As a child, you couldn’t wait to get older. As an adult, you might dread another year of blowing out those candles. Why? It’s often the fear of looking older that gets us. Fine lines around the eyes, deep creases around the mouth and volume loss in the cheeks are just a few of the signs that the skin is not as young as it used to be.
Many people turn to anti-aging cosmetic procedures such as Botox and dermal fillers to build a wall against aging. Both are non-invasive, skin rejuvenation treatments and have little to no downtime and recovery involved, but how do you know which treatment is ultimately the best choice for you?
According to Dr. Matthew Schulman, a New York City board-certified plastic surgeon, explains that, “Lines of expression need botulinum toxin. Lines at rest need filler.”
Botox is a neurotoxin which works by temporarily paralyzing the muscle in order to prevent that muscle from contracting. Botox works best when injected in the crease points where the muscle contract which allows the muscle and skin to rest while permitting the skin to smooth out. Botox is often used in areas of facial expression such as the frown lines, crow’s feet and between the eyebrows.
Fillers work differently. As someone ages, the collagen and Hyaluronic Acid (HA) in the body decreases which allows wrinkles to set in. Fillers containing Hyaluronic Acid can be injected into the areas where volume is lost or where skin folds cause a deep crease. Therefore, fillers are best for deep lines and even areas where the facial muscles are not contracting. Filling a crease can smooth the wrinkles and grant a youthful look. “Filling the deeper lines of the face, such as the marionette lines or nasolabial lines (i.e. laugh lines), is best accomplished with hyaluronic acid filler,” says Dr. Schulman. Patient with fine lines, wrinkles and deep creases may benefit from a combination of both Botox and dermal fillers to achieve an overall balance of facial smoothness.
Patients may experience some redness and bruising at the injection site. Some slight swelling could also occur but will diminish by the next day. With Botox, it may take up to 3 or 4 days to begin seeing results due to the fact that the skin will need time to relax and smooth out. Yet, improvements continue over the first two weeks and the lasting results can range from 3 to 6 months. Since dermal fillers are injected under the skin to build elasticity, the results are immediate as the skin plumps. Fillers can last between 18-24 months depending on the type of filler and the area in which it is used.
There are no clinical studies which prove that either of these cosmetic procedures will harm a breastfeeding mother, pregnant woman or baby. However, medical professionals do not advise having these treatments under those conditions. In addition, anyone who suffers from muscle complaints or nerve damage may not be good candidates for Botox treatments. For safety reasons, prospective patients should disclose all medical conditions to their doctor prior to any cosmetic procedure.