Botox and Dysport
Botox Cosmetic® and Dysport® are two trade names for injectable medications that paralyze muscles. Botox has been around for ages and initially was used for stopping unpleasant facial muscle “ticks”, neck muscle spasms or other abnormal muscle tightness.
With time it was realized that by weakening specific facial muscles, we could improve wrinkles around the eyes, in the forehead and the space between the brows. Even more recently these muscle weakening agents have been found to benefit some patients’ migraine and tension headaches. Another interesting use of Botulinum toxins is to stop excessive sweating. The toxin works very well at controlling severe sweating which is called hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating can be very embarrassing and patients are greatly relieved when this can be controlled with Botox or Dysport®.
Botox Cosmetic® and Dysport® fit under a category of medications called Neurotoxins. Neurotoxin is a fancy name for any drug that interferes with normal nerve function. The Botox type toxins, of which Dysport® and Botox Cosmetic® are both types, interfere with motor nerve interaction with muscles. The original Botox Cosmetic® approval was for use between the eye brows to improve those vertical lines, the “elevens”. Physicians may often choose to use Botox Cosmetic® or Dysport® in other areas to treat forehead wrinkles, crowsfeet, lines around the mouth, or muscle bands in the neck. Usage in these areas are what we call “off label” use of the medication. If some neurotoxins are placed in the “crowsfeet” area lateral to the eyes the muscles are temporarily weakened and less wrinkles show. When neurotoxins are used in the vertical neck bands, these can contract less and make the neck look more youthful.
Botox Cosmetic® and Dysport® are trade names for types of Botulinum toxin; these two agents are called Type A toxins. There is also a Type B Botulinum toxin that has a quicker onset of action but much shorter period of effectiveness. Type B is called a Myoblock, but has had much less use in the cosmetic and wrinkle control environment.
Botox Cosmetic® and Dysport® are terrific non invasive injectables to help decrease animation lines of the face and to get a fresher, relaxed look. Research is on going to find better and longer lasting forms of neurotoxins to decrease facial lines, stop headaches, and decrease embarrassing sweating.