Botox vs. Dermal Fillers: What You Need to Know


Botox vs. Dermal Fillers: What You Need to Know

August 6, 2021

Botox and dermal fillers are both injectable, minimally invasive treatments that are given in the office of a Certified Cosmetic Injector - so does that mean that they’re the same thing? While both procedures do not involve surgery, they serve very different purposes, and cannot be used interchangeably. In this article, we take a look at botox vs. dermal fillers, so you can have realistic expectations of what each can do.

What is Botox?

Botox gets its name from the fact that it is a purified form of the botulinum toxin, obtained from bacteria. While highly dangerous in large quantities, Botox is safely used in small amounts to correct wrinkles, by blocking nerve signals in the muscles where it is injected. Therefore, Botox is only effective on expression lines or wrinkles that are caused by muscle movement.

Medical News Today tells us more about the many possible uses of Botox:
“The most common dynamic wrinkles that Botox can treat are lines on the upper face, such as the “11” between the brows, horizontal lines on the forehead, and crow’s feet around the eyes. These lines are caused by smiling, frowning, squinting, and other facial expressions. Botox will not work on fine lines and wrinkles caused by sagging or loss of plumpness in the face. These are known as static wrinkles. Static wrinkles include lines in the cheeks, neck, and jowl areas.”

What are dermal fillers?

While dermal fillers are also a non-invasive injectable treatment, they are not used for the same purpose as Botox. While Botox works to temporarily paralyze or freeze the affected muscles in order to create a smoother appearance, dermal fillers use a gel-like substance to replenish lost volume, resulting in a more youthful appearance. 

Healthline explains what dermal fillers are most often used for:
“Dermal fillers also treat wrinkles on the face. They’re primarily used to treat smile lines, though the fillers can also be used to plump up the lips or cheeks. Sometimes, they’re used for hand treatments or to reduce the appearance of scars. Dermal fillers aren’t approved for plumping up other areas of the body, though, such as the breasts.”

Botox vs. dermal fillers: Which is more effective?

Due to the fact that Botox and dermal fillers are not interchangeable, the answer to this question depends largely on what you need the procedure for. Botox can be used as a preventative measure before you’ve even noticed deep-set wrinkles setting in, while dermal fillers cannot.

Dr. Matthew Schulman, New York City based board-certified plastic surgeon explains the difference between Botox and dermal fillers on
“Lines of expression need botulinum toxin. Lines at rest need filler.” Dr. Schulman says that while Botox is a great choice for hitting those “crease points” where muscles contract, fillers are best for deep lines that are present even when facial muscles are not contracting.”

I’m Ashley Mills, a Registered Practical Nurse & Certified Cosmetic Injector. I started LYFT Medical Aesthetics in Collingwood, ON to help make injectable cosmetic treatments accessible to a wider audience. Contact us to book your free consultation today!