Should I choose a Dermal Filler or Botox?
There’s a reason Botox®️ and dermal fillers consistently grab the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the top five cosmetic minimally invasive treatments list year after year — they work.
Millions of women and men opt for these highly effective treatments to smooth out their wrinkles because they don’t require surgery, there’s no downtime, and the results last a long time.
At first blush, you may think these two treatments do the same thing. But Botox and dermal fillers work differently and tackle different problems.
Here to clear things up, our team of master aestheticians at Contours LaserSpa in Fairfax, Virginia, led by board-certified Dr. Tammy Jones, offers thorough explanations of each treatment. They can help you choose which is right for you.
How dermal fillers work
As you age, your skin loses some of the fat that once gave your cheeks their nice contours and gave your face an overall youthful appearance.
Your skin also loses elasticity, which once allowed it to snap back and recover from daily wear-and-tear. Over time, your skin begins to thin out and resemble a wrinkled, deflated balloon.
That’s where dermal fillers come in. These injectable solutions fill in lost volume under the surface of your skin with a gel-like substance that stands in for the fat and restores elasticity.
Here at Contours LaserSpa, we use the Juvéderm® family of products, including: XC, Voluma XC, and Ultra XC. They’re all injectable fillers, but each one targets a different issue, such as:
- Facial symmetry
- Wrinkled eyelids
- Sunken temples
- Deep nasolabial folds (laugh lines)
- Marionette lines (wrinkles at the corners of your mouth)
- Sunken cheeks
- Thin lips
- Vertical lines above lips
- Thin skin on the back of your hands
Juvéderm contains hyaluronic acid, a hydrating substance that’s naturally created by your skin, combined with a smooth gel. Not only does Juvéderm plump your skin immediately, it also stimulates your body’s production of collagen, a supporting protein, to provide ongoing results.
How Botox works
Every time you make a facial expression, your face creases. When you’re young, that’s no big deal, because your skin is full of collagen and elastin, which give it strength and resiliency.
But as you get older, you lose those properties, and the creases tend to stay, even when you’re no longer laughing or frowning. These are called dynamic wrinkles, and they’re different from the static wrinkles that are more textural.
The way to smooth out dynamic wrinkles is to reduce or stop the muscle contractions that cause the creasing. Enter Botox.
Botox is derived from botulinum toxin and targets the muscles responsible for some of the deepest wrinkles on your face. These include frown lines, forehead furrows, and crow’s feet.
We inject Botox into these overworked muscles to safely and quickly stop the contractions. Over the following days and weeks, the muscles relax and your wrinkles considerably decrease or disappear completely.
After your Botox injection, you can still make normal facial expressions, but the creases won’t be as deep, leaving you with a natural appearance.
What to expect from Botox and filler treatments
Botox and dermal fillers are long-lasting yet temporary treatments. Over time, the results naturally fade as the Botox gradually wears off, and your body absorbs the fillers. Results vary from person to person, but typically Juvéderm lasts 6-12 months, and Botox up to four months.
Both types of injections use tiny needles, so the treatment is generally painless, but you may develop some redness, tenderness, bruising, itching, or mild swelling. These side effects usually subside within a week, or about two weeks if you’ve had Juvéderm injected around your lips.