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Shocking though it may seem, the manufacturer of Botox—the king of the non-invasive cosmetic treatments—may need to figure out how to do some defensive marketing one of these days. In a recent test, Dysport, another botulinum-based dynamic wrinkle fighter, has been shown in one study to be more effective than Botox at smoothing crow’s feet.
As reported last week on ABC News’s website, researchers led by San Francisco plastic surgeon Dr. Cory Maas tested Botox and Dysport literally side-by-side on the faces of 90 study volunteers. That is, one side of each person’s face was injected with Botox, the other side with Dysport. According to Maas, this technique helped control variables related to individual physiological differences such as ethnicity and age. In the 30-day test, a majority of both the patients and their physicians felt Dysport yielded superior results (Conley 1).
The wrinkle-fighting injectable commonly referred to as “Botox,” officially termed BOTOX COSMETIC® to differentiate it from Botox formulations for other uses, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration 15 years ago to treat vertical lines between the eyebrows (Goldenthal 1). Since then, the drug has been approved for a variety of applications, including treatment for migraines, excessive sweating and more.
The versatility and popularity of the various forms of Botox have earned Allergan, the manufacturer, well over a billion dollars a year (Gullo and Larkin 1). Nearly 2.5 million Botox treatments were administered in 2010, said the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS 1).
Medicis, the manufacturer of Dysport, received approval from the FDA to market the Botox alternative in the spring of 2009 (Investor Relations 1). While its impact on forehead wrinkles is similar to that of Botox, Dysport is an injectable based on a botulinum toxin encased in a different protein, therefore it behaves slightly differently than Botox. A quick scan of plastic surgeon feedback on RealSelf.com indicated that many have observed that Dysport acts more quickly than Botox and the effect is more widespread (RealSelf 1).