The Fundamentals of BOTOX and dermal fillers


botoxYou may know that BOTOX and dermal fillers are injectable treatments used to help smooth out wrinkles and reverse the signs of aging, but if you are considering using them, it helps to know a little more about them, including what their components are, how they are used, and what they can do for you.

First of all, BOTOX and dermal fillers are two completely different treatments. Let’s talk about BOTOX first.

BOTOX basics

BOTOX is short for onobotulinumtoxinA, the same toxin that causes botulism, a type of food poisoning. When injected into muscle tissue, the toxin temporarily paralyzes the muscle. This makes it particularly effective in treating some types of wrinkles.

BOTOX is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments, with over 6 million treatments administered each year. BOTOX works best on:

  • Forehead lines
  • Crow’s feet (lines around the eyes)
  • Glabella lines, also known as “frown lines” (lines between the eyebrows)
  • Lip lines

BOTOX may also work in some instances on the chin, corners of the mouth and neck.

Because BOTOX works by interrupting muscle function, it is only effective on wrinkles caused by muscle overuse. BOTOX cannot add volume or correct  signs of aging caused by sun damage.

BOTOX treatments can take 3 days to two weeks to reach their full effectiveness. They last three to four months. It is possible that, over time, wrinkles that do return will be less severe since the muscles are being re-trained to relax.

While BOTOX is generally considered safe, there are risks. For that reason, BOTOX injections should only be performed under a doctor’s care.

Dermal Filler Fundamentals

Dermal fillers are different from BOTOX. Most of these gel-based injectables are composed of hyaluronic acid, a molecule found naturally in the skin and joints that acts as a lubricant, shock absorber, and hydrator. Some dermal fillers used slightly different molecules that works in a similar way, for example calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA), poly-L-lactic acid, or polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA).

Unlike BOTOX, dermal fillers can help “fill in” wrinkles and areas of the face that have lost volume over time. By giving your skin a boost with dermal fillers, we can also give you a softer, more natural look. Truth be told, dermal fillers have been the best-kept anti-aging secret of the rich and famous for decades!

Dermal fillers are very effective for treating:

  • Nasolabial folds (the “parentheses” around the mouth)
  • Glabella lines (lines between the eyebrows)
  • Vertical lip lines
  • Sunken cheeks or loss of volume in other areas of the face
  • Loss of volume in other areas of the body (including hands)
  • Chin lines
  • Thinning lips
  • Scars

The results of dermal fillers can be seen right away and most last between six and twelve months. Dermal fillers are considered safe, especially the most common hyaluronic acid formations. Because they are based on substances that occur naturally in the body there is a very low risk of allergic reaction. Over 10 million hyaluronic treatments have been performed worldwide. Even some of the newer dermal fillers are based on tried-and-true substances, such as poly-L-lactic acid, which is used in dissolvable stitches.

Calcium hydroxylapatite and poly-L-lactic acid are dermal fillers that also boost collagen production in the deeper layers of the skin. Collagen is the protein that keeps skin plump, youthful-looking and hydrated. It is often described as the “scaffolding” of the skin, but, despite what commercials and product labels would like you to think, you can’t get it from a bottle or jar.

Dermal fillers are considered safe, but there are risks, which is why they should only be administered by licensed, certified professionals. Because there is an art to dermal fillers, you should feel comfortable with the skill and experience level of the person administering the injections.

Why get BOTOX or dermal filler injections?

One of the main reasons BOTOX and dermal fillers are so popular with patients is that they are a non-surgical way to get cosmetic surgery results. Both treatments cause minimal discomfort, they are much less expensive than surgery, and there is no downtime. Normal activities can be resumed immediately after treatment.

One of our favorite reasons for working with BOTOX and dermal fillers is seeing the amazing results firsthand. At our practice we use three dermal fillers that we feel are the safest and most effective on the market. Juvederm XC gives amazing results,especially around the nose and mouth. Juvederm Voluma restores youthful contour to the cheek and jaw area. Sculptra is our poly-L-lactic acid product that gives long-lasting, volume-building results.

Want to see if BOTOX or dermal fillers could be right for you? Call us for an appointment today.