Botox or dermal fillers – which one will you choose? It might seem at first that the two injectable treatments, designed to erase wrinkles, do the same thing. We just want a youthful face, it doesn’t matter how we get there, right? Wrong. Both Botox and fillers are minimally invasive, non-surgical injectable treatments that flat out your wrinkles and fine lines. But that’s where the similarity stops. Botox and fillers work very differently on achieving a younger look, and they also differ in the areas that they treat.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Botox and dermal filler treatments are leading the chart of the most popular non-surgical treatments, amassing a dozen million procedures a year. But which one should you have? People who are novice to injectable treatments are often not aware of the differences between Botox and fillers, but if you’d like to have one, it’s important to learn bits and pieces about the treatments so that you could choose the best option for yourself!
They say that Botox is generally used for dynamic wrinkles, and fillers for static ones. We’ll explore what it means and why you should use one or another.
What Is Botox And What Is It Used For?
Botox is a purified toxin called Botulinum toxin created by a certain species of bacteria. This toxin has the ability to freeze muscles when injected. This feature of the toxin has proved extremely useful in treating some muscular disorders, but also wrinkles. When our facial muscles move too much, over time those movements add up and can create wrinkles and folds.
Botox injections block nerve signals to the muscle where they are injected, which then temporarily paralyzes the muscle underlying the wrinkle you want to treat. As a result, the skin covering the muscle flattens out. It’s important to note that this only works if muscle movements are indeed responsible for wrinkles and fine lines. This is easy to determine: are the wrinkles in question on the forehead, between your eyebrows, or around the eyes? They are probably there due to frowning, squinting, laughing, and other facial expressions you’ve been doing your whole life.
Botox is FDA-approved to treat exactly those: moderate to severe horizontal lines on the forehead, moderate to severe crow’s feet, and moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows (so called the “11”).
If you’d like to treat your dynamic wrinkles, Botox, or another FDA-approved brand of the same neurotoxin, might be the perfect choice for you. Remember, it is not a permanent treatment. Its effect usually last for three months, so remember to rebook!
On the other hand, if you want to treat static wrinkles, your injector will opt for a dermal filler.
What Are Fillers And What Are They Used For?
Dermal fillers are injectables that can soften or erase static wrinkles. Static wrinkles are those that appeared due to age – for example, because some area of the face thinned due to aging, lost their natural collagen and elasticity. This thinning usually happens in cheeks, lips, and around the mouth – lower part of the face.
Dermal fillers offer fullness and volume in those areas, but they can also give fullness to other areas.
You have probably heard of lip fillers, or fillers for enhancing various facial features. Dermal fillers can plump up thin lips, enhance or fill in areas on the face, fill in or soften scars, and fill in or soften static wrinkles.
Dermal fillers are comprised of different temporary or permanent materials, such as hyaluronic acid, or poly-L-lactic acid that builds collagen. Different fillers have different formulations and can be used to treat variety of issues.
Depending on the area treated and the filler used, the effect will last anywhere from 6 months to two years. They are also reversible and can be resolved as per wish of the patient. When fillers wear off, if you would like to maintain the results of the procedure, you should have it redone.
Dermal fillers are generally a great option for replacing lost volume. Since they work different than Botox does, the two can often work together: Botox for expressive lines, fillers for static lines and/or loss of fullness in the face.
Do Fillers Last Longer Than Botox?
This is a too broad of a question because there are too many options available.
As we mentioned, there are many brands and formulations of filler to give a definite answer. However, dermal fillers do tend to last longer than Botox. But they also do come with a higher cost.
This generally evens out if you keep in mind that, if a filler lasts longer, during that period you are likely to have two or more Botox treatments.
What’s Better – Botox Or Fillers, And Which One To Use?
In summary, we could say the differences between Botox and fillers refer to how they work and, consequently, what areas they treat.
Botox freezes muscles to stop moving wrinkles caused by repetitive facial motions. These are called dynamic wrinkles and are usually found in the upper face – think forehead and around the eyes. They offer smooth effect for as long as the muscle is paralyzed, which is around three months. The injected muscle will slowly recover and be able to move again, so another injection must be done in order to maintain results.
Dermal fillers are made of substances that give volume and plumpness to areas where volume has decreased, and such are wrinkles in the lower face, where volume was lost due to aging-induced thinning of the skin. Fillers can also be used to fill in areas for enhancing features, such as lips and cheeks.
Since Botox and fillers are used to address fundamentally different issues, we cannot say one is better than the other.
Also, it’s important that all decisions regarding your injectables and treatments to restore youthfulness are made together with your injector. Always look for a certified and experienced provider and ask for their before and after photos. Have a thorough talk about possible side effects and what you can do should they occur. Side effects in both Botox and filler procedures are rare, but can happen. The job of your injector is to guide you through the whole process and tell you upfront what you can expect, so you are aware of all risks and benefits before actually sitting in the chair at the clinic.
You should also ask your Botox or filler provider if you are even eligible for the procedure. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s best you wait before getting your wrinkle erasing treatment. There hasn’t been extensive research on how Botox or fillers affect the fetus or a baby who is breastfed, so it’s better to postpone the treatment to avoid any possible problems.
In the end, remember that both Botox and fillers come with their own risks and advantages, and they cannot be used interchangeably because they tackle different things. We hope we cleared the issue a bit, but make sure to talk to an injector you trust. Only then will you be able to make an informed decision, and enjoy your new, more youthful look as a result!