Botox vs. Dermal Fillers: What Are the Differences?

Gloved hand holding syringe preparing to inject young, attractive woman's lip with filler

By now you’ve likely seen and heard about injectables and how they can diminish deep lines and wrinkles. Perhaps you have friends who have been using them for years with positive results, but you are just now beginning to notice some lines on your face that you wish would disappear. Venturing into the world of injectables can be quite exciting. The promise of wonderful results makes these treatments well worth your time and money. There are two main injectable choices: fillers and Botox. While both have been used to help people achieve their anti-aging goals for years, most patients do not even know what these treatments really are.

Some people mistake dermal fillers for Botox, and vice versa. To get the desired results, it is necessary to be educated in both treatments. This way, you will know which is a better option for you.

What is Botox?

If wrinkles are your main concern, the facial experts at Youthful Reflections may recommend Botox. Botox is a brand name for botulinum toxin, which is a neurotoxin that temporarily diminishes the action of muscles of facial expression.  Although Botox is the most familiar brand of botulinum toxin in the public, other brands of botulinum toxin include Dysport and Xeomin, which achieve similar results. Botulinum toxin injections diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles, and best of all, the results are very natural-looking. Botox temporarily relaxes the muscles of facial expression by blocking the nerve signals to these muscles. The treatment is quick, painless, safe and effective in easing overworked facial muscles. As an added benefit, decreasing the muscle contraction lowers the reoccurrence of frown lines and crow’s feet

Botox involves tiny injections in the target areas to achieve localized effects. Therefore, it should not affect your facial expressions. At the end of the session, you may feel a little tightness on the face. You should begin to see results in a few days and will be able to resume normal activity immediately. 

What are Dermal Fillers?

If you are worried about facial volume loss, dermal fillers are a wonderful option. One way to know if this is the best solution for you is to look at your face when it is resting – no smiling or frowning allowed. Do you still see fine lines and furrows on your face? If so, a dermal filler treatment may be what you are looking for.  Dermal fillers can help reduce the look of visible lines and wrinkles and plump up sagging cheeks. Derma fillers will refresh your appearance, giving you a more youthful face, and you can achieve all these effects without surgery.

Dermal fillers typically use gel fillers that are injected into the areas of the face that lack volume.  The fillers are also used to make the lips look plumper. However, most people turn to this procedure to lift their cheeks. Dermal fillers also encourage the production of collagen and are formulated with hyaluronic acid which helps hydrate your skin.

The result is a healthier and more refined look. 

The Difference

Botox and dermal fillers have one common goal: to effectively reduce the signs of aging. Botox is best for fixing superficial wrinkles and fine lines that result from facial expression. On the other hand, dermal fillers help plump the skin and can go much deeper in their benefits. The fillers can be used to reduce the appearance of deep furrows on the forehead, nasolabial folds, marionette lines, and lines around the lips.

The two treatments may seem similar, but there are even more differences to consider when deciding which is best for you:

• The use of Botox, also known as botulinum toxin, helps freeze the muscles in the face so that creases and wrinkles will not be as noticeable as before.

• Most of the time, patients opt for the injection of botulinum toxin to improve wrinkles on the upper face, typically the forehead and the area around the eyes.

• Dermal fillers contain hyaluronic acid and other substances that give a “filled in” appearance.  For those whose face appears to have lost its volume, dermal fillers are a good choice.

• People with wrinkles around the mouth and thinner lips or cheeks may benefit from dermal fillers.

• The fillers also work on the forehead, cheeks and other facial areas that require extra volume.

Another important difference between these two treatments is the duration of the results. With dermal fillers, the longevity will often depend on the type of filler used, with results lasting from several months to several years. On the other hand, injecting a purified form of Botulinum toxin can last anywhere from three to four months.

Which One is Right for You?

Before you decide which type of injection is best for you, you should first evaluate your needs. Botox is for wrinkles that are typically due to normal to excessive muscle movements. Laughing is great for your health, but over time it can cause the formation of wrinkles. Stress and crying also lead to fine lines, along with smoking and other habits.

Most commonly, Botox is used for the lines on the upper face, including the lines between the brows and the ones on the forehead. It is also effective in diminishing crow’s feet wrinkles around the eyes. Note, however, that it will not work on wrinkles due to loss of volume in the face. You will need dermal fillers to correct this issue, as well as with sagging and other static wrinkles.

Your choice will depend on your goals. However, it is also possible to combine these two to get the best result. These injections require an expert medical professional such as Dr. Boggess, so make sure you only schedule a consultation with an expert facial specialist.

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