Treatment for Wrinkles: Botox & Dysport [Neurotoxins]

botox and dysport neurotoxins

“Neurotoxins” is a broad term used to encompass various forms of botulinum toxins, including Botox Cosmetic, Dysport and Xeomin. At Dermatology of Philadelphia, we carry Botox Cosmetic and Dysport.

What is botulinum toxin in Botox, Dysport & Xeomin?

Botulinum toxin is a purified protein toxin produced by the clostridium botulinum bacteria. Although it is a toxin, the doses used for medical treatment are so small that serious side effects have not been seen and would be unlikely to develop.

For over thirty years, botulinum toxins have been used for both therapeutic and cosmetic applications. In facial aesthetics, small amounts of botulinum toxin can be injected into the muscles of facial expression in order to relax their movement and smooth wrinkles. 

What causes a wrinkle?

Wrinkles, or expression lines, are creases that appear in the skin when facial muscles make the same expressions repeatedly.

How do neurotoxins, like Botox, work?

A very small amount of botulinum is injected into the muscle that creates the wrinkle. Once injected, the toxin will block the nerve impulse required to contract the muscle. This muscle weakening relaxes the skin overlying the muscles and leads to the softening of wrinkles.

Which areas can be injected with Botox or Dysport?

Common areas for Botox and Dysport injections include the forehead, the glabella (area between the eyebrows), and the crow’s feet (area around the outside of the eyes). 

The underarm area can also be injected to help reduce excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis).

Are Botox injections painful?

When Botox is injected, there is a minor stinging sensation, which lasts for a few seconds. Ice packs can be applied to the treatment area immediately before the injections to reduce the discomfort and reduce the amount of swelling. Usually there is no discomfort after the injection. Patients can usually resume normal activities right away.

What will happen after treatment of Botox?

There may be slight swelling at the injected spots that resolves within a few hours. Occasionally, an injection site may develop a small bruise that may take several days to fade. Makeup can be used to cover it up.

The muscle weakness develops gradually over 7 to 14 days. In some cases the muscle becomes so weak that it will not contract at all and at other times it only becomes weak allowing some contraction. Once the muscle has become weak the overlying wrinkle flattens out.

How long does the benefit of Botox last?

The injected muscle gradually regains normal function. This recovery of function varies between patients and ranging between 6 weeks to 6 months. Once the muscle is able to contract again, the overlying wrinkles will reappear. Repeat injections will again weaken the muscle and flatten the wrinkles. After several treatments, the effect of Botox may last longer.

What are possible side effects of neurotoxins?

Botox has been used for over 20 years for the treatment of wrinkles, it was approved by the FDA on April 15, 2002. 

Side effects are rare and almost uniformly temporary. The most common side effect is a temporary weakness of muscles near the injection site including partial facial paralysis and drooping eyelids. Muscle function usually returns to normal within a few weeks. Rarely, a patient may develop resistance to Botox so that additional injections are not effective. In that case, alternative treatments for the wrinkles need to be explored.

Very rarely, headaches have been reported after Botox injection, but more often, Botox will improve or eliminate headaches.

How much does Botox cost?

The cost of the treatment varies depending on the extent of wrinkles to be treated and how much Botox will be needed. Botox is typically priced per syringe. Insurance reimbursement is not available for the treatment of wrinkles.

Choose Dermatology of Philadelphia for Your Cosmetic Dermatology Needs

At Dermatology of Philadelphia we hire only board certified dermatologists to treat all of your skin care needs. We are happy to review pricing for your treatments prior to your appointment. Please call (215)315-3197 today to schedule a consultation to discuss your skin care goals.