Botox or Dermal Fillers? How Do I Choose?
Botox or Dermal Fillers, How Do I Choose?
Not sure what the difference is between Botox and Dermal Filler treatments? You are in good company. Most first-time patients are confused about this. Let’s start off by how they are similar. Both Botox and Fillers are cosmetic injectables and both are minimally invasive. However, that is exactly where the similarities end.
Here is how I explain it. Look at your face in a mirror, grab an eyebrow pencil, and draw a line just below your eyes to divide your face in an upper 1/3 and lower 2/3. Now give yourself a big old frown and look at what is happening. The upper 1/3 of your face is the “Botox” treatable area while the lower 2/3 is considered an area that will benefit the most from lifting and filling with a dermal filler. Let me explain.
Muscles in your upper face get bigger and stronger as we age, and that happens without even going to the gym. Scary. As these muscles contract, you start forming lines that deepen over time to become like scars, and over time, even when you are not frowning or squinting, stay visible. Examples of areas are the “11” between the brows, horizontal lines on the forehead, and crow’s feet around the eyes. These lines are caused by smiling, frowning, squinting, and other facial expressions.
The most effective management of frown and forehead lines is to treat the cause of the problem. Thus, to relax these muscles. That is where Botox, a neuromodulator, comes into play. Botulinum toxin, or Botox, when injected with tiny needles, relaxes the muscles. This prevents them from contracting and thereby improves the appearance of frown lines, forehead lines and crow’s feet. Welcome to an effective treatment that has been used by more than 6 million men and women
But You Say It Is A Toxin!
Botulinum toxin is a purified protein derived from a bacteria and can indeed be deadly in massive doses. But the tiny regulated doses that are injected into selected muscles are immensely safe. I always jokingly tell my patients that they do not have enough money for an overdose. To put it in perspective, when we inject large muscle groups in the arms and legs for patients with cerebral paresis and brain injuries, we use thousands of units, while we only need between 25 and 40 units to treat frown lines.
Where Does Filler Come In?
Botox will not work on fine lines and wrinkles in the cheeks, around the mouth, and in the jowl area. These lines are caused by sagging or loss of plumpness in the face. As our face matures, we start losing our fat pads, and even worse, gravity causes it to separate and slide down. Hello, marionette lines and jowls. By skillfully placing a dermal filler in the mid and lower face, we can lift, fill and restore the youthful contours. Meet dermal filler, your new best friend to help restore what menopause is taking away from you. Hyaluronic acid dermal filler is a gel-like substance that consists of hyaluronic acid and has been cross-linked. Cross-linking makes it more resistant to natural breakdown by your body.
Worried about taking the plunge and that you will not like your results? The good news is that dermal filler is reversible. We always have hyaluronidase, an enzyme, available in the office that will dissolve unwanted product when injected. Neat, isn’t it?
So Which One Will Last Longer?
Botox treatments are generally done three times per year, while hyaluronic acid dermal filler can last around 12 months in the lips and around 2+ years in the cheeks and lower face, depending on the product used. However, remember that Botox and dermal filler are doing different things, and together can provide a beautiful result.
Our SwanLift™ skillfully combines the two procedures. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), Botox and dermal filler accounted for more than 9 million procedures in 2015. These numbers tell us that you are not the only one interested in procedures to help you look better for your age, at any age.