BOTOX® Dysport® Wrinkle Prevention

Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Do BOTOX® or Dysport® Prevent Wrinkles?

Botox® and Dysport® are in a class of molecules referred to as neuromodulators. They are both purified toxin from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and they differ only in their carrier proteins and are made by different companies. Because of the different proteins, the dosing is different between the two products, but they both work very well and via the same mechanism. Neuromodulators act by preventing the release of Acetylcholine, a chemical that is released in response to a nerve stimulating a muscle. The Acetylcholine is what triggers the contraction or movement of the muscle. Therefore, by stopping the release of Acetylcholine, we can prevent the contraction of certain muscles such as the muscles in the brow that cause the "11" lines.

So what does muscle contraction have to do with wrinkles? There are certain wrinkles, known as dynamic wrinkles that are only present when a muscle contracts and these are ideal to treatment with neuromodulators.

These dynamic wrinkles are caused by repeated movement of the muscle, which then pulls and creases the skin. Years of performing the same movement leads to the formation of wrinkles. By relaxing the muscle and stopping its contraction, the skin is also allowed to relax and the crease can fade and, in many cases, disappear. The effects can last up to 3-4 months. However, performing repeated injections every 3 months can actually have longer lasting effects and longtime users of neuromodulators can notice effects for more than 3-4 months.

So the answer to whether Botox®/Dysport® can prevent wrinkles is...sort of. They do not prevent wrinkles, but if injections are started before deep creases form and are done regularly, then the muscle spends less time contracting and pulling on the skin, which gives you smoother, younger looking skin.

Dysport® is owned by Medicis Aesthetics.