Botox vs Fillers: The Difference between Injectables

by | Jun 29, 2020 | Blog, Cosmetic, Dermatologist

botox vs filler


Botox vs Fillers: The Difference between Injectables

Botox and fillers can be injected as minimally invasive cosmetic procedures. They typically treat fine lines and wrinkles but they have other uses as well. It is important that you find a licensed professional with the credentials to perform injections as the final results of these procedures are highly dependent on the injector.


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Botox is the brand name for botulinum toxin, a neuromodulator produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Less commonly known brand names for botulinum toxin are Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeauveau. The neuromodulator, Botox, prevents your nerves from transmitting signals to your muscles. This allows your muscles to relax so that they do not form fine lines and wrinkles. Professionals inject Botox to target the muscles responsible for facial expression. As a result, it can address the crows feet in the corners of the eyes, the frown lines or “11’s” between the eyebrows, and the lines on the forehead.

You will see the effects of Botox setting in as early as 1 to 3 days and experience the full effects in 10 to 14 days. These effects should last for 3 to 6 months. Unlike fillers, Botox is not reversible.

Botox has other uses besides treating wrinkles on the face. It can treat other medical conditions including migraines, bruxism (teeth grinding), and hyperhidrosis (excess sweating) in the armpits.


Dermal Fillers

A variety of dermal fillers exist for different skin concerns. Restylane, Juvederm, and Belotero are the brand names for hyaluronic acid fillers. This type of filler comes in a range of thicknesses for different skin types. Radiesse is the brand name for calcium hydroxylapatite filler. Professionals use calcium hydroxylapatite fillers to target deeper lines. Both hyaluronic acid and calcium hydroxylapatite are naturally-occurring molecules in the body. Sculptra is the brand name for poly-L-lactic acid filler. Poly-L-lactic acid stimulates the skin to produce more collagen and is also targeted towards deeper lines. Bellafill is the brand name for polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) filler. Both poly-L-lactic acid and PMMA are synthetic molecules.

Dermal fillers, as their name suggests, fill in the fine lines and wrinkles that are present when the face is neutral and at rest. These lines typically occur around the nose and mouth and include smile lines or “parentheses,” marionette lines, vertical lip lines, and chin creases.

In addition to addressing fine lines and wrinkles, fillers can provide other visual enhancements. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen which is a protein in the skin that helps it look fuller. Fillers can add volume to areas of the face that are lacking including the lips, cheeks, and temples. Some types of fillers can also fill in acne scars. Finally, some patients may turn toward fillers to non-surgically remodel the shape of their noses.

Hyaluronic acid filler can last for 6 to 12 months. Hyaluronic acid filler is unique in that it can be reversed by injecting an enzyme into the skin that breaks down the filler. Calcium hydroxylapatite filler usually lasts longer, for 12 to 14 months. Finally, poly-L-lactic acid filler can last for 2 to 3 years while PMMA filler has been shown to last for 5 years but may last indefinitely.


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Side Effects

Common side effects of both Botox and fillers include pain, redness, bruising, and swelling at the injection site. Allergic reactions are possible but rare occurrences. However, you should seek professional attention if you experience droopy eyelid, drooling, or crooked smiling after Botox injections as these are cause for concern. On the other hand,  dermal filler injections may cause blockage of blood vessels which restricts blood supply to tissues. This requires urgent medical intervention.


If you have noticed a persistent issue or anything else that is suspicious on your skin, then we would recommend consulting a dermatologist for a closer examination. Here at First Derm, we have online board-certified dermatologists ready to take a look at your skin concerns. Simply upload an image anonymously and we’ll do the rest!

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