The popularity of wrinkle treatments has skyrocketed greatly in the last decade. For people interested in having treatments to lessen and reduce wrinkles, there are many options available to them. You can go with over-the-counter treatments and products or you can go with a longer-lasting treatment from your healthcare provider. Botulinum toxin type A (or Botox) and dermal fillers are two examples of treatments that can provide the desired reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. Each one of the procedures can be used for treating wrinkles but there are several important differences between the two that you need to consider before having a treatment.
Botox is a muscle relaxer that can also be used for the treatment of migraines and headaches. Botox is primarily used to treat dynamic wrinkles which are best described as wrinkles that occur naturally around the eyes and mouth as well as in-between your eyebrows. The job of Botox injections is to relax the muscles near the wrinkles. Your healthcare provider will inject the specific muscles that contribute to the exact wrinkles you want to have treated. The best part is that the injection process takes only a couple of minutes! Within two weeks, you will start to see very apparent results.
Dermal Fillers for Wrinkles
Dermal fillers are another way of treating wrinkles on the face. Their main use is to treat the appearance of smile lines but fillers have also been used for plumping up lips or cheeks that have lost volume due to the aging process. Much like Botox, dermal fillers come in different forms and are injectable. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved these forms of fillers:
- Calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse), a temporary gel solution that lasts about eighteen months
- Collagen is a temporary material that correct wrinkles and lasts for up to four months
- Hyaluronic acid, which is a substance that is naturally found in the body and can last anywhere from six to twelve months
- Poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra) is a man-made material that lasts about two years
- Polymethylmethacrylate beads AKA the only permanent type of dermal filler that is currently available
Botox Injections – Are They Effective?
Botox injections result in satisfied customers for most patients. You might not notice your results if you have specific conditions that impede the process. It is a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about these possibilities before you have the procedure. Once you have the procedure, you will be able to continue your daily activities without any mandatory resting/recovery time. It is also important to note that the effects of Botox only last up to three or four months. After that time frame, you will need additional procedures to maintain the results.
Dermal Fillers – Are They Effective?
A dermal filler injection can last longer than the results provided by Botox. However, you will still need maintenance treatments once the fillers wear off at some point in the future. There is no magic treatment that can fix wrinkles on a permanent basis. While this is disappointing, both dermal fillers and Botox get the job done when performed correctly by an experienced medical professional.
Botox and Fillers – Possible Side Effects
As with any medical procedures, both Botox and dermal fillers come with a risk of side effects (however minor). Discuss all of the following Botox risks with your doctor:
- Bruises at the site of the injection
- Drooping eyelids (which can take several weeks to resolve)
- Eye redness and irritation
Taking eye drops before receiving Botox injections may help reduce the chances of some side effects. You should also stop taking any blood thinners a few days before the treatment to prevent bruising. Botox is not recommended if you have weak facial muscles, skin issues (such as thick skin or deep scars), have multiple sclerosis or another type of neuromuscular disease or are pregnant or nursing.
Common risks and side effects of dermal fillers include allergic reaction to the filler, bruising, infection, itching, redness, numbness and scarring. In rare instances, swelling of the face might occur for a long period of time. To reduce the risk of this side effect (as well as other side effects), have an allergy test done before getting a dermal filler. Dermal fillers are also heavily discouraged for people who smoke regularly. As with most medical procedures, you will receive the best results and least amount of side effects if you are an overall healthy person.
Consider Your Options before Having Botox or Fillers
Dermal fillers can produce more long-term results for you but these injections also carry the possibility of more side effects than Botox injections have for a patient. You also need to remember that Botox and dermal fillers are used to treat different situations and are commonly used in completely different areas of the face.
While the two treatments can be complementary to each other, they both come with different risks and side effects. Weigh all your options carefully with your healthcare provider before making the final decision to have a treatment.