There are several key differences between Botox and fillers. Botulinum toxin type A (Botox) and dermal fillers can both be used in long-lasting wrinkle treatments and to help users appear younger with fuller skin, but there are several key differences between the two. 

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says there are around 9 million non-invasive Botox and dermal filler procedures done every year in the United States. Both of these types of cosmetic procedures seek to restore a healthy natural look to the patient’s face by smoothing tiny lines and wrinkles and restoring volume and fullness. 

So, which do you need? Let’s discuss each one to help you make your decision. 

What is Botox?

Botox is a popular treatment for eliminating the fine lines we all get as we age. It’s obtained from bacteria that produces the botulinum toxin. In small doses, injected under the skin, Botox is a safe, effective treatment to correct wrinkles, smooth skin, and restore a youthful appearance.  

Krishma Patel, PA-C Physician Assistant Lake Nona Ophthalmology/Med Spa describes by saying, “Botox is a purified protein that relaxes muscles.” 

MedicalNewsToday reports that Botox works by blocking the underlying nerve signals in the muscles where it is injected. Under the skin, when the signals are interrupted, the muscles release their tension. On the skin’s surface, we see the softening or removal of wrinkles. 

Botox works on any wrinkles caused by muscle movement. For example, squinting into the sun can cause crow’s feet or frown lines. Botox can eliminate or lessen their appearance. The appearance of smile, cheek, or neck and jowl lines, can all be improved or erased with a Botox injection. One Botox treatment, although not permanent, can last for up to four months. 

Skin damage from aging or the sun can be lessened in this way, restoring a youthful glow to the facial skin. 

What Are Fillers?

 Dermal fillers, or “fillers,” can plump out the skin by restoring volume and fullness to the face. 

“From the time we are born, much of the volume in our face comes from our bony structure and fat pads that are distributed throughout our face. As we age, our bone remodels and shrinks and so do our fat pads,” says Krishma. “The pillars that once gave our face volume and a lifted-up appearance are no longer able to provide the same support. That is where fillers come in.” 

As people age, they naturally lose the subcutaneous fat in the face. This makes wrinkles more apparent over time. Sun exposure and lifestyle can contribute to the problem. However, the patient can use the filler procedure to:

  • Decrease or eliminate lower lid shadows
  • Enhance shallow facial contours 
  • Improve the appearance of scars
  • Reconstruct contour deformities
  • Soften creases and wrinkles
  • Plump thin lips

Dermal fillers are substances injected under the skin to restore a fuller appearance. 

Most fillers are composed of hyaluronic acid naturally found in our skin, joint, and eyes; however, the filler material could also be made from:

  • Calcium hydroxylapatite, which is a mineral found in bones
  • Polyalkylimide or Polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres which are semi-permanent
  • Polylactic acid, which can stimulate collagen production

Each one is designed to treat specific signs of aging, so talk with your clinical team to determine which is right for you.

Like Botox, fillers are non-invasive but temporary. Fillers can last anywhere from three months to a year, depending upon where the filler is injected.

Which Do I Need – Botox or Fillers?

BotoxAs we age, the volume in our faces begins to decline naturally as the hyaluronic acid and collagen reduce. Fillers and Botox can restore volume and fill out wrinkles. These can be used effectively to create a natural and more youthful look. 

The good news is that you may not need surgery to correct the fine lines on your face. If you look in the mirror and are frustrated by what you see every day, you have a number of cosmetic options.

Botox or fillers are popular, safe, and effective, and administered as non-invasive outpatient options with no incisions or sedation needed. Both treatments are quick and patients don’t find them uncomfortable. 

To determine which treatment is right for you, we recommend a confidential assessment from the Lake Nona Ophthalmology Med Spa team. Typically, we use Botox as a treatment for:

  • Wrinkles caused by the activity of the underlying muscle structures
  • Smoothing or preventing lines around the eyes or mouth or on the forehead

Dermal fillers are a second option for patients seeking facial rejuvenation without clinical surgery. There are many types of fillers available and we will work with you to create a customized treatment option to meet your goals. Fillers may be right for you if:

  • Want to restore a fuller volume to your face
  • Are seeking to fill in wrinkles and facial lines
  • You want to plump out the lips without implants

There are several considerations when looking at Botox or fillers. Ask yourself:

  • Which treatment will give you the results you’re searching for? 
  • Does your skin have brown spots and sun damage?
  • Would a specialty facial improve the appearance of dry, aged skin or do you have permanent wrinkles you would like to remove? 
  • Do you want to tone your skin without surgeries?
  • How long would you like the treatment to last?

Both Botox and fillers are long-lasting, safe, effective, and non-invasive. There is no recovery time and you can resume normal activities right after the procedure. You’ll see noticeable effects within a week that can last for months. Both procedures should be administered by trained healthcare professionals trained in treating any part of the face. 

People choose Botox or fillers because they’re bothered by the appearance of deep wrinkles, dark circles, or neck lines. Looking your best is important, and there are a variety of treatments available today that are effective and dramatic. 

If you’re considering Botox or fillers, the good news is that you don’t necessarily have to choose one of the other. Botox and dermal fillers treat slightly different issues and are used in different areas of the face. Because of this, the treatments can be used together to compliment the effect on your appearance.

Talk to the team at Lake Nona Ophthalmology Med Spa to create a customized facial rejuvenation plan to improve your appearance and self-confidence.

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At Lake Nona Ophthalmology, Dr. Patel and his team provide compassionate, excellent care and treatment for patients throughout Central Florida.

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Chirag J. Patel, MD, FACS, Lake Nona Ophthalmology Founder, and Krishma Patel, PA-C Physician Assistant.