Q: I am so confused about injectables. Is Botox a filler? If not, what is, and what is the difference between Botox and a filler?
A: Good question, and one that many people seem to find confusing. Botox and fillers are not the same thing, nor do they treat the same conditions, but both are equally important tools for the cosmetic or facial plastic surgeon in helping patients look rejuvenated. Depending on your treatment desires, your surgeon may choose to use either Botox or a filler, or they may decide to use both to achieve different goals.
Botox is a drug made from botulinim toxin that can be used for a variety of health purposes. It can be injected in the armpits to treat severe sweating, or hyperhidrosis. It can also be used to treat intractable migraines. Some people have even had success with Botox treatment for overactive bladder. For cosmetic purposes, Botox is used to smooth out wrinkles and creases in the forehead, between the eyebrows, and crow’s feet. Botox works by temporarily paralyzing muscles in the face, and can last anywhere from three to six months.
Injectable dermal fillers are a minimally-invasive way of temporarily restoring youthful fullness to a patient’s face, especially around the eyes, in the lips, and in marionette lines. The aging process causes a loss of volume throughout the face, resulting in a hollowed appearance that can age you beyond your years.
In the hands of a skilled cosmetic surgeon, dermal fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse, and Sculptra can be used to plump out those hollowed places. All fillers are not created equally, however, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Some fillers are made of hyaluronic acid, whereas Sculptra is composed of poly-L lactic acid that causes your body to produce its own natural collagen to achieve plumpness. Different parts of the face will require different solutions.
Although Botox and fillers are temporary, the results will be highly visible for the entire time they are present. We’ve all seen pictures of celebrities with bad Botox and overplumped smiles. For this reason, it is very important to choose your cosmetic surgeon carefully, and to ask to see their before and after pictures. Botox and fillers are an excellent, affordable approach to looking younger and rejuvenated without surgery, especially in the hands of an experienced, artistic practitioner.
For more information on Botox and fillers, please call Southern Surgical Arts at 423-266-3331.