How Do Dermal Fillers Differ From BOTOX®?

Given that both BOTOX® and dermal fillers are minimally invasive and given through injections, it might seem they’re very similar. They’re actually quite different.

Dermal fillers differ from BOTOX® in a number of ways. For starters, BOTOX® aims to soften and smooth wrinkles. And while dermal fillers can also remove wrinkles, they’re utilized for plumping lips and enhancing shallow contours as well.

As such, dermal fillers aren’t one-size-fits-all. There is a wide variety of different types that tackle specific aesthetic goals.

The Myriad Types of Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers not only differ in chemical makeup and longevity, but they also have varying degrees of softness. So, for instance, a patient who wants to enhance cheekbones will need a sturdier filler than one who wishes to plump his or her lips.

We’ll do a little exploration here of four of the most common types of dermal fillers and their purpose.

  1. Hyaluronic Acid (HA)

You’ve likely heard about the many wonders of hyaluronic acid. It appears in many OTC products that promise to decrease wrinkles and leave you with younger looking skin. It also naturally occurs in the body.

The primary role of HA in the body is to attract water to keep fat, muscles, bones, and skin hydrated. But it also plays a part in collagen production in the skin. Thus, injecting HA into the face not only plumps the face and reduces smile lines, wrinkles, and sagging, but it also triggers the production of collagen to add even more fullness.

As such, it’s become one of the most popular injectable fillers on the market. An injectable HA such as Juvederm might therefore be the choice for improving deep smile lines, smoker’s lines around the mouth, marionette lines, deep tear troughs, and cheekbone and jawline enhancement. But it’s also effective for treating cheek depressions, scars from acne, burns, or wounds, and redefining lip border.

  1. Calcium Hydroxylapatite

Similar to HA, calcium hydroxylapatite is found in the human body. It occurs naturally in human bones. Injectable dermal fillers that contain this mineral-like compound are biosynthetically produced. That means they use no animal products and no skin testing is required.

Calcium hydroxylapatite has a long safety record and is often used to address moderate to severe creases, nasolabial folds, and marionette lines around the mouth. It’s also used to enhance fullness of the cheeks and other facial contours.

  1. Polyalkylimide

Polyalkylimide is not found in the human body. Rather, it’s a semi-permanent dermal filler plastic surgeons may choose to treat deeper wrinkles or depressed scars. It’s also effective for plumping thin lips, replacing volume lost due to age, and enhancing the jawline and cheekbones.

Once polyalkylimide gel is injected, collagen slowly forms around it for about a month. Eventually, the gel capsule is completely surrounded by collagen that the body produced. While the injection remains stable, but can be removed if necessary.

Although polyalkylimide doesn’t come from the body, it’s highly biocompatible so no allergy test is required.

  1. Polylactic Acid

A completely synthetic dermal filler, polylactic acid triggers the body to produce collagen and is known as a stimulator. As such, results from polylactic acid appear gradually and over a period of a few months rather than quickly. It usually requires three treatments and with each one, there is re-stimulation of collagen production.

Polylactic acid is non-toxic and biodegradable. It’s been used for 40 years as material for sutures. This type of filler is often chosen for filling laugh lines, as well as plumping thin lips and treating deep nasolabial folds around the nose and mouth.

So Then How Do Dermal Fillers Differ From BOTOX®?

Without getting too deep into the weeds, BOTOX® is a purified form of the botulinum toxin that’s derived from bacteria. Though that may sound a little scary, when used in small amounts, it can effectively help to correct wrinkles such as crow’s feet, horizontal lines on the forehead, and glabella wrinkles

One of the major ways BOTOX® differs from dermal fillers is that it works by blocking nerve signals in the muscles – leaving the injected muscles temporarily paralyzed. The lack of movement allows for wrinkles to be reduced and softened`.

Because it works to correct wrinkles that result from movement (i.e. dynamic wrinkles), BOTOX® doesn’t repair fine lines or wrinkles caused by sagging or loss of plumpness in the face. Such “static wrinkles” show up as lines in the cheeks, neck, and jowl areas.

Which One Is Right For You?

Now that you know how dermal fillers differ from BOTOX®, you have a better understanding of how each works.

So if you’re interested in achieving a more youthful appearance through one or the other, contact us today for a free consultation. If you’re opting for a dermal filler, the surgeon will sit down with you to determine the best type and volume needed based on your aesthetic goals.