Botox and facial fillers are both applied via injection, but the two minimally invasive cosmetic procedures differ in all other respects. The essential difference is that Botox can be used to indirectly reduce lines and wrinkles by blocking nerve signals to the muscles that actually cause the lines and wrinkles. Dermal fillers, however, are used to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles by adding extra volume and structure beneath the skin.
Botox is primarily known as an indirect muscle paralyzer. It accomplishes this by blocking nerve impulses along the nerves that normally control the muscles. Muscles can only contract or relax, but in doing so they can cause visible lines to become apparent in the overlying skin. Over the course of time, these lines can become more and more developed, to the point where they remain visible even when the underlying muscle is not activated. Depending on where the lines are located, and on cosmetic preferences, these lines might be regarded as attractive, or (more likely) undesirable. Botox can only be used to address lines and wrinkles directly associated with muscular contractions, and even then its effectiveness can depend on how developed these lines have become. Botox will have no, or only limited success when used on very deep and developed lines, or on wrinkles that are not directly due to muscle activity.
Botox injections typically last between four and five months, although there is some variation between individuals. There is no FDA-approved antidote in case of excessive Botox use, although research into possible candidates continues.
Botox also has some non-cosmetic uses, including reducing teeth grinding caused by oversized jaw muscles, and reducing excessive sweating when applied to the armpits.
Facial Fillers Usage
Facial filler products can address two primary types of problems. They can be used to fill in loose or wrinkled skin by adding more volume directly beneath. They can also be used to address the more significant loss of volumes, such as hollow cheeks or sunken eyes. There are very many different formulations of facial filler products, each adapted to the specific need being addressed. Some fillers have very smooth textures and can be used to enhance lip definition. Others form a much thicker texture after being injected and are able to provide some support as well as adding additional volume.
Facial filler products primarily use hyaluronic acid as their primary ingredient. Hyaluronic acid is able to bind moisture and is found naturally in the body, where it’s an important component in our joints, skin, and eyes. It performs the same function when injected as a facial filler, where it helps retain moisture and add bulk, to the treated area.
Facial fillers, depending on the type and location of use, can provide benefits from anywhere between five months to two years. It’s also possible to correct for over-use of hyaluronic acid fillers after the fact, by injecting another product that is able to dissolve the filler, if necessary.
Comparing Both Procedures
Botox can be used proactively, to prevent the formation of some lines before they become over-developed. Botox is very effective when used on lines linked to changing facial expressions, such as laughing or frowning. Facial filler products are effective when used on lines that are always present, regardless of the underlying muscles.
It’s quite possible to combine the use of both procedures, using each to address the problems they’re best adapted to. Your practitioner should be able to advise you on the best combination for your particular needs.
To maximize the benefits of either procedure and to minimize the chance of developing side effects, it’s extremely important to choose a medically-trained and experienced practitioner. Both Botox and facial fillers can produce effective, natural-looking results, but they can also, in the hands of an insufficiently qualified practitioner, produce the exact opposite effect.
Your Laser Skin Care
Your Laser Skin Care practitioners are medically qualified and highly experienced in performing both Botox and facial filler procedures. We can provide expert advice on the best techniques to address your particular concerns and will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about our procedures. We also have extensive experience with a wide variety of non-invasive cosmetic procedures and can help you choose the safest, most effective, and most cost-effective way to achieve your cosmetic goals. Call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation, or visit us online for more information.