Your Questions About Botox,™ Dysport,™ and Xeomin™ Answered By a Plastic Surgeon

You may know it as Botox, the popular cosmetic treatment that erases frown lines and other fine facial lines. The active ingredient behind this popular cosmetic treatment is known as a neuromodulator. A neuromodulator is a substance that alters nerve transmission. In essence, that means it blocks the signal from the nerve to the muscle. This prevents the muscle from contracting and making a wrinkle on the skin. Botox  is the most well-known neuromodulator in North America, however Dysport and Xeomin contain the same active ingredient: clostridium botulinum. The difference between the three products is the way in which the active ingredient is stabilized. The goal and the outcome is the same: all three temporarily target facial muscles from moving, thereby softening the facial wrinkles associated with movement.

Frequently Asked Questions about Botox, Dysport and Xeomin

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about this popular cosmetic procedure.

Do the injections hurt?

Generally the injections are not painful. The needle used is a very fine 30 gauge needle—similar to those used for insulin injections for diabetics.

Will I see the effects immediately?

Neuromodulators can begin to take effect anywhere from a few hours to a week after treatment. This varies widely from patient to patient.

Will neuromodulators get rid of all my lines?

Neuromodulators are generally used for fine lines around the forehead and eyes and are not used in areas like the cheeks. They affect the dynamic lines or the wrinkles that happen when you make a facial expression and not the static lines that appear when your face is at rest. Static wrinkles are the result of sun exposure and aging, and generally you need a filler to fill in these lines. Neuromodulators will not work on folds, such as the nasolabial folds between the corner of your nose and your mouth.

If I stop the injections, will my wrinkles get worse?

There is no evidence to suggest that when you stop using a neuromodulator, the lines will get worse. When you stop treatment, the normal aging process resumes. Neuromodulators are not addictive and you can’t become immune to them, though some people can develop antibodies to the protein that can prevent neuromodulators from working.

How often do I have do to it?

For most people, the effects from a treatment last from three to four months. For some people, the longer you have the treatments done (i.e.: the more treatments you have had), the longer the effects can last.

More FAQ About Botox, Dysport and Xeomin

Are neuromodulators dangerous?

There have been many studies that have concluded that cosmetic use of neuromodulators is very safe. Still, there are some people, such as people with neuromuscular or certain skin disorders or pregnant women who should not use neuromodulators. This should be discussed with your physician.

Will my face appear frozen or expressionless?

How frozen one looks is related to the amount of neuromodulator used, the placement, and the skill of your injector. You can still have movement if you want—however some people prefer no movement at all.

When should I start using neuromodulators?

Most people are turning to neuromodulators as a preventative treatment because it is much easier to prevent a line than it is to treat it.

Is this treatment just for women?

Neuromodulators are for men and women, and the number of men receiving treatments has steadily risen over the last five years.

Why is there such price variability with neuromodulators?

The price can vary drastically between providers, costing anywhere from $7 to $15 dollars a unit. Neuromodulators are delivered in a solid form and then diluted with saline to turn it into a liquid form for injection. The more saline one uses, the cheaper the price. But, in the end, if the product is too diluted, you may need more product to achieve the same effect

Will there be any bruising?

As with any procedure that involves a needle, bruising can happen. Generally, these are very small bruises that disappear quickly.


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About the Author

Dr. Sean Rice

Dr. Sean Rice

Dr. Sean Rice, B.A.(Hons), M.D.,M.Sc.,F.R.C.S.C., is a renowned plastic and cosmetic surgeon, a leading authority on age management and is widely recognized for his published articles in Canadian and international medical journals. Dr. Rice is frequently called upon to share his expertise as he trains other surgeons in cutting-edge techniques as well being invited to […]

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