Summary: Botox or fillers is one of those questions that pops up all the time in the field of cosmetic surgery. It’s difficult for patients to understand the differences between the two injectables, especially if they aren’t overly familiar with how they actually work. That’s why we’re discussing Botox or filler options for patients in a wide variety of settings.
Should I Get Botox or Fillers for my Wrinkles?
If you want to get rid of wrinkles in a hurry, you might be wondering if you should go for Botox or fillers. After all, both types of injectables are heavily advertised as being effective treatments for lines and wrinkles. So it’s understandable if you think, at first, that they might be interchangeable.
Are Botox or Fillers Best for Your Wrinkles?
But Botox and fillers (of the dermal variety) operate on completely different principles. Indeed, they treat lines and wrinkles in very different ways—in fact, you could go so far as to say that they treat different types of lines and wrinkles.
Essentially, a dermal filler operates by adding volume to the face, like blowing up a balloon until it’s smooth (forgive the inadequate metaphor). Botox, however, works at a neural level, interacting with your muscles in complex ways. Which one works best for you will depend on your face and what you’re trying to accomplish.
How Do I Know Which Injectable to Choose?
Thankfully, you don’t need to know everything there is to know about dermal fillers and Botox in order to make your choice. To a large extent, your surgeon will have a good idea of what’s best for you. That will take a majority of the guesswork out of what you should get. In most cases you’ll just point to the wrinkle you want to diminish and your surgeon will have a good idea of how to treat it.
That said, it doesn’t hurt to have an idea of what you’re in for. Many surgeons will spend a significant amount of time on education—and while this isn’t meant to take the place of anything your surgeon says, it can definitely give you a place to start the conversation.
Let’s start with the basic nomenclature:
- Botox: We all call it “Botox,” but the technical name is onabotulinum toxin a. It’s a neurotoxin. See why they came up with a much more tempting name? The idea with Botox is that you inject a small amount of it into select muscles, thereby paralyzing the muscle and relaxing the skin. There are plenty of wrinkles that are actually caused by muscles stuck in a contracted mode, and Botox is designed to address them. That’s why Botox injections are a great way to diminish lines and wrinkles caused by the tension of muscles beneath the skin.
- Dermal Fillers: On the other hand, dermal fillers sound downright simple. Basically, they’re just molecules that are designed to fill space in a way that looks natural (of course, looking natural is a complex task on its own). Here’s what happens: as you age, your skin stretches out and you look a little flat. This can cause wrinkles and lines to crop up because, suddenly, there’s just too much skin. Dermal fillers essentially increase the amount of volume beneath the skin, they fill up that space (hence the name). The result is skin that looks younger and fuller—and, often, much more radiant.
The means might be different, but the results are often similar: a more youthful looking face. And one that won’t necessarily last. Dermal fillers and Botox are, generally, going to yield only temporary results. For the most part, they’re designed that way.
Sure, there are a couple of effectively permanent filler options, such as Bellafill. But most dermal fillers will last anywhere between twelve and eighteen months. Botox tends to be a little more temporary, lasting anywhere between three and six months.
Much will depend on the injection sites themselves. These injectables tend to break down more quickly in areas that see a lot of movement. The nice thing is that if you like your results, you’ll probably want to maintain your results—and you can do that by getting maintenance injections. Essentially, if you go in once every few months, you can keep your results.
Know the Outcome You Want
The most important factor in determining whether you should get dermal filler injections or Botox is to zero in on the outcome you want. According to the website of the Twin Cities medical spa Carillon Minneapolis, the results you want will determine the best possible course of treatment.
This type of results-oriented approach is quite common among medical spas and cosmetic surgeons. The patient’s satisfaction with the end results is often the paramount concern. But knowing how to address problem areas—knowing the right approach for each set of wrinkles—helps ensure those results. Talk to your surgeon about whether Botox or fillers are the right choice for your wrinkles.