Botox vs Fillers: Your guide to age-defying treatments by an aesthetician

Fillers are used to fill lines and folds, increase volume in thinning lips, lift facial structures, and redefine lost shapes such as the jawline or chin.Picture: Supplied

Fillers are used to fill lines and folds, increase volume in thinning lips, lift facial structures, and redefine lost shapes such as the jawline or chin.Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 5, 2024


In the quest for eternal youth, many turn to science for solutions that can help retain their youthful appearance.

Two popular options that often come up in this conversation are Botox and fillers. While both treatments have their own unique benefits, understanding the differences between them is crucial.

Maintaining a youthful appearance can sometimes feel like a full-time job. That's why many people are turning to non-surgical rejuvenation treatments like Botox and dermal fillers. But which treatment is right for you?

Dr Alek Nikolic, an aesthetic medicine specialist, unpacks these popular options and guides what to discuss with your doctor before making a decision.

First things first, Botox is a brand of botulinum toxin, not a treatment itself. Botulinum toxin is derived from a bacterium and works by blocking nerves to weaken muscles and reduce the formation of wrinkles.

It is not only used for cosmetic purposes but also to treat migraines, eye twitches, excessive sweating, and pain caused by jaw disorders.

Dermal fillers, on the other hand, are purely cosmetic. They are made from synthetic materials like hyaluronic acid and are injected into the skin, fatty layers, and areas above the bone.

Fillers are used to fill lines and folds, increase volume in thinning lips, lift facial structures, and redefine lost shapes such as the jawline or chin.

Types of dermal fillers

According to Nikolic, there are several types of dermal fillers, each with its own unique properties. Hyaluronic Acid (HA) fillers are great for reducing depressions in the skin and improving contours and typically last up to 18 months.

Calcium hydroxyapatite fillers enhance cheek fullness and smooth out frown lines, while Poly-lactic acid fillers stimulate collagen production and can last up to two years.

Combination fillers, which include both HA and Calcium Hydroxyapatite, provide a volumising and lifting effect.

He argues that combining Botox with soft tissue fillers can yield the best results in most cases.

However, exceptions include young patients who don't require fillers but want to start a preventative Botox treatment or individuals without wrinkles but with specific anatomical concerns like thin lips or flat cheeks.

In such cases, a single treatment may be recommended.

Questions to ask yourself

Before undergoing any treatment, it's important to consider your goals. Ask yourself if there are any areas you would like to improve, whether you notice any specific ‘’emotions’’ in the mirror like tiredness or sagging, and if others have commented on your appearance.

This self-reflection will help guide your discussion with your doctor.

Questions to ask your doctor:

When considering these treatments, it's crucial to find a qualified professional and be aware of the potential risks and costs involved. Ask your doctor about their qualifications and experience, and discuss the expected duration of the results.

As with any medical procedure, there are potential risks and side effects associated with both Botox and fillers. These can include temporary redness, swelling, bruising, or slight discomfort at the injection site.

However, serious complications are rare when performed by a skilled professional. It's crucial to consult a qualified practitioner who can assess your individual needs and discuss potential risks before undergoing any treatment.

Duration of results

Both Botox and fillers are minimally invasive procedures that can be performed by a qualified medical professional. Botox injections are relatively quick, with little to no downtime required.

Results typically appear within a few days and can last for three to six months. On the other hand, fillers may involve a slightly longer procedure, as the substance is injected into specific areas to achieve the desired volume.

Recovery time varies, but most people can resume their normal activities immediately after treatment. Fillers generally last longer than Botox, with effects lasting anywhere from six months to two years.

While the fountain of youth may remain elusive, Botox and fillers offer viable options for those seeking to retain their youthful appearance. Botox helps relax muscles, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, while fillers restore volume and enhance facial contours.

By understanding the differences between these treatments and consulting with a qualified professional, you can make an informed decision about which approach is best suited for your desired outcome.

At the end of the day, age is just a number, and with science on our side, we can embrace the journey of ageing gracefully while feeling confident in our own skin.