If you’re looking into anti-aging treatments, it might feel confusing. There’s Botox®, but then again there are different types of fillers, too. They’re all injectable, and they all treat wrinkles. So, what’s the difference? Which is the better option? Don’t worry, we have the info you need to clear up any confusion and help you make an informed decision about the treatment that’s right for you.
Botox® is a known commodity, having been around for more than two decades. It’s a muscle relaxant made of bacteria, and it’s used to reduce wrinkles, but it also has several other uses, including treating migraines, certain neurological issues, and excessive sweating. The wrinkles treated by Botox are dynamic wrinkles, the kind that occur around the eyes and mouth and between the eyebrows, and become more pronounced with age. By relaxing the muscles near these wrinkles, Botox injections reduce the appearance of the wrinkles. It won’t work, however, for fine lines caused by a breakdown of collagen.
Botox does come with its fair share of potential side effects. Some are mild and temporary, including droopy eyelids, dry mouth and eyes, headache or flu-like symptoms, itching, nausea, numbness, rash, redness, or swelling. More serious side effects can happen if the toxin in Botox travels to another part of the body. These side effects include loss of bladder control, muscle weakness or paralysis, difficulty breathing, swallowing, or speaking, and vision issues. To reduce these risks, doctors recommend Botox only for people in good health. A complete medical screening before treatment, and usage of the right dose and technique, will greatly lower your chances of having adverse effects from Botox.
Botox injections can be highly effective in reducing dynamic wrinkles. They’re safe for most people, widely available, and not terribly expensive. However, it should be noted that to maintain your improved appearance, you’ll need additional injections every few months.
So, what are dermal fillers? Dermal fillers are injectable, like Botox, but they contain different ingredients. The types of filler that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are calcium hydroxyapatite (Radiesse), a gel that lasts for 18 months, collagen, which lasts up to four months, hyaluronic acid, which remains effective for six to 12 months, poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra), a man-made material with results that last up to two years, and polymethylmethacrylate beads, the only permanent dermal filler. Dermal fillers are used to treat wrinkles, primarily smile lines, though some can also be used for plumping up the lips or cheeks. Some dermal fillers are used for the hands or to reduce the appearance of scars, though they’re not approved for the entire body.
Dermal fillers, like Botox, can have side effects. These include bruising, itching, numbness, redness, scarring, sores, an infection, or an allergic reaction. One severe side effect is long-term swelling of the face. It’s important to be in good health and have allergy testing done before you get dermal fillers. Additionally, it’s not advisable to receive dermal fillers if you smoke.
You might get a longer-term result from dermal fillers than from Botox. However, you also run the risk of more side effects. So, which one is right for you? There’s no one answer to that question. Because the different products work on different parts of the face and produce slightly different results, it’s best to talk to your dermatologist before you make up your mind about which one you’d like to try.
Beyond Botox and dermal fillers, there are a wide variety of anti-aging treatments available, and your dermatologist can help you determine which ones might be right for you. If you’re looking for a dermatologist, Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology is committed to providing superior, professional hair and skin care in a manner that’s practical, efficient, and compassionate. With over 30 years of experience providing dermatological services in Salt Lake City, we provide a variety of services, from cosmetic skincare to treatment for skin cancer. Our team of board-certified dermatologists and licensed cosmetic service providers are here to provide you with the care you need in a comfortable, professional atmosphere. Call (801) 682-4715 or contact us through our website.