Friday, 27 September 2013 14:41

The Difference Between Botox and Fillers

Written by   Oscar Hevia, M.D., cosmetic dermatologist and founder of The Hevia Center for Research

Many patients have asked about the difference between Botox® and fillers. With so many resources out there, an in-depth look at the differences must be provided in an effort to educate skin care professionals and provide the best treatment for our clients.

Botox 101 – Frowning, squinting and raising our eyebrows over time creates wrinkles between our eyebrows, around our eyes (crow’s feet), and on our forehead. Most people already know that these wrinkles are treated by injecting botulinum toxin products (Botox, Dysport® and Xeomin®). However, most do not know that the wrinkles themselves are not being injected, but rather, the muscles of expression in the region where the wrinkles are located. This technique requires multiple, tiny injections right under the skin. As a result, the treatment is very quick, with minimal discomfort, and usually without any bruising or swelling. Within three to five days, the expression muscles begin to relax and the wrinkles start to disappear.

Fillers 101 – In contrast to Botox, fillers are gels that are injected directly into a wrinkle or facial folds to improve their appearance by filling them. For example, they can be used to fill wrinkles around the lips or fill in the hollow area under the eyes. They can also be injected into the deeper layers of the face to create a lifting effect. As a result, filler injections can be pretty simple (wrinkle injection) or substantial (liquid facelift, or injection of multiple, deeper layers of the face). Unlike Botox, the results of a filler treatment are seen right away, although some swelling or early bruising can mask some of these immediate effects.
One side effect of injectable fillers is that pain relieving medication, which include all over-the-counter pain relievers with the exception of Tylenol®, will thin your client’s blood for about five or six days. Although there is a greater awareness of this, most people do not know that just one dose may cause a negative reaction. As a general rule, I always tell my clients to avoid all pain-relieving medications for seven days before coming in for filler treatments. When you do a filler, you have to slide the needle under the skin, which is more traumatic, and they are much more likely to bruise in that case.

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