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The World of Neuromodulators

Beautiful woman after neuromodulator treatment

The word “neuromodulator” likely doesn’t sound too familiar to most of us… but you’d probably recognize the name “Botox.” Botox, however, is a neuromodulator. Which is the class of medicine that Botox—a muscle relaxing agent—falls under.

But, Botox isn’t the only neuromodulator there is. It’s just the one that’s been around the longest, making it the brand name of the neuromodulator world. There are actually three approved by the FDA to reduce wrinkles, prevent new ones from forming, and smooth skin texture temporarily. These are: Botox, Xeomin, and Dysport.

They all produce the same results and they each have the same main component: Botulinum Neurotoxin… they’re just manufactured by three different companies.

The uses for Botulinum Neurotoxins are vast and are completely safe for adults of all ages and races. Such as: reducing Crow’s Feet (those wrinkles around the corners of the eyes that eye cream just doesn’t seem to reach), sagging skin, lack of eyebrow lift/shape, gummy smiles, texturized skin, and excessive sweating/oil-production on the body (i.e.: oily hair and underarm sweating). Botulinum can even be used to relax and slim jaw muscles to correct TMJ and tooth damage from grinding. (The slimming can be done whether or not you grind your teeth…FYI 😉)

The procedure is nearly painless and is performed without the need for numbing agents or icing of the skin. Injections normally last anywhere from 2-4 months and take less than 45 minutes to complete. There’s no downtime, and swelling from the injection site subsides within 10-30 minutes… which is why this is known as a “lunchtime procedure”. And don’t be fooled by thinking that only women get injections done….more men than ever before are conscious of caring for their skin as they age! And why wouldn’t they? We all want to look our best. And the best part about Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin is that it’s used just as much for prevention as it is for treatment of existing wrinkles….without ever looking like you’ve “had work done.”


Seeing as they all do the same thing, it can be tricky to know which one to choose when booking your appointment. Here are the main things to know about each one:

BOTOX was the first one created and FDA approved in 2002…so it has the most well known reputation. It has the largest molecular weight out of the three neuromodulators, being constructed with protective proteins that cluster around the Botulinum, enabling it to last a little longer. Botox generally has an onset of 3-5 days.

DYSPORT also contains carrier proteins, like it’s competitor, Botox, however much smaller in size. Studies have shown that this slight difference in size can produce a faster onset of the product—generally 1-2 days—with approximately the same duration and longevity as Botox.

XEOMIN is the newbie neuromodulator, but has all of it’s competition’s strengths. It was FDA approved in only 2011 but has it’s own unique quality of being known as the “Naked Botox”. The reason being: it lacks the additive proteins that Botox and Dysport have; making it a purified form of Botulinum. The theory behind this formulation was that by only injecting Botulinum, patients would potentially experience less allergic reactions (which are, albeit, very rare) and it’s speculated that the absence of proteins could prevent the body from building a resistance to the Botulinum Toxin (although this has yet to be proven). Xeomin has a similar onset to Botox, taking 3-5 days to activate, however may not match up to the longevity of it’s rivals.

Our advice? Come in and schedule a free consultation with our expert nurse injector and see which option is the right match for you. Everyone plays around with each brand and everyone’s preferences are unique! Everyone in our office has their own favorite—for various reasons—and we’d be happy to share our likes and dislikes with you!

By Jen Breslin – Medical Aesthetician

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