Botox vs. Fillers

With so many cosmetic treatments available, it’s understandable if you find it challenging to keep them all straight. In this article, we’ll go through the differences between botox injections and dermal fillers so you can decide which option is right for you.

Botox and dermal fillers are often confused with one another or misunderstood as the same thing. This misunderstanding is an honest mistake, as the cosmetic treatments share many similarities. For example, both come in the form of injections and treat the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Still, there are key differences between Botox injections and fillers.

So, how exactly is Botox different from dermal fillers? The main differences between these two cosmetic treatments are how they treat cosmetic issues and the substances they use to do so. Let’s look at each type of cosmetic treatment to highlight their differences further.

What Is Botox?

Botox is an injectable cosmetic treatment that relaxes wrinkles in the facial area. It is the brand name for a purified form of a Botulinum neurotoxin patented by Allergan Aesthetics. The name Botox is essentially a shortened version of Botulinum neurotoxin.

Botulinum neurotoxins function as neuromodulators. Neuromodulators affect the transmission of nerve signals to and from the brain. The neuromodulating action of Botulinum neurotoxins affects the transmission of nerve signals between the brain and specific muscles. With Botox, this purified Botulinum neurotoxin inhibits muscle contractions in the treatment area. It prevents signals from the brain from reaching nerve endings in the treated muscles and causing contractions.

The targeted muscle contractions with Botox are those involved with facial expressions. These muscles contract and create wrinkles whenever you smile, frown or look surprised. As such, the main treatment areas with Botox injections are crow’s foot, forehead and frown lines. Over time, your muscles lose their ability to bounce back from these repeated muscle contractions. When this happens, wrinkles settle and form.

Botox treats these wrinkles and fine lines by pausing the activity of those muscle contractions temporarily. The disrupted nerve signals between the treated muscles and the brain mean that the muscles no longer contract when you smile, frown or look surprised. The pause in muscle activity gives your skin the time and space to smooth out wrinkles and repair itself. Botox injections also prevent the formation of wrinkles and fine lines while the injections are in effect.

A popular alternative to Botox is Dysport injections. Dysport injections contain the same ingredients as Botox and work in the same way. However, the solution is more diluted and spreads quicker than Botox injections. Dysport is great for broad, surface-level applications like forehead wrinkles. Botox is better for deep, localized areas like crow’s feet.

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What Are Fillers?

Fillers consist of substances that medical cosmetic providers inject beneath the skin. These substances add volume and correct cosmetic issues like wrinkles, folds, and fine lines. The most common substance in the fillers we use is hyaluronic acid.

  • Hyaluronic acid (HA): HA is also a naturally occurring substance in your body, found in the highest concentrations in your eyes and joint fluid. It helps with several cosmetic issues by keeping your skin plump and hydrated. HA also stimulates collagen production and attracts water molecules to the skin. This way, HA restores lost volume, hydrates your skin and maintains its firmness. Common dermal fillers that use HA include Juvadérm and Restylane.

The main action of dermal fillers is to stimulate collagen production. Still, each filler substance has unique characteristics that also enable other benefits.

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When to Use Botox vs. Fillers

Here’s a simple rule for deciding between Botox and dermal fillers — Botox is for expression lines, while dermal fillers are for resting lines.

That is, Botox and Dysport are helpful for wrinkles that occur from repeated facial expressions. These include frown lines, laugh lines, crow’s-feet lines and others. In contrast, dermal fillers are helpful for those issues that occur even when your facial muscles are at rest. Some problems that persist when your face is at rest include lip lines, sunken cheeks, and other problems resulting from lost volume.

Further, Botox and Dysport are better suited for preventative procedures around the eyes and forehead. Since they pause muscle activity in the treatment area, Botox and Dysport injections prevent the formation of new wrinkles while the toxin works its magic. If you’re seeking treatment for deeply set lines and wrinkles, dermal fillers are more effective since they actively plump the skin and fill in wrinkles.

How Long Does Botox Last vs. Fillers

Botox and Dysport injections tend to last anywhere from 3-4 months. Since these injections do not have an immediate plumping effect, it generally takes a few days before you begin noticing results.

Dermal filler durations vary widely, lasting anywhere from a few months to two years. The type of filler you receive will dictate the length of time your results last. Most dermal fillers immediately plump the skin, so you notice results on the same day of treatment.

It’s also important to note that some bruising and swelling are normal in the treatment area following any injection. These side effects should subside soon after treatment. If you receive Botox, Dysport, or dermal fillers from a certified provider, you shouldn’t experience any significant complications.

Visit Face Forward Aesthetics for Botox or Fillers Treatment

Whether you’re looking for more information about the difference between botox injections and fillers or seeking to banish some fine lines from your face, we can help at Face Forward Aesthetics. Visit one of our med spas in Columbus, Ohio, Las Vegas, Nevada, or Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We also have various clinics in other areas of Ohio, such as Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, and Toledo. Book an appointment with FFA today!

About the Author
FFA nurse practitioner
Chelsea Gribbin, APRN-CNP

Chelsea Gribbin, DNP, FNP-C, is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner with a mastery in Aesthetics. She completed her BSN at Robert Morris University and worked as a circulating nurse in neurology for 6 years. Chelsea then went on to pursue her Family Nurse Practitioner degree at Robert Morris University where she graduated with her Doctorate. She is also certified with the AANP. She obtained her dream job working at Face Forward Aesthetics in 2019. Chelsea has a strong passion for boosting self-image and confidence for her patients’. When Chelsea is not injecting, you can find her jet setting to a new Caribbean Island, spending time with family and friends, or working out!