You know that you’re not quite ready for surgery, but you’d still like to do something about the lines and wrinkles that have appeared on your face. Injectables, such as dermal fillers and Botox, can often help smooth wrinkles and lines, giving you a more refreshed and youthful look. While fillers and Botox share the same goal — reducing the appearance of lines on your face — it’s important to note that they aren’t the same. Whether one or another is right for you depends on a few factors.
The major difference between fillers and Botox remains the ingredients each contains and how those ingredients work. The main ingredient in Botox is botulinum toxin. Botulinum toxin works by preventing certain nerves from sending signals to certain muscles.
Fillers are made from a number of different ingredients. The major ingredient in Radiesse, for example, is calcium hydroxylapatite, while the major ingredient in fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane is hyaluronic acid. Some fillers, such as Sculptra, are made from poly-L-lactic acid. The different ingredients influence the results a filler provides and affects how they work.
Types of Wrinkles
Different injectables, with their different ingredients, are designed to treat different types of wrinkles or to correct different signs of aging, such as a loss of volume. Since Botox helps relax muscles, it’s used to treat wrinkles that develop as a result of repeated muscles movements. The vertical lines that form between some people’s eyebrows and the crow’s feet that develop at the corners of the eyes are just two examples of the wrinkles Botox targets.
Fillers such as Radiesse and Juvederm won’t work as well in wrinkles created by movements, but are instead used to fill in lines created as the skin loses moisture and as the face loses volume. Although they are used treat the same types of wrinkles, such as the nasolabial lines between the nose and mouth, the two fillers work differently. The hyaluronic acid in Juvederm and similar injectables fills in lines instantly by adding moisture and volume. The calcium hydroxylapatite in Radiesse also instantly fills in line. But, it goes one step further and also stimulates the production of collagen below the surface of the skin. The additional collagen helps maintain the results from the injection, even after the main ingredient has worn off.
Fillers that add volume to the face to reduce the signs of aging include Juvederm Voluma and Sculptra. Voluma is also made from hyaluronic acid, but it’s a much thicker substance than the gel found in other fillers. It adds volume to the cheeks right away. Although Sculptra also works to add volume to the cheeks, it takes several months for the results to appear.
The duration of results from Botox or a filler varies. But since each injection treats a different type of wrinkle, it’s really not a matter of picking the one that will last the longest so much at is choosing the injectable that will treat your area of concern. Botox, for example, only lasts for about three months. But if dynamic wrinkles, or lines created by movement, are your concern, it’s usually your best bet, as a filler won’t effectively reduce those lines. The results from Sculptra or Voluma typically last about two years, while the results from other fillers last anywhere from six months to a year.
In some cases, you don’t necessarily have to choose between one type of injectable and another. Your facial plastic surgeon might recommend combining injections to help you achieve a look that is as youthful as possible. For example, you might decide to have Botox injections to ease the frown lines between your brows and Juvederm to reduce the presence of your nasolabial folds. The process of combining multiple injections is often known as a liquid facelift, since it helps rejuvenate several areas of the face.
No matter what type of injection you choose, there are several benefits, including a short recovery time, limited pain and discomfort, and results that appear quickly. In West Palm Beach, Florida, board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Schwartz can go into further detail about the differences between each injectable offered at his practice and recommend the options that are best for you. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Schwartz, call 561-228-5888 today.