Differences between Botox® and Dermal Fillers

Wrinkle treatment options are increasingly abundant. There are numerous over-the-counter products, and people are also turning to their healthcare providers for longer-lasting options. Botulinum toxin type A (Botox) and dermal fillers are both long-lasting treatments. Each procedure can be used for wrinkles, but there are several differences between the two to consider.

Uses

Botox and dermal fillers alike may be used to treat wrinkles on the face. Each treatment is also delivered via injection. Still, both options have slightly different uses

Botox®

Botox itself is a muscle relaxer made from bacteria. It’s been on the market for over two decades, and has been used to treat neurological disorders that cause muscle weakness. It’s also used for the treatment of migraines and other medical conditions.
For wrinkle treatment, Botox is primarily used to treat dynamic wrinkles. These wrinkles occur naturally around the eyes and mouth, as well as in between your eyebrows. They become more pronounced with age. Botox injections relax the muscles near these wrinkles. Not allowing the muscles to move reduces the appearance of dynamic wrinkles.
Botox is not used for fine lines caused by collagen breakdown.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers also treat wrinkles on the face. They’re primarily used to treat smile lines, though the fillers can also be used to plump up the lips or cheeks. Sometimes, they’re used for hand treatments or to reduce the appearance of scars. Dermal fillers aren’t approved for plumping up other areas of the body, though, such as the breasts.
Dermal fillers come in different forms, and like Botox, they’re injectable. Some are temporary and used primarily for soft tissues in the face along the smile lines. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following options:
– calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse), a temporary gel solution that lasts for 18 months
– collagen, a temporary material that lasts for up to four months
– hyaluronic acid, a temporary material that loses its effect after 6 to 12 months
– poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra, Sculptra Aesthetic), a man-made material that lasts about two years
– polymethylmethacrylate beads, the only permanent type of dermal filler available

Is Botox® Effective?

Botox injections produce results for most people. You’ll likely see noticeable effects within a week of the injection. Side effects are minimal, and most go away after a short time. You may not notice the full effects of Botox if you have certain conditions that prevent them. You’ll need to talk to your healthcare provider about all these potential risks ahead of time.
Once you receive the injections, you’ll be able to continue your daily activities without any recovery time. The effects of Botox last about 3 to 4 months. Then, you’ll need additional treatments if you want to maintain the results.

How effective are dermal fillers?

Dermal fillers are also considered effective, and the results last longer than results from Botox overall. Still, results differ depending on the exact type of filler you choose. Like Botox, you’ll need maintenance treatments once the fillers wear off.

Cost, availability, and procedure

Both Botox and dermal fillers are widely available through specialists. They involve relatively simple procedures performed at the healthcare provider’s office, but you’ll likely need a consultation first.
Neither procedure is covered by insurance, but financing or payment options may be available through your healthcare provider.

Bottom line

Dermal fillers might produce more long-term results, but these injections also carry more side effects than Botox injections. You should also keep in mind that Botox and dermal fillers treat slightly different problems and are usually used in different areas of the face. They may also be used in conjunction as complimentary treatments to achieve your desired results. Weigh all your options carefully with your healthcare provider.

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