Apples to Apples: Comparing Xeomin, Dysport, and Botox

A friend recently said to me, Hey I heard of this thing called Dysport. Is that new?

Me: No. And there’s Xeomin too. It’s like Botox. They’re all the same.

Are they all really the same though? Yes is the short answer. The long answer is this blog!

The Similarities

Botox, Dysport and Xeomin are all botulinum toxin type A (BTXA), and they originate from the same source bacterium, clostridium botulinum. They are synthesized as the neurotoxin that is administered in cosmetic procedures. Each has been consistently proven in clinical trials and have been used around the world in cosmetic procedures. All three can be injected every three to six months. Results are generally the same. The BTXAs temporarily paralyze the targeted muscle areas to relax, which in turn lessens the appearance of wrinkles. A good example of how to conceptualize these three BTXAs: think of apples. There are differences among Fuji, Gala, and Red Delicious, but they are still all apples.

The Differences

There are some unique qualities to each, and it’s best to know as much as you can about what you’re injecting into your face! And while we’re on the subject, almost more important than what’s going in, is WHO is doing the injecting. Check out our staff bios when you get the chance!

Let’s start with Xeomin first. Why? Because it’s the newest to enter the U.S. market, and because it has a cool name. Xeomin.

Xeomin (Cosmetic)

  • Has been in use in the US since 2010

  • Has been used worldwide since 2005

  • Is a BTXA

  • Has no proteins surrounding the molecule or additives

What makes it slightly different is that it is a purified neurotoxin. It is referred to as a ‘naked’ molecule because there are no additive surface proteins, just the botulinum toxin.

This means is that it is less likely to cause any adverse effects such as allergic reactions and the body is less likely to become resistant to this pure-form injectable. Some patients have developed antibodies to Botox and Dysport which leads to their bodies rejecting the treatments.

Xeomin is considered to be very safe. It has been used in Europe cosmetically for years. The US is actually the 20th country to approve Xeomin for use.

Dysport (Cosmetic)

  • Has been in use in the US since 2009

  • Has been used worldwide since 2009 (although it has been used since 1991 for muscular disorders)

  • Is a BTXA

  • May have a quicker onset than Botox or Xeomin

  • Different molecular structure means it may work for people who have built up a Botox immunity

All three of these BTXAs have different molecular structure. Because of Dysport’s make-up, it may have a quicker onset (about 2-5 days versus 4-7 days like Botox and Xeomin). This is not a claim made by the manufacturer, but rather is based on patient experiences.

However, there is a recent triple-blind, randomized study of 85 patients that compared the onset time between Botox and Dysport. Conclusion? “Time to improvement showed earlier onset and longer duration of improvement in a higher percentage of individuals with ABO [Dysport] when compared with ONA [Botox].”

Botox (Cosmetic)

  • Has been in use in the US since 2002

  • Has been in use worldwide since 2002 (and used for muscular disorders since 1989)

  • Is a BTXA

  • Was the first BTXA on the market

In a society of brand recognition, many people are most comfortable using Botox because it has been around the longest and is most widely recognized. Because of it’s molecular structure, some feel that it is the most precise BTXA and will not spread after injection. Just like Dysport and Xeomin, Botox injections can be performed in a number of locations depending on what results you desire: reduction of lines and wrinkles on the face and neck, brow lift, reduce gummy smiles and sad smiles, minimize dimpled chin, and treat hyperhidrosis and TMJ.

Choosing which of the BTXAs you want to use is really just personal preference. Sometimes people will choose based on cost, and some will always choose Botox because it has a longer history of use and is most well-known. In our own practice, we have seen patients use all three with similar results and efficacy.

Written by: Beth Jarrett