Botox vs. Dermal Fillers: Which is Right for You?

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If you are looking for a way to turn back the clock on your skin, there are a number of cosmetic procedures that can help. Two of the most popular for minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles are Botox and dermal fillers. What’s the difference between the two and how do you know which one will give you the results you are looking for?
What Botox Does

Botox continues to be the top choice in what are known as neurotoxins used to smooth out facial wrinkles. Other brands include Dysport and Xeomin. Neurotoxins work by relaxing muscles of the face that lead to the formation of lines and wrinkles. There are two primary types of rhytids (wrinkles), static and dynamic.  Dynamic rhytids are visible only when the underlying muscles of facial expression contract.  The contraction leads to facial lines in the glabella (frown lines), forehead and aroung the eyes (smile lines or crow’s feet).  Over time these lines can become fixed or “static rhytids”.  These lines are visible without any facial expression.  Neurotoxins can eliminate dynamic rhytids but they can only soften static rhytids. Some of the most common areas where Botox is used include horizontal lines on the forehead and vertical lines between the eyebrows known as “frown” lines.

What Dermal Fillers Do

Dermal fillers are also used to minimize the appearance of facial lines, but they do so in a very different ways.  Fillers are an effective way to help soften a static rhytid (wrinkle) by placing the filler under the deep line. As the name suggests, the filler is injected under the skin provides volume, literally smoothing lines from the inside out. Dermal fillers can also be used to enhance facial contours, improve the appearance of shallow scars and add extra pout to the lips. Popular options in hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers include Belotero, Juvederm, Restylane and Perlane.

Long Lasting Results

Botox offers results that make a face look less angry and more youthful, by preventing expressive lines from turning into permanent lines. The results of Botox and other neurotoxins typically last four to five months before a touch-up treatment is needed.

Dermal fillers work to soften facial creases and are effective on both superficial and deep facial lines. Results of most dermal fillers last about one year, although results vary somewhat between products and individual patients. A more permanent solution is fat grafting, which works in a similar fashion as dermal fillers, but involves the use of harvested fat from another part of the patient’s body.

The Bottom Line

So, which anti-aging treatment is the best choice for you? If you are primarily interested in eliminating dynamic wrinkles caused by repetitive motions of the face, Botox is the best solution. Those who wish to minimize the appearance of static lines – lines that remain no matter what the facial expression – dermal fillers may be a better choice. To learn more about the uses and benefits of Botox and dermal fillers, contact the office of Dr. Geoffrey Leber today.

By Dr. Geoffrey E. Leber, MD – Follow me on +