Let’s debunk some misconceptions!
-By Dr Marlise De Jager
Botox® (Botulinum toxin) and fillers are two of the most popular injectable cosmetic treatments worldwide, but they are two VERY DIFFERENT products with different end results.
Not only are botulinum toxin and fillers two different substances, but they also differ in the way they work:
Botox® (Botulinum toxin type A) is a neurotoxin that is injected into muscles, reducing wrinkles by relaxing the muscles underneath the skin. So in simple terms, this product would temporarily paralyse a given muscle so as to not contract the skin and form a wrinkle. (Insert before +after pictures)
Dermal fillers are most commonly hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring substance in the body. It is injected beneath the surface of the skin to fill in wrinkles, lines, and scars or to add volume and fullness to targeted areas of the face. Fillers are commonly used in the cheeks, lips, and around the mouth. Plumping up these areas cause a more youthful look by smoothing lines and adding volume. (Insert before + after pictures).
Botulinum toxin and dermal fillers are both minimally invasive and very effective for the treatment of fine lines and wrinkles, among other cosmetic concerns. They are both, also, very safe in the hands of a skilled practitioner.
Are Botox® or Fillers Better?
Botulinum toxin and fillers treat different problems and different areas of the face and skin.
They both play an important role in your anti-ageing routine and work even better when combined.
Both procedures are temporary. Botox results will last for three to six months, while dermal fillers will last for six to 18 months. You will need repeated treatments to maintain a youthful appearance.
Long Term Effects of Dermal Fillers and Botox
One of the most common concerns that people have when they are considering Botulinum toxin or dermal fillers are the long term effects.
Botulinum toxin is generally considered safe. The most serious side effects are when botulinum toxin is injected into the wrong muscle group or spread from the injection site, causing temporary paralysis of unintended muscles.
The overall incidence of long term adverse reactions secondary to the dermal injection of hyaluronic acid skin fillers is believed to be low, the vast majority representing a foreign body-related chronic inflammatory reaction.
Both injectable therapies are temporary and repeated treatments are necessary. If you decide to stop treatments, the only effect will be that your wrinkles will return, but it might be more slowly. You will still look younger than you would have if you had never been injected.
Both Botox and fillers are safe and effective procedures. By understanding the differences between Botox and fillers, you can decide which procedure is right for you. Always do your homework and have your injections performed by a reputable doctor. Every practitioner has different philosophies, techniques, and levels of experience. Communicate with your doctor about realistic expectations and results before allowing any treatment.
The best way to determine which product would be best for you is to schedule a consultation.