Botox has at least 2 competitors on the market. Both are well studies, effective and have known safety profiles.

Dysport is manufactured by a different company but is an injectable modified botulinum toxin like Botox. Dysport also blocks nerves from activating muscles so just like Botox is relaxes wrinkles. Studies have shown Dysport is equal to Botox in terms of cosmetic outcomes, time it lasts (3-4months) and patient satisfaction. Subjectively many clients indicate they feel the Dysport starts working quicker than Botox at around 24-72 hours, they also subjectively report a lighter sensation with Dysport than Botox.

What is Xeomin?

Xeomin is another Botox competitor. Xeomin is referred to as a “pure toxin”. During the manufacturing process all proteins are removed and only the purified botulism toxin is left. Clinically studies have shown equivalency of Xeomin to Botox in terms of length of activity, and patient satisfaction. Because there is no protein in Xeomin, clients may be less likely to develop tolerance to Xeomin than to Botox.

So there’s a rhyme and reason to use any of the “toxins”. Always book a free consultation and get expert advice before you choose the treatment plan that’s right for you!!

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