What to Know About Dermal Fillers and Botox


People often confuse Botox injections with dermal fillers, which is understandable. They have plenty in common. Both procedures are minimally invasive cosmetic treatments typically applied at med spas to help people combat the visible signs of aging.

The mechanisms by which they work are quite different, though, so it’s a mistake to assume they’re interchangeable.

What Is Botox?

Botox is a product made from a purified form of botulinum toxin, produced by the same bacteria that cause botulism. Though this toxin can be deadly when people ingest it in large amounts, it has clear cosmetic and therapeutic value when given correctly in small doses. Botox has been used by clinics that are top rated in the state for decades.

The way Botox works is by blocking nerve signals, temporarily paralyzing the muscles in the area it’s injected. Paralyzing the muscles stops them from moving in ways that cause certain wrinkles to appear. As a result, Botox only works to treat dynamic wrinkles caused by muscle movement.

What Are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers are substances that can be injected beneath the skin’s surface to add volume. There are many types of dermal fillers, including:

  •  Calcium hydroxyapatite
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Polyalkylimide
  • Polylactic acid
  • Polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres

Each of the fillers treats a different type of cosmetic issue. Some are substances already found elsewhere in the body, while others are synthetic. Polylactic acid even stimulates the skin to start making collagen again.

Dermal fillers can provide a variety of cosmetic benefits. Some are used to plump thinning lips or fill in shallow areas on the face. Others decrease the shadows beneath the eyes caused by lower eyelids, soften the appearance of recessed scars, or fill in static wrinkles around the mouth and along the cheeks.

How to Choose the Right Injectable

Choosing the right injectable is a matter of determining which of them is best suited to address the cosmetic concern in question. While there is some overlap in terms of purpose, aestheticians are very good at identifying which dermal filler or Botox injection will be the most helpful. In some cases, Botox and dermal fillers are combined into one treatment. One example could be using Botox to correct dynamic worry lines between the eyes and a dermal filler to soften static smile lines around the mouth.

Are Botox and Dermal Fillers Safe?

When administered by a trained professional, Botox and dermal fillers have good safety profiles. Both types of cosmetic injectables can cause side effects, but they are usually temporary. The primary problem when it comes to safety is black-market products.

The reality of Botox and dermal filler injections is that they can be expensive. As a result, people sometimes turn to the black market online and purchase do-it-yourself products. These products are often contaminated with non-sterile substances like hair gel, which causes allergic reactions, infections, and tissue necrosis.

Even when the products are legitimate, improper injection techniques can lead to swelling and lumpiness. The only way to ensure safety when using dermal fillers and Botox is to go to a licensed med spa.

Schedule a Consultation

Ready to do away with those wrinkles and other visible signs of aging? The next step is easy. Call a med spa to schedule an initial consultation with a trained expert.

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