Most people know that BOTOX® Cosmetic and dermal fillers are injectable treatments that target facial aging. However, many are unaware of the differences between the two. BOTOX® Cosmetic and fillers may both address facial lines and wrinkles, but these treatments are not interchangeable. From the ingredients that they are made of, to the way that they work, to the type of lines they treat, BOTOX® Cosmetic and dermal fillers have more differences than similarities.
What Is BOTOX® Cosmetic?
BOTOX® Cosmetic is a neuromodulator that reduces the appearance of dynamic lines, which are the wrinkles that develop due to repeated muscle movement. BOTOX® Cosmetic is not ideal for treating fine lines and wrinkles that form due to the natural aging process. This purified protein is derived from botulinum toxin type A and works by blocking chemical signals between nerves and muscles. When BOTOX® Cosmetic is injected into the treatment area, it temporarily relaxes the muscles so that they cannot contract. After treatment, patients notice an almost immediate reduction in dynamic lines.
What Are Dermal Fillers?
Unlike BOTOX® Cosmetic, fillers do not affect the muscles or chemical nerve signals. Fillers are gel-like substances that replenish and plump the soft tissues that deteriorate with age, genetics, and sun damage. Fillers work best on static lines, which are wrinkles and creases that are present even when your face is at rest. Fillers are made from a variety of natural and synthetic substances that help the body retain moisture and increase collagen production. JUVÉDERM® and Restylane® are made of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body that attracts moisture to plump skin. RADIESSE® is made from calcium hydroxylapatite spheres suspended in a smooth gel that help stimulate natural collagen production. Sculptra® Aesthetic is a synthetic filler made from poly-L-lactic acid that also stimulates the skin to produce more collagen.
Where Do These Injectables Belong?
Both of these treatment options are proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles temporarily. Neither option provides permanent results but injections can be repeated as often as necessary. BOTOX® Cosmetic is the ideal choice for crow’s feet, frown lines, brow furrows, and forehead lines—the types of wrinkles that are created by repeated muscle movement. Dysport® is a similar option to BOTOX® Cosmetic. However, it is only appropriate for the lines and wrinkles between and around the eyebrows. Fillers will smooth lines around the nose and mouth, restore volume to sunken cheeks or the areas beneath the eyes, and add volume and shape to the lips. There are many different formulations available. Most patients choose from the following options.
- Marionette lines: JUVÉDERM®, Restylane®, Sculptra® Aesthetic
- Nasolabial folds: JUVÉDERM®, Restylane®, RADIESSE®, Sculptra® Aesthetic
- Cheek enhancement: JUVÉDERM Voluma® XC, Restylane® Lyft
- Lip enhancement: JUVÉDERM®, Restylane®
- Under the eyes: JUVÉDERM®, Restylane®
- Acne scars: JUVÉDERM®, RADIESSE®