Botox vs. Filler for Wrinkles

If you’re interested in treating wrinkles with injectable products, it can be difficult to know which product might be right for you. There are so many types and brands of injectable products available, and if you’re just getting started with your treatment, it can be confusing. Here are some of the basic differences between Botox and fillers and their uses.

Botox vs. Filler – How Do They Work?

Botox and dermal fillers can each be used to reduce wrinkles, but they work in different ways.

Botox

Botox is a neuromodulator, meaning that it disrupts communication between nerves and muscles. Many wrinkles are caused by repetitive movement, including repeated facial expressions. Botox is just one brand of neuromodulator – the others are FDA-Approved and available in the US market are Dysport, Xeomin, Jeuveau, and Myobloc, and while all are manufactured slightly differently, they are the same family of protein that be injected to temporarily soften movements by blocking some (or all, depending on dosage) of the communication from the brain that tells that muscle to contract. “Good Botox” is often the result we don’t notice as a result at all – because it’s simply softening the intensity of the muscle contractions in repetitive facial movements, not altering the expression or completely blocking it altogether. Depending upon the brand of neuromodulator you have injected and your individual metabolism, the effect lasts about 3-4 months – although the result (the softened wrinkles) may last longer, because your skin can repair itself during that time of rest, and it may take a month or two for it to get beaten up enough for the wrinkles to appear as deeply again – making the effect last around 4-6 months.

Interested in learning how to make your Botox and Filler last as long as possible? Check out this blog.

Fillers

Fillers are products injected into the skin or muscle to increase volume. Different types of fillers work in different ways, but there are a few basic categories that they may fall into.

Hyaluronic Acid Fillers
Hyaluronic acid fillers are the most commonly used in the US, because of their natural texture and ability to be reversed. Hyaluronic acid(HA) is a naturally-occurring molecule within our skin that bonds to water. The amount of HA in your skin naturally decreases with age, so replacing it with injections can create a very natural result. Various hyaluronic acid fillers have different consistencies, so your injector may recommend a specific product depending on the area you are treating. You could place hyaluronic acid fillers in the following categories:

Non-Hyaluronic Acid Fillers
Non-hyaluronic acid fillers include the products Bellafill, Radiesse, and Sculptra. Bellafill is a long-lasting filler with immediate results that uses small spheres of collagen instead of Hyaluronic Acid to create an instant result, but also contains a substance that triggers the growth of new collagen. Meanwhile, Sculptra and Radiesse make use of 2 different types of injectable material that both work by stimulating your natural collagen production. This leads to long-lasting effects, and the products are useful for increasing your skin’s overall firmness and resolving fine lines. Sculptra is the filler most widely used in the body to create more volume and better contours – specifically for hip dips and butt augmentation – whereas Radiesse is often used to tighten skin on the knees, improve stretch marks, and remove lines from the chest (wrinkles between breasts). Both are used to improve the look of cellulite.

Wrinkles, Fine Lines, and Deep Folds: Does Botox or Filler Work Best?

Deciding which injectable product is best often depends on the cause of your lines and whether they are considered wrinkles, fine lines, or deep folds.

Deep folds in the skin are generally caused by volume loss, which naturally occurs as we age. The most common example are nasolabial folds (or smile lines around the mouth), which are deep lines that form between the nostrils and lips. Volume loss is always best-treated by restoring volume with a filler, as opposed to Botox, or even a skin tightening procedure, like Sofwave or Ulthera.

Wrinkles are usually caused by repetitive motion, skin weakness or damage, or environmental factors like sun damage.
Wrinkles caused by repetitive motion can be well-treated with Botox, while other wrinkles may be best suited to a filler. In some instances, such as perioral lines or “smoker’s lines,” you may be best treated with a combination, so that you fill in the existing wrinkles with filler to lift the skin up to match the surrounding surface height, and then use Botox to reduce the intensity of those facial expressions, so that you’re

Fine lines, especially those that appear in multiples or in areas with crepey skin point to a lack of collagen support in the skin, which can be improved with non-hyaluronic-acid fillers, and sometimes that result can be supported by reducing the damage of frequent motion with some light Botox injections.

Who Should I Receive Injectables from?

Choosing the correct product for a patient is dependent on many factors, and requires extensive training, experience, and understanding of Botox and fillers. Injectables are offered by a wide variety of practitioners as they become more common, but it’s best to invest in high-quality treatment from a qualified provider. At Reflections Center, our injectable treatments are performed by cosmetic physicians who have a deep understanding of the products and effective, safe treatment of lines and wrinkles.

Schedule an Appointment

To learn more about which injectable product is right for you, schedule a free consultation appointment with one of our physician injectors. These are currently available both in-person and virtually. Our expert staff will work to understand the cause of your wrinkles, folds, or fine lines and develop the best treatment plan for you.

Cosmetic & Laser Physician at Reflections Center

Dr. Joni Jefferson is board certified and has been practicing medicine for over 15 years. She has extensive experience in woman’s care and surgical procedures, in addition to completing a cosmetic dermatology fellowship that has prepared her well for her role as a cosmetic physician at Reflections.

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