Botox Guide
Botox Guide
| by Vanessa Coppola

What are Botox and Dysport?

Botox is a purified neurotoxin produced by the pharmaceutical company Allergan. It is FDA approved and has been extensively researched for safety and efficacy with an outstanding safety record. It has been used cosmetically since 1992, and medically long before that. It works beautifully to smooth out wrinkles. Dysport is another purified neurotoxin manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Galderma. It is also FDA approved since 2009 and extensively researched with an equally outstanding safety record. 

How do they work?

Botox and Dysport reduce the contraction of certain muscles that cause wrinkles by preventing the neurotransmitter Acetycholine from binding to the receptors on the muscles fibers. The Botox or Dysport peptide essentially block this action, causing the muscle to relax and the wrinkles to lessen or altogether disappear. 

Does it hurt?

Botox or Dysport are injected in very tiny amounts in the targeted muscles using a very small needle. Most people rate the pain as a 1 or 2 out of a scale of 1-10. It is very tolerable. Many people say it really doesn't hurt at all. 

When will I see the results? How long does it last?

Botox typically begins to take effect in 5-7 days but it can take up to 10-14 days to see the final results. Botox typically lasts about 3-4 months depending upon the individual.  Dysport works quicker, usually taking effect in about 3 days, with the full effect seen between 7-14 days.  Dysport lasts about 3-4 months depending upon the individual. 

Do I need to do anything before my appointment?

We recommend avoiding aspirin and NSAIDs (Motrin, Aleeve, and Advil) for 48 hours prior to your appointment if okay with your medical provider. We also recommend avoiding drinking red wine and taking fish oil supplements and vitamin E if medically approved for 48 hours prior to your appointment.

All of these agents can cause an increased tendency to bruise. Otherwise, there is no required preparation prior to your appointment. 

What happens after?

We advise no lying down or holding your face downwards for 4 hours post procedure and wait 24 hrs before you do any heavy exercise, sauna, or massage. Otherwise, you are free to live your life as you normally would!  

Are there any side effects

Side effects of Botox and Dysport are generally mild and relatively uncommon, and if they do occur are usually related to the injection. This can include temporary redness, swelling and bruising at the injection site. Some people report a temporary headache after the procedure.  

When do I come back?

Everyone's muscles and anatomy are different, so we recommend a 2 week follow up after your first visit. You can always come in for a "Botox Check" after any appointment, but we really recommend it after your first. Your muscles and our team are just getting to know each other, so make sure you come to your follow up - it's completely free.   

The Fine Print

Botox and Dysport are extremely safe, however they are not for everyone. If you are pregnant or nursing, you are not a candidate for Botox or Dysport. Similarly, Botox and Dysport cannot be used in patients that have a neuromuscular disorder such as Myasthenia Gravis or ALS (Lou Gherig's Disease). These disorders are not common, but this is an important thing to know.  You cannot receive Dysport if you have a cows milk allergy, as the Dysport peptide contains a protein related to cows milk. 

How do I know if Botox or Dysport are right for me?

If you are looking to smooth out wrinkles and achieve a more relaxed look, either Botox or Dysport are an excellent treatment choice. The good news is the vast majority of patients can safely receive Botox or Dysport with excellent results and patients are typically thrilled with their results!