September 6, 2022

What is the difference between Botox and Dermal Fillers?

Botox includes purified bacteria that freezes muscles and in turn, helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Botox works by blocking nerve signals in the injected area, the affected muscle is temporarily frozen resulting in softened, reduced or even removed wrinkles.

Dermal fillers contain ingredients that add a fullness to treated areas, counteracting the effects of ageing and thinning. Different dermal fillers includer different ingredients, including:

Calcium hydroxylapatite (a mineral-like compound found in bones)
Hyaluronic acid (found in some fluids and tissues in the body) to add plumpness
Polyalkylimide (a transparent gel that is compatible with the body)
Polylactic acid, an ingredient that stimulates the skin to make more collagen
Polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres (PMMA), a semi-permanent filler

What do these treatments work on?

Botox only works on areas where wrinkles are caused by muscle movement, known as dynamic wrinkles. It does not work on static wrinkles (i.e. wrinkles caused by a loss of plumpness or sagging). The effects of Botox tend to last 3-4 months, repeat treatment is required to maintain the results.
Dermal fillers all work differently, therefore what they work on and how long the results last for varies. Some fillers last for 6 months, while others still have visible results two years later. These fillers are perfect for plumping up thinning lips, filling in shallow areas of the face, softening the look of recessed scars, filling in and softening static wrinkles.

Side effects and problems

Botox is known to have a number of possible and temporary side effects, including:
Hives, rashes, or itching
Redness, swelling, numbness, pain, bleeding or bruising
Eyelid drooping
Weakness/paralysis of nearby muscles
Flu-like symptoms
Problems with swallowing, speaking, or breathing
Gallbladder issues
Blurry vision or vision problems
Rarely, the treatment can fail to work as the bodies natural antibodies fight the toxin.
Dermal fillers are generally considered safe, however, there can be some side effects, including:
Rashes, itching, or pimple-like eruptions
Redness, swelling, bruising or bleeding
Asymmetry, lumps, or overcorrection of wrinkles
Skin damage which could cause an infection or scarring
Ability to feel the filler substance under the skin
Blindness or other vision problems
Loss of blood flow and the death of skin cells

Can they be used together?

Yes, Botox and Dermal Fillers can be used together as they both target different areas. Sometimes the two can even be combined and administered in one treatment.
Although they are considered safe, both Botox and Dermal Fillers do carry some risks, it is important that you understand these. It is also important that you discuss your desired look with your practitioner to manage your expectations and to ensure you receive the best course of treatment. While these may improve the appearance of your skin, they will not have as powerful an effect as something like a surgical face lift would.