A woman getting a Botulinum toxin injection in her forehead

How Botulinum Toxin Injections Work

Botulinum toxin type A injections are one of the most common non-surgical cosmetic treatments performed in the United States. The term Botox has become a generic term for an injection of botulinum toxin A. However, this is actually the brand name of one of the options the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves to treat facial wrinkles. Another type A injection is Dysport. This is what we use at our clinic. While each of these products has varying results, all botulinum toxin treatments are very similar in how they work.

What is Dysport?

Dysport is an FDA-approved, safe and purified form of botulinum toxin A. This is produced by the same microbe that causes botulism. When injected, Dysport does not actually remove wrinkles. Instead, the injections block signals from the nerves to the muscles. The treated muscle can no longer move, which causes the skin to relax and soften. This can reduce the look of what are called “dynamic wrinkles” or wrinkles that are only present when muscles contract. Botulinum toxin injections are more effective with wrinkles located on the forehead, around the mouth and cheeks, and the corner of the eyes. This is because these are muscles are most likely to contract when we are talking or expressing our feelings.

What Botulinum Toxin Will Not Treat

Dysport injections can certainly show noticeable improvement. In addition, studies have shown that people who get botulinum toxin injections are generally satisfied with the results. However, it is always important to be realistic about what cosmetic treatments, including botulinum toxin treatment, can and cannot do.

Not all wrinkles are dynamic in nature. As we age, our skin loses its elasticity and permanent creases can develop. Wrinkles caused by the sun or gravity may not respond to Dysport treatments and although Botulinum toxin may help to soften deep creases, it will not erase them entirely.

How Does Dysport Treatment Work?

With a very fine needle, Dysport is injected into specifically targeted facial muscles that are responsible for furrows and lines. For example, if you want to lessen the appearance of crow’s feet, our physician will inject Dysport into the muscles that frame the sides of your eyes. To treat frown lines, Dysport is injected into the two muscles of the forehead. Dysport injections are usually described as feeling like a pinch. In order to make you more comfortable, our plastic surgeons may choose to numb the area with ice packs or a topical numbing cream.

Dysport is not reversible once it has been injected, but the effects are not permanent. Once treated you may notice the effects of these injections begin within 48 hours and become noticeable within five to ten days. These effects typically last three to five months, at which point you may need another treatment to maintain your desired appearance.

Side Effects and Risks of Botulinum Toxin

While every cosmetic procedure has risks, the side effects of Dysport injections are usually mild and temporary. They may include pain, swelling, bruising, and redness at the injection site as well as dry mouth, headache, neck pain, and difficulty with vision.  Most patients can resume normal activities within a few hours of receiving Dysport injections.

If you are considering Dysport as a treatment option it is important to alert your doctor if you suffer from an allergy to any of its ingredients or an allergic reaction to any other botulinum toxin product. Your doctor should be notified of any medical conditions, especially if you have a muscle or nerve condition that may result in difficulty swallowing or breathing. It is important to note all the medications you take, including nonprescription and prescription medicines.

Visit Hess and Sandeen for Cosmetic Treatment

Hess and Sandeen is the clear choice when looking for experienced and board-certified plastic surgeons experienced with Dysport. We provide individualized and compassionate care that produces results you will be proud to show off.

Call us to book your consultation and learn more about botulinum toxin treatment options.