Choosing between Botox and dermal fillers involves examining the problematic area. Both treatments can improve wrinkles and fine lines but each works in a different way and under different circumstances. Therefore, choosing between Botox and dermal fillers can be determined by learning a little about how the skin changes as you age.
As you age, your body slows down the production of natural collagen and elastin which are both proteins needed to maintain youthful skin. The skin becomes dryer, thinner and less able to constrict itself once stretched. In addition, people also have a decrease in the amount of natural hyaluronic acid (HA) which is a moisture-binding carbohydrate that provides structural support to various parts of the body including the lips and skin. When you are young, HA provides continuous moisture to the skin while binding up to 1000 times its weight in water. As people age, the skin’s ability to produce hyaluronic acid is decreased. With less support of the collagen, elastin and the decrease in hyaluronic acid, a loss of subcutaneous fat occurs causing the tissue to thin and the muscles to work closer to the skin’s surface. Consequently, facial creases from smiling and the crow’s nest along the sides of the eyes become more apparent. The forehead, eyelids, nose, chin and neck are also noticeably impacted by volume loss and wrinkles. Less fat causes the skin to appear saggy and wrinkled while gravity pulls on the muscles and skin and causes deep folds.
Botox is a neurotoxin used to treat wrinkles or fine lines that occur with muscle movement. For example, if you look in the mirror and smile, do you see more wrinkles appearing at the corners or below the eyes? How about around the mouth? These wrinkles from the muscle movements can be treated with Botox. Botox is injected into the muscle, below the wrinkle, to temporarily paralyze the muscle and allow the skin to gradually smooth out. Botox can also be used along the forehead and between the eyes to relax those muscles for smoother looking skin.
Filler injections can also treat wrinkles and deep skin folds. However, dermal fillers are a more suitable treatment for areas that are not impacted by muscle movement. Dermal fillers are injected below the skin’s surface at various depths that depend on the treatment area and the condition of the skin. The fillers work to increase volume from the loss of subcutaneous fat. Fillers can be used to treat areas such as the cheeks appearing hollowed, sunken orbital region, sagging jowls and excess skin hanging on the neck. When using fillers to plump the skin, wrinkles and folds are smoothed out and the patient can gain a more youthful contour. Fillers can also be used to plump lips that have lost volume or to add structure and definition to lips with less shape. There are many different types of dermal fillers made of bovine collagen, hyaluronic acid or synthetics and each one has advantages and disadvantages.
When it comes to deciding between the two choices, it is best to consult with a certified cosmetic physician who specializes in both treatments and performs them often. The physician can examine you in order to determine how to help you achieve your desired results.