What is the Difference Between Botox and Filler?

What is the difference between Botox and filler? This is a common question that we are asked all of the time.  It can be confusing, because both Botox and fillers are relatively quick, little downtime procedures, that can be used to improve the appearance of lines on the face.

Botox (and its cousins, Dysport and Xeomin) are neuromodulators that block the release of acetylcholine.  Acetylcholine is what signals the muscle to contract; if it isn’t released, the muscle is not signaled to contract.  Botox is injected directly into the muscles we are intending to relax – the more common areas being the “elevens” between the eyebrows, horizontal lines on the forehead, and crows feet near the eyes.  The injection itself feels only like a tiny pinch and takes only a few minutes.  Within 1-2 weeks, the effects of the treatment can be seen and the treated muscle’s movement will be relaxed…therefore reducing the appearance of lines from movement in the treated area.

Fillers (such as Restylane and Juvederm) do not relax muscles or stop muscle movement. They are used to literally ‘fill in’ areas of volume loss.  While there are numerous formulations of fillers, the most common type of filler is made a hyaluronic acid.  Hyaluronic acid (referred to as HA by those ‘in the know’) is natural to the skin and is one of the ingredients that attracts and holds water.  It uses this same plumping mechanism when used as a filler; after it is injected, it plumps up areas of volume loss and fills in deep wrinkles.  It is commonly used to fill in nasolabial folds (the smile lines), to add back volume lost in the cheeks, and to enhance the lips.

Botox and fillers are often used together, but can both be used on their own as well.  Neither treatment is permanent, with Botox wearing off between 3-4 months after treatment and fillers usually lasting 6 to 9 months or more. Email us at EmailTheSkinSisters@gmail.com with more questions about the difference between Botox and fillers!

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