Wondering about Botox vs. Dermal Fillers? We hear a lot about people, often celebrities and notable figures, getting Botox treatments or dermal fillers. Sometimes these terms are used interchangeably, and it can be tough to tell the difference between the two procedures. While Botox injections and dermal fillers aim to rectify some of the same cosmetic challenges, they are indeed different products. Continue reading on to see how they differ, what they are used for, and how to determine which one might be better for you.

Botox and dermal fillers are non-invasive cosmetic treatments given through the use of injections. To ensure safety when getting injectables, be sure to have the procedure done at a reputable spa or skincare clinic, such as Solara Skin & Laser Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Botox and dermal fillers are both considered minimally invasive treatments, meaning they are not surgical interventions. That, however, is where their similarities end.

Botox and dermal filler treatments are extremely popular. Each year, more than ten million procedures are conducted in the United States. Botox contains purified bacteria, which freezes the muscles at the injection site upon injection into the treatment area. Through this process, Botox can help to minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles caused by years of repetitive facial expression. On the other hand, dermal fillers contain ingredients that add fullness to areas of the face that have thinned due to the natural aging process. Common locations were dermal fillers are used include cheeks, lips, and around the mouth. It is important to be aware of the benefits and risks associated with these treatments and have realistic expectations of what each can achieve.

 A Little More About Botox

Botox injections might be used to help correct dynamic wrinkles such as crow’s feet around the eyes and horizontal lines across the forehead. Botox injections are created using a purified form of the botulinum toxin. Although the bacteria have a nasty reputation and are deadly in larger amounts, the tiny, highly regulated amount of Botox given to correct wrinkles has been used safely for decades.

Botox works by blocking the nerve signals in the muscles at the injection site. When those nerve signals are interrupted, the affected muscle is temporarily paralyzed. Without the ability to move select muscle groups, certain wrinkles maybe appear softened, reduced, or in some cases, appear to be removed.

What Can Botox Fix?

Botox injections only work on wrinkles that are caused by muscle movement. These are often called “dynamic wrinkles” or “expression lines.” This means if you have wrinkles on your face resulting from sun damage for the natural aging process, Botox is not a suitable treatment option. The most common dynamic wrinkles that Botox can treat are lines on the upper face, such as those between your eyebrows, horizontal lines on the forehead, and crow’s feet that appear around the ice. These are also the wrinkles that typically form after years of smiling, frowning, squinting, and other everyday facial expressions.

Although considered generally safe, Botox injections do have a shortlist of potential side effects. Also, Botox is not a permanent treatment and will require repeated injections every few months to maintain the desired results.

What Are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers, sometimes referred to as soft tissue fillers, are substances designed to be injected beneath the skin’s surface. When someone receives a dermal filler injection, it will add volume and fullness to the treated area. Dermal fillers are made from a variety of different substances, including:

  •       Calcium hydroxylapatite -a mineral-like compound naturally occurring in the bones.
  •       Hyaluronic acid- a naturally occurring compound found in some body fluids and tissues.
  •       Polyalkylimide- a synthetic, transparent gel that is compatible with the body.
  •       Polylactic acid- a substance that stimulates the skin to make more collagen.

Each of these substances is designed to treat different signs of aging or other cosmetic concerns. Each substance has a different effective duration, and some work faster than others. Some dermal fillers will last for about six months, whereas others can last as long as two years.  If you are considering fillers, you should discuss your specific needs and expectations with your skincare professional at Solara Skin & Laser Center to determine which filler would be the best choice for your needs.

What Can Dermal Fillers Fix?

Different types of fillers are designed to treat different and varying signs of aging. Depending on the filler chosen, it may help to plump thinning lips, fill or soften the look of scars, fill or soften static wrinkles (especially on the lower face, around the mouth, and along the cheeks) or fill shallow areas on the face. Static wrinkles, unlike dynamic wrinkles, are those that occur as a result of skin damage or aging, not voluntary muscle movements.

Like Botox, dermal fillers are considered safe; however, side effects are possible. Also, the cost of dermal fillers varies depending on location and the type of filler used. As mentioned previously, dermal fillers generally last longer than Botox, and therefore although the initial cost may be higher, the frequency of required treatments is less.

If you are considering Botox or dermal fillers, it is essential to understand what the treatments can and cannot do. For instance, if you hope to reduce the visibility of wrinkles from aging or sun damage, Botox treatments may not be beneficial for you. Conversely, if wrinkles around your eyes and forehead are your concern, dermal fillers are likely less useful for your needs. Most importantly, it is vital to use a qualified provider with experience and training injecting Botox and dermal fillers. This will ensure the procedure is done safely and correctly, reducing the chances of some short-term side effects or even long-term nerve or skin damage. If you are interested in learning more about Botox and dermal fillers, contact Solara Skin & Laser Center in Anchorage, Alaska, today to schedule an appointment with one of our skincare professionals. Let our knowledgeable, professional staff answer your questions and help you determine which skincare treatments are best suited to meet your skincare needs.