The popularity of injectables is on the rise and to clear the confusion between Botox and fillers Dr Rory Dower explains what each treatment is used for and some of the different types of fillers that one may try.
What’s the difference between Botox and Fillers?
Botulinum toxin (also known as ‘Botox’) is a natural, purified protein that is injected directly into the facial muscles to temporarily relax them. This prevents the muscle contractions that would otherwise result in wrinkling of the skin. Botox is, therefore, an excellent treatment to help minimise the appearance of wrinkles, while preventing the formation of new ones.
Filler on the other side is used to bring harmony to the face by optimising ideal proportions, which the human eye recognises as youthful and beautiful. This is done by enhancing the volume in areas such as the cheek and jawline, and by smoothing out contours around the eyes or mouth. It’s also ideal for filling in creases and fine lines and to plump up thin lips.
Tell us about the different types of fillers
There are a number of different types of dermal fillers, with the most common being hyaluronic acid derived fillers. Hyaluronic acid injections are typically used to improve facial contours and to fill out any depressions due to acne scars, injuries, or lines and wrinkles.
Newer generation fillers contain polylactic acid, which is a synthetic filler. Polylactic acid helps to boost your body’s own production of collagen for a plumper, firmer appearance. Unlike other dermal fillers, polylactic acid doesn’t produce immediate results but works overtime to stimulate collagen production. This helps to reverse the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, particularly around the mouth and nose.
Dr Rory Dower. Picture: Supplied.
What are some of the potential side effects?
When it comes to getting injectable treatments like Botox and fillers, complications are rare – but they do happen. Botox has one of the best safety profiles compared to other treatments used in medical aesthetics. The unintended spread of the neurotoxin is the biggest risk you face when getting Botox. This could result in the paralysis of unintended muscles, for example, a drooping eyelid. Fortunately, this effect is short lived and will wear off over time, along with the treatment effect.
The biggest concerns when getting fillers include the risk of infection, possible bleeding and bruising, lumps, skin necrosis (loss of skin from disruption in blood flow), and even blindness. Fortunately, although very serious, the last two complications rarely occur. It’s vital that you talk to your doctor and understand the red flags to look out for after your treatment.
Botox or fillers, or both?
Botox works for the glabellar region (the area between the eyebrows), the forehead, around the eyes, and on ‘bunny lines’. For the right candidates, it’s also helpful when used in the lower third of the face.
Fillers are best used to restore volume to the face and soften creases such as nasolabial folds or marionette lines. You can also use fillers to improve facial contours and to plump up your lips.