Botox & Cosmetic Fillers: What’s the Difference?
Many today get confused when talking of Botox and fillers. Especially since cosmetic clinics tend to market Botox & fillers together, the line between the two often gets blurred. So we’ve written this article to finally explain the difference. So here’s the lowdown…
Botox & Fillers – Similarities
For cosmetic purposes, Botox and facial cosmetic fillers are generally used for the same aim: to minimize signs of anti-aging. They both do this by improving facial rejuvenation and minimizing/eliminating wrinkles and other aging lines. Moreover, both Botox and fillers are injectables. Both get injected into areas of the face that are to be treated. Finally, both Botox and fillers last temporarily and the patient needs to re-use the treatment in order to keep the same results.
This is pretty much where the similarities between Botox and fillers end.
Botox & Fillers – How They Work
The main difference between Botox and cosmetic fillers lies in how they work. Although they both aim to slap aging in the gut, they do this in different ways. On the one hand, Botox works by temporarily paralyzing muscle activity therefore allowing wrinkles to loosen and relax. The compound itself is a toxin derived from a bacterium called clostridium botulinum, which is poisonous in large amounts. For more details about Botox and how it works, refer to our Introductory Guide to Botox.
Meanwhile, cosmetic facial fillers work in a different manner. Instead of paralyzing muscle activity as with Botox treatment, cosmetic fillers plump up, or fill, the areas treated. This helps plump up lips and uses a volumizing effect to ‘fill’ wrinkles, creases, and folds so they won’t appear as such anymore. Learn more about how fillers work with our Introductory Guide to Cosmetic Fillers.
So, rather than ‘negate’ as with Botox (e.g. negating muscle activity), fillers ‘add’ volume. Both treatments work in a unique manner and have actually been used in combination with each other, providing a powerful 1-2 punch to anti-aging.
What to Expect From Each Procedure
Both procedures involve injections into the area(s) treated and both don’t necessarily involve any downtime so you’re able to return to physical activity next day. Both procedures may result in some slight bruising and/or swelling directly after you undergo the procedure but this shouldn’t persist more than a day or so.
With Botox, sessions shouldn’t last more than 30-45 minutes and, with fillers, sessions shouldn’t last more than 45 minutes to an hour. Botox treatments generally last anywhere from 4 to 6 months. On the other hand, the duration of fillers depends on several factors such as type of filler (e.g. Hyaluronic Acid, Calcium Hydroxylapatite, etc.) brand used, depth of injection, area treated, amount of filler, etc. Results can range anywhere from six months to a couple years or more.
Who Do Botox Treatments Suit Best?
Botox can be used on a wide variety of patients and is mainly used for rejuvenating skin and minimizing signs of aging. Botox helsp to improve the look of moderate-to-severe wrinkles, frown lines, glabellar lines (lines between the brows), crow’s feet lines (lines aroudn the sides of the eyes), among others.
Who Do Filler Treatments Suit Best?
Similarly, cosmetic dermal fillers can also be used on a wide variety of paitents and is also used for skin rejuvenation as well as minimizing lines and wrinkles. Since fillers help restore volume loss that typically begins to occur as we get into our mid-30s, other suitable candidates are those looking to add volume to the face, lips, and cheeks.
Who Should Avoid Botox & Filler Treatments?
If you have medical issues related to damaged nerves or muscles, then you should relay this information during your initial consultation. It won’t automatically disqualify you but the specialist would need to know details before making a decision on whether the treatment is right for you. In addition, Botox is not recommended for those women that are pregnant or breastfeeding. Although there are no studies showing any harmful effect of Botox on the baby or mother,
There isn’t any known risk to pregnant or breastfeeding women but we would advise against treatment in these circumstances.
What Issues Can Each Treatment Help With?
When it comes to cosmetic issues, Botox helps to treat signs of aging such as minimizing wrinkles and aging lines. Botox can also help with other non-cosmetic related issues. In general, Botox can treat:
- Chronic migraines
- Facial wrinkles
- Anti aging lines
- Severe muscle spasms (e.g. repetitive neck spasms, otherwise known as cervical dystonia)
- ‘Gummy’ smiles (a condition where too much of the gums are exposed when smiling)
- Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)
- Overactive bladder
- Uncontrollable blinking (blepharospasm)
- Lazy eye
Cosmetic fillers can help with physical aging factors such as:
- Enhancing lip volume to plump up and thicken thin lips
- Helping to augment sagging cheeks by optimizing shape and restoring a rejuvenated youthful look
- Filling in hollow areas (depressions in parts of the face, especially under the eyes, that result from aging
- Adding restorative volume and smoothing out creases resulting from aging (e.g. marionette lines around the mouth)
- Repairing severe facial and acne scars on the face, making them appear even with the rest of your face, and less manifest
- Increasing facial volume especially in the areas of the lower cheeks and temples, which most frequently happen from fat pads that move beneath the skin