It’s likely that you’re familiar with Botox. The brand name for a powerful neurotoxic protein called botulinum toxin, it leaves patients with fewer fine lines, creases, and crow’s feet. Botox is a wildly popular cosmetic treatment, with over seven million individuals a year receiving it. However, it’s not the only age-defying injectable out there. Facial fillers are often confused with Botox, but the two treatments have some important differences. Let’s take a side-by-side look at Botox and facial fillers.
Botox uses trace amounts of a potent neurotoxin to prevent neck and facial muscles from making the visible contractions that appear with age. The drug primarily works on “lines of expression”—the wrinkles and fine lines that appear when we’re smiling, frowning, or scrunching our faces in focus. The effects of Botox and the other two FDA-approved botulinum neurotoxins available in the U.S., Dysport and Xeomin, typically last between three and six months. The minimal side effects from these drugs include swelling, bruising, and occasional skin darkening at the injection site. They should last no more than a few days.
While they are administered on similar parts of the face, facial fillers utilize different elements than Botox to achieve a distinct effect. Facial fillers are injections that typically use one of three substances: collagen, hyaluronic acid, or calcium hydroxyl. But these injections don’t paralyze facial muscles to disappear fine lines. Instead, they restore and rejuvenate the soft-tissue in our faces that deteriorates over time. Collagen, in particular, is in some ways the perfect drug to achieve this effect. That’s because it’s a protein found in mammals that supports connectivity in muscle and skin tissue and helps preserve skin elasticity.
Facial fillers aren’t exclusively concerned with zapping specific wrinkles, either. Their primary goal is to restore volume in the cheeks, lips, and nasolabial folds—parts of the face that tend to sink inward over time. In doing this, facial fillers can also help reduce or eliminate wrinkles in those areas. Facial injections last anywhere between nine and 18 months.
What’s Right for You?
Individuals deciding between Botox and facial injections should ask themselves what their top goals are with the procedure. Botox is ideal for certain types of wrinkles, including crow’s feet and furrow lines. But if you’re looking to restore lost volume and want something that helps your face look fuller and more youthful, facial injections might be a better fit. Create an ongoing dialogue with our office and Dr. Wiebe to settle on the perfect match for your needs. Contact our office to get started on a more confident you.