Botox, Dysport, Xeomin – Different or the Same?

By: Dr. Berggren
Topics: General


The word Botox has become a normal part of our everyday language.  It is a very well-known treatment used to reduce facial wrinkles and alleviate various medical conditions. It has been successfully used in the United States since 2002 and millions of procedures are performed each year using this product. Did you know that Botox is the brand name of one product and there are a few others that can have similar benefits?

As in other fields and types of products, competition is a good thing. Botox received its first competitor in 2009 when Dysport entered the U.S. market (it was first used in Europe for more than a decade) and Xeomin followed shortly after in 2010. What is the difference between these products? Is one product better or different? Is there a significant difference in these products or is Botox just the brand that has become most associated with this wrinkle reduction procedure?

The short answer is yes. In many cases, choosing Botox, Dysport or Xeomin is a matter of preference for the person receiving the injection or the licensed specialist performing the procedure. All are slightly different forms of Botulinum toxin Type A which is extracted for safe use in humans to relax muscles and decrease movement – therefore mitigating wrinkles.

Here are a few things to note about each of these products:

  • Dysport contains less protein and some feel it makes our immune systems form less antibodies which makes it last a little longer.
  • Dysport is more diluted than Botox, so if you are used to a certain number of “units” with your Botox treatment, expect the Dysport units to increase. However, you can’t just multiply the units from one drug to another.
  • Dysport also tends to spread or diffuse over a larger area after it is injected, which is sometimes good but sometimes can lead to a less than desired result for certain areas.
  • Xeomin has no additives and does not require refrigeration. Because it has no additives, it is lighter and doesn’t migrate as much as Botox or Dysport.
  • The effects of Dysport may “kick in” more quickly than Botox, but only by a few days. 
  • Some people who have not responded to one product may find that another option works better for them. In certain situations, a patient may have a slightly different reaction to one product versus another.

There are no “red flags” with Botox, Dysport or Xeomin, and no clinically significant differences in rates of safety, allergies or infections in patients. 

The most important thing is finding a qualified injector (doctor, physician assistant, nurse practitioner or nurse) who has had significant training and is certified. These individuals know how to create natural looking results using Botox, Dysport or Xeomin and may even use different products for specific areas of your face depending on the result you are trying to achieve. Once you have found your injector, he or she will be able to make a personalized recommendation for you.