Twenty years ago, Botox® injections and dermal fillers had a different significance—celebrities and media personalities were doing it, but what about the ordinary person seen trotting along an average neighborhood sidewalk?

Were they also using Botox®? The short answer is no.

Yet, arguably no other cosmetic procedures have gained as much momentum over the last decades. While “Botox® ” has had many brows raising (or not), its name has come with notoriety and mixed attitudes. Regardless of what myths and misunderstandings have gone round in the media for the past couple of decades, the truth is that Botox® injections and dermal fillers are both highly effective and clinically approved procedures in which patients have promoted their results.

Last year, over 7 million Botox® procedures were performed in North America alone, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. In fact, according to Google, even during pandemic lockdowns, one of the most searched for queries was Botox® injections.

Botox® and dermal fillers are administered with tiny, fine needles into different areas of the face and body have become popular tools to reduce naturally occurring lines and wrinkles, replacing them with smooth, youthful skin.

While Botox® injections now have more than two decades’ worth of fans, dermal fillers have also established new prevalence on the shelves of many med-spas, esthetician offices, and plastic surgery clinics. Confusion between the two types of procedures frequently occurs because the average person doesn’t realize they are two very different treatments. Most people use the word “Botox® ” to refer to any treatment that plumps up the skin and reduces the fine (and not so fine) lines we all experience as we age.

So, which do you need? The good news is you don’t have to choose between Botox® vs. fillers. Let’s put these two treatments under the microscope to determine how they work separately as well as in conjunction with one another.

SO, WHAT IS BOTOX®?

Aesthetically, Botox® is an excellent way to diminish lines and wrinkles, typically above the mouth area. That’s right, you can get Botox® on your lips, Botox® on your forehead, and even Botox® for crows-feet. One popular technique called the “Botox® -brow lift” is a non-invasive alternative that lifts the area of the eyelids to make the eyes appear more elevated and refreshed. Botox® can even be used as a lip enhancing procedure apart from other dermal fillers.

Botox® is the shortened marketable name for onabotulinumtoxinA or a type of Clostridium Botulinum bacteria that is remarkable in its muscle paralyzing properties. In Canada, the same kind of a-type botulism injections are also sold under different brands, such as Xeomin®, Nuceiva®, or Dysport®, but have different dosages and strengths. Botulism, a neuro-toxin that is naturally occurring, is responsible for blocking acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter. When blocked, the muscle targeted does not contract, allowing for wrinkles and lines to appear erased.

The Fill-in on Fillers

Dermal fillers, such as the popular hyaluronic acid, are a synthetic gel-like form of the same substance produced by the human body. This can range from dermal fillers in the cheeks, dermal fillers on the chin, dermal fillers on lips, and dermal fillers for acne scars. One of the most desirable ways they are being used today is to rejuvenate and restore our overall look; helping us to look less tired, less angry, less saggy, less sad giving us more confidence in our appearance. Another desirable treatment for dermal fillers is as lip-fillers. The remarkable results can bring thin-lipped patients to be full-lipped in only thirty minutes taking up to a couple of weeks for the full effects to show. Dermal fillers are often used throughout the face, although it all depends on addressing what the client desires or needs are in accordance with their facial or body locality.

Not even nose-jobs are exempt from the possibilities of the new techniques in dermal fillers.  Non-surgical rhinoplasty, or “liquid nose-jobs,” uses hyaluronic acid and has become an emerging trend for those looking to achieve a different nose shape without going under the knife. It appears that as time goes on, Botox® vs. fillers have concocted even more ways to mimic what a plastic surgeon’s knife can do: all with no slicing, anesthesia, or downtime involved.

Dermal fillers come under a variety of marketable names, such as Juvéderm®, Restylane®, Teoxane®, and Sculptra®. Although the latter is not hyaluronic acid, Sculptra®, or polylactic acid, is a type of dermal filler that also re-stimulates the body’s own production of collagen. It is, however, non-reversible like those that are hyaluronic acid-based.

Apart from the increasing lip size appearance, “marionette-lines,” or the lines on the sides of the mouth that stretch when smiling, and upper-lip lines, are popular sites for facial filler injections. The jawline can also be sculpted with strategically placed injections.

Botox® vs. Fillers: Similarities

So, when we are comparing Botox® vs. fillers, what is truly the difference? As previously mentioned, the assortment of both Botox® injections and facial fillers has their clear distinctions. However, they both draw similarities in:

  • Longevity
  • Administration
  • Speed of Results
  • Affordability

Longevity

Typically, Botox® injection results last 3-4 months, although it can vary from patient to patient. Those patients who consistently receive treatments with neuromodulators may find their results last even longer.

As for dermal fillers, depending on the area being treated and the type of filler used, results will last anywhere from 8 to 24 months. On average, facial fillers such as hyaluronic acid last longer than Botox®.

Certain types of injections, such as those used on lips, for example, can last upwards of a year or more, depending on the brand and volume administered. Dermal fillers and Botox’s® longevity can also rely on the metabolism of the client. Heavy-duty exercisers, or those with a higher metabolism, may wear off the effects of both types of injections sooner compared to others. However, the effects still remain as a satisfying option, regardless of activity level.

Administration

Both Botox® and dermal fillers are injected under the surface of the skin. Neither treatment takes long to administer—usually 10 minutes for Botox® and 30 minutes for fillers. In both cases, clients can simply go about their day after treatment. In fact, some of our clients prefer to come in for treatment over their lunch break and then return to work afterward. However, we recommend avoiding strenuous exercise or alcohol directly after the procedures, as it can increase bleeding and cause bruising more easily to the injection site for about 24 hours post-procedure.

Pain and discomfort are not defining factors in the Botox® vs. Filler discussion. In fact, tiny, thin-gauged needles, comparable to the size of thick strands of hair, are used for the administration of Botox® and dermal fillers on different parts of the face, neck, and body. Most clients experience the injection as just a pinch. Hyaluronic acid injections also have analgesics added to the injection solution to ease post-injection site pain. If you are concerned with possible discomfort, you can discuss pain management options with your practitioner; however, most patients find the treatment quite comfortable.

Speed of Results

Botox® injection results can start to show as early as two days, but you will see the maximum effect within two weeks. Results following dermal fillers are immediate; however, some swelling is to be expected. Your results will be more visible when the swelling subsides, usually in about 2-5 days following treatment.

Affordability

With the introduction of various types of injectables in the market due to demand, the prices of in-house cosmetic procedures are more affordable than ever before. Costs are measured by unit and can range anywhere from $10-20 per unit. A variety of factors go into the cost for both Botox® injections and dermal fillers, including the number of treatments or units needed, the brand used, the location of the injection site, and the experience of the practitioner. Individual prices vary upon consultation. At First Impressions Rejuvenation Clinic, our mission is to increase access to care and enhance each individual’s optimal level of well-being, which is why we offer affordable payment plans to our patients.

Final Thoughts

Both Botox® injections and dermal fillers are refreshing skin pick-me-ups that achieve professional and, in some cases, dramatic results, like those granted during out-patient procedures, but with close to non-existent downtime and minimal invasiveness.

Botox® injections and dermal fillers are excellent, modern, and clinically proven avenues to keep your appearance youthful. Safety protocols are our first concern. First Impressions Rejuvenation Clinic is committed to providing the highest patient satisfaction alongside state-of-the-art techniques to keep you looking the way you want when you want. For consultations, please reach out to us anytime. We are here to help you put your best face forward.