Botox vs. Fillers: Which treatment is right for me?
One of the most common questions we get from our patients is, “When do I need Botox - and when do I need fillers?” These are two very different treatments, and we use them to achieve different results.
To understand when you might want one over the other, let’s start with what they each actually do.
What is Botox?
Botox is a drug that’s used to treat certain muscular conditions and cosmetically to remove wrinkles. Botox works by stopping the movement of specific muscles that produce wrinkles.
Though Botox is a common facial treatment, it can also be used to prevent severe underarm sweating, chronic migraines, overactive bladder, uncontrollable blinking and more.
Botox lasts three months on average.
What are fillers?
Fillers are gel-like substances that are injected beneath the skin to restore lost volume, smooth lines and wrinkles, and enhance facial contours.
Most fillers are made of hyaluronic acid (HA), a substance that is naturally produced by the body. HA stores moisture and gives skin a plump, hydrated look.
Within six to 18 months, HA is naturally broken down by the body, so fillers are a temporary option that eventually fade without any long-term risks. Additionally, an enzyme can be injected into your skin to dissolve the fillers.
However, if you love the look of your filler, touch ups once or twice a year will prevent effects from fading.
What are the differences between the two?
Botox is mainly used to prevent wrinkles from forming in the first place. This treatment option stops the muscles that create wrinkles. It’s a preventative option, though repeated injections are necessary for continued wrinkle-reducing effects.
Fillers help to plump the areas where volume has been lost with age and fill lines and wrinkles that are present at rest. The hyaluronic acid “fills in” areas that have lost volume over the years.
Understanding dynamic lines and wrinkles
Before determining which option is right for you, we’ll take a look at the areas to determine whether we’re treating dynamic lines or wrinkles.
Dynamic lines appear with movement and can be treated with Botox, as the injections will stop the muscle’s movement. But, once the lines are present at rest -without any movement - they will need to be treated with a filler.
Botox can sometimes be used to soften the appearance of fine lines, but is more commonly used to prevent wrinkles before they become prominent.
Are there any other treatment options?
We offer a variety of other treatment options that will help soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, including:
Microneedling - a skin-rejuvenating procedure in which tiny needles create micro-injuries in the top layer of skin.
PRP injections - adding Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) to the skin to speed healing and repair from microneedling, while stimulating collagen production.
Chemical peels - resurfacing treatments through the use of alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), beta hydroxy acids (BHA) and trichloroacetic acid (TCA).
In summary: Botox stops muscle movement and is typically used to prevent wrinkles from forming. Fillers use hyaluronic acid to plump areas that have lost volume and smoothness.
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