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Botox vs Fillers: What’s the Difference

Updated: Dec 7, 2021

TLDR: Botox is to prevent wrinkles by freezing the muscles while fillers add volume, plump and contour by filling spaces.

Uses: Botox and dermal fillers alike may be used to treat wrinkles on the face. Each treatment is also delivered via injection. Still, both options have slightly different uses

Dermal Fillers: Dermal fillers also treat wrinkles on the face. They’re primarily used to treat smile lines, though the fillers can also be used to plump up the lips or cheeks. Sometimes, they’re used for hand treatments or to reduce the appearance of scars. Dermal fillers aren’t approved for plumping up other areas of the body, though, such as the breasts.

Dermal fillers come in different forms, and like Botox, they’re injectable. Some are temporary and used primarily for soft tissues in the face along the smile lines. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following options:

  • hyaluronic acid, a temporary material that loses its effect after 6 to 12 months *This is what we offer at Orchid + Opal*

  • calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse), a temporary gel solution that lasts for 18 months

  • collagen, a temporary material that lasts for up to four months

  • poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra, Sculptra Aesthetic), a man-made material that lasts about two years

  • polymethylmethacrylate beads, the only permanent type of dermal filler available

Botox: Botox is a neurotoxin. These substances target the nervous system, disrupting the nerve signaling processes that stimulate muscle contraction. This is how the drug causes temporary muscle paralysis.

The effects are temporary, lasting 3–12 months, depending on the type of treatment. People often request botox on the following areas:

  • wrinkles between the eyebrows, called frown lines, glabellar lines, or elevens

  • wrinkles around the eyes, known as crow’s feet

  • horizontal creases in the forehead

  • lines at the corners of the mouth

  • “cobblestone” skin on the chin

Both fillers and Botox come with their own risks and sets of advantages, and they're not really used for the same thing. While botox is used to deal with wrinkles, it does so by paralyzing the muscles surrounding them. Fillers, on the other hand, do exactly what they sound like by filling in the areas they're injected into.

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