I Got Dysport and It Totally Changed My Eyebrows

I’ve been getting Botox Cosmetic injections between my eyebrows for as long as I’ve been employed by NewBeauty magazine, which is well over a decade (to give you an idea). And every time I get it done, I go to the same dermatologist who injects me in the same way—a little between the brows, some at the crow’s-feet and a bit in my forehead.

But on my last visit to see West Palm Beach, FL, dermatologist Kenneth Beer, MD, we decided to give Dysport a whirl. And I’m glad we did.

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Every time I get injected with Botox near my brows, I tend to end up with a pretty prominent arch, which I’ve never really minded and always kind of liked. My brow specialist usually plays it up so that my brows have a nice shape to them, which I constantly get complimented on.

Yet this time around, once the product kicked in, I noticed something totally different. While all the wrinkles and lines were gone in a few days, the arch of my brows sat a bit lower than normal. Instead of Angelina Jolie brows, I had ones that looked a little flatter, like Jessica Alba’s. While no one else could see what I was talking about (with the exception of the girl who shapes my brows), my brows instantly became easier to groom and a lot less filling was required.

I asked Dr. Beer just what had happened and this is what he had to say: “Dysport is a little different than Botox in how it spreads and for some people it can be a more subtle treatment. So, the combination of using that product and injecting it a little above the eyebrows flattened them slightly. I compare the neuromodulator products to Coke and Pepsi—neither is better than the other but people have their individual responses to each so I recommend trying all of them. When I want to flatten out an arch, I will inject a little bit of product in the lower forehead. This looks great on those with good eyelids but it isn’t the most flattering look for someone who have loose skin on the eyelids and/or low eyebrows. The procedure always should be tailored to your face and preference. If you want to achieve a particular look, tell your doctor what it is that you are going for so that he or she can accommodate you provided that you are getting injected from someone who really knows what they are doing.”

While I like my new brows, I won’t be sad if I can’t keep them. High arch or low arch, they look good no matter what! 

  • Posted on

    This is a great topic because there is so much discussion about this issue. Technically, the three botulinum toxin type A products on the market - Onobotulinum toxin type A (Botox Cosmetic), Abobotulinum toxin type A (Dysport), and Incobotulinum toxin type A (Xeomin) - are all the same active product - botulinum toxin type A. Theoretically, they all work the same way on the muscles and nerves of the body. The main difference between them chemically is the way they're manufactured. In nature, the active toxin molecule is found covered by a bunch of proteins. We're not sure what the purpose of them is, but there are some theories about how they came to be that involve some benefit to the bacterium that produces them. In any event, they don't seem to be dangerous to humans. In fact, in its manufacturing process, Botox leaves them all on the molecule. Dysport removes some of the proteins, but not all of them, and in the case of Xeomin, they're all removed, leaving a "bare" toxin molecule. The studies to date comparing all 3 have shown roughly similar function, duration of effect, and complications. This brings up the question, then: Why would you use one versus another? This is where I think our current science departs just a bit from what our experience shows us. I have personally been treated with all 3 (like you, I've been getting injected for many years!), and I have used them all extensively in my own practice. Like you and your doctor, I think there are some subtle differences. While there are slight differences from person to person in the effective dose, and sometimes we have to do some fine tuning of someone's dose when switching between different toxins, and you can achieve roughly similar results with each of them if you use enough of the toxin in question, or make detailed adjustments to the exact locations of the injections in the specific muscles, like you and your doctor, I still think there are some subtle practical differences between the toxins at typical treatment doses. Again, the studies haven't been able to prove this conclusively, but some people - doctors and patients - believe that Dysport and Xeomin are absorbed faster by the tissues, and thus will set up faster. I actually have injected some very trustworthy people, including my own wife, whose Xeomin sets up overnight, compared to the typical 5 days to a week with Botox. Additionally, some believe that the "spread" of Dysport and Xeomin throughout the tissues of a specific region is different than that of Botox, thus we may get a "softer, or gentler" effect from Dysport and Xeomin as opposed to a "harsher, denser" muscle paralysis that we can see with Botox. I do a lot of toxin injection, and I tend to agree with you and your doctor that there are probably some real very subtle differences in the way the different toxins work for different people. I think the bottom line is that fortunately we now have choice between 3 different options, and we can figure out which works best for each individual person to get the best results for everyone.

  • ken oleszek, MD
    Posted on

    Interesting article. In my experience, it likely has more to do on the amount and/or location of the treatment - not the product itself. We can often shape brows with any of the 3 neuromodulators approved in the US.

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