Dysport offers a temporary but effective method of smoothing out moderate to severe “frown” lines on the forehead.
The treatment can help you look younger and more relaxed—and also less perpetually “angry.”
How Does It Work?
Whenever you make a facial expression—whether a smile, squint, or frown—the muscles under your skin contract. Your skin also creases, of course. Over time those contractions—and the creases above them—can become more permanent. This is particularly true of the glabellar, or “frown” lines, on the forehead.
Dysport contains a protein from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. When injected directly into a facial muscle, it blocks the signal from the nerve to the muscle, making it impossible for that muscle to contract. The skin above the muscle responds by smoothing out.
What Does It Treat?
Dysport was developed in Britain more than two decades ago to treat eye tics and muscle spasms of the face and neck. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Dysport for the treatment of glabellar forehead lines in 2009. It’s also used, with FDA approval, to alleviate excessive underarm sweating (hyperhidrosis).
Many physicians use Dysport off-label to treat folds and creases of the lower face, such as neck bands, lip lines, and labiomandibular folds (the “marionette” lines that run from the corner of the mouth down to the chin).
Am I a Good Candidate?
Most, but not all, people are good candidates for Dysport. It should not be used, however, by pregnant or breastfeeding women or by people with a neuromuscular disorder. If you’re allergic to cow’s milk or have certain other allergies, you should also not receive this treatment. After examining your skin and taking a medical history, your doctor will advise you on whether Dysport is right for you.
What Can I Expect During and After Treatment?
The procedure takes just 10 to 20 minutes. You’ll be given 3 to 5 injections of Dysport directly into the muscles under the frown lines (or under other wrinkles being treated). Because the needles are very, very fine, no anesthetic is needed, although you can certainly ask your doctor to numb the skin, if you prefer.
After the treatment you may experience some temporary redness or soreness. Some people develop a slight headache for a few hours, which can be relieved with an over-the-counter pain medicine. In rare cases, temporary flu-like symptoms may occur. Another possible, but uncommon, side effect is ptosis, or drooping eyelid, which may last for a few days to a few weeks. Always call your physician if you have any concerns.
When Do Results Appear—and How Long Do They Last?
The treated muscles will gradually relax over a period of a few days—and the creases in the skin over them will smooth out. You’ll still be able to raise your eyebrows and, of course, to blink, but your forehead will no longer give the appearance of a permanent frown. No more looking angry when you’re not!
Results tend to last at least four months and sometimes up to 13 months, according to Dysport’s own studies. Much depends on personal factors, such as your skin type and age, and on the particular wrinkles being treated.
How Often Can I Be Treated with Dysport?
You should avoid repeating a treatment within 90 days. Dysport’s effectiveness has been studied in up to four repeated treatments, and its safety has been followed in up to 12 treatments.
For best results, be sure to receive care from a physician experienced in using this specific wrinkle-relaxer.