Patients who want to turn back the clock on their face and gain a more youthful look will often ask their doctor about using Botox or fillers to achieve the desired appearance. Both Botox and fillers are placed in the body through an injection, and they do not provide permanent results. Here is a look at the benefits of both cosmetic treatments as well as the differences between the two options.
Botox uses a purified form of the botulinum toxin that is able to be obtained from bacteria. The treatment is designed to freeze the muscles in the targeted area of the face. This is accomplished by blocking the nerve signals in the targeted muscles. The blocked nerve signals paralyze the muscles on a temporary basis. By freezing the muscles, Botox minimizes the appearance of wrinkles and lines on the face that appear as a person continues to age. The result is a look to the lines and wrinkles that is softer and reduced.
Patients need to know that Botox is only able to work on wrinkles and lines that are the result of muscle movement AKA “dynamic wrinkles” and examples of muscle movement include squinting, smiling, and frowning. Some of the most common areas on the face treated by Botox include the area between the brows, crow’s feet located around the eyes and horizontal lines that appear on the forehead. Botox is not able to treat lines and wrinkles that are the result of sagging skin that occurs in the neck and cheeks.
On the other hand, dermal fillers are injected into portions of the face (under the surface of the skin) to add fullness and additional volume in areas that have become thinner in appearance (such as the lips and cheeks). Some of the substances that are used to create dermal fillers include hyaluronic acid (which is a substance that is naturally produced by the human body), and polylactic acid (which is able to stimulate the production of collagen in the skin).
The choice of filler should be discussed with a doctor in order to choose the best option to fill-in sunken areas of the face, provide volume to thin lips, soften the look of wrinkles around the cheeks and mouth, and fill-in the appearance of scars on the face.
As shown above, Botox freezes the muscles in the treated area to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines in areas such as the forehead and around the eyes of the patient. Fillers add volume and plumpness to areas that have lost volume due to the aging process including the cheeks and the lips as well as providing a smoother look to the forehead and the area around the mouth.
The results from Botox will start to be visible after a week or two as the skin stops pulling along with the muscle. The final results can last anywhere from 4-6 months.
The results of dermal fillers can start to be seen almost immediately after the procedure, but it will take several weeks for the final results to appear. The length of the results depends on the type of filler injected into the face as well as the amount of filler used by the doctor. In general, the results can last anywhere between 6-18 months.
Both Botox and fillers are not permanent solutions which means the patient will need to have follow-up treatments in order to maintain the results.
While both Botox and fillers are considered to be safe treatments, there are some side effects patients should know about in advance of their procedure.
Possible Botox side effects include a drooping brow or eyelid, numbness, bruising, swelling, dry mouth, weakness of nearby muscles, trouble swallowing, and a headache. Patients should not massage or rub the area where Botox is injected as this can make the toxin start to spread to the surrounding skin and cause it to droop.
The possible side effects associated with dermal fillers include redness, swelling, bruising, itching, skin rash, lumps, and an asymmetrical appearance to the results.
Botox and fillers are not a recommended treatment for women who are either pregnant or breastfeeding.
Even though both treatment options can provide a youthful and rejuvenated look to the face, the results to the face are not as dramatic as those provided by a surgical procedure such as a facelift. Anyone who wants results that are long-lasting are advised to schedule a consultation appointment with a doctor who is experienced in addressing issues with the skin related to aging. The surgeon can examine the face of the person and determine if their desired results can be achieved through Botox and fillers or a surgical option like a facelift.