Your face is the roadmap to your life…..but do you sometimes wish that roadmap was a little less detailed? Squint lines, laugh lines, frown lines, forehead furrows – as we age, the natural effects of time and our facial expressions leave these physical marks behind on the skin. And although fine lines, wrinkles, sags, and creases can never be permanently erased, there are two types of safe, non-invasive injectable treatment options on the market to smooth and reduce the appearance of wrinkles: Botox and fillers. Keep reading to learn the details of each treatment and decide which one is right for your skin:
Botox comes from the botulin toxin, which is found in bacteria. Although the botulin toxin causes botulism in large amounts, its purified form is safe when used in small doses. When the botulin toxin is injected into an area on the face, it “freezes” the muscle under the skin.
- Botox is designed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles caused by muscle movements and facial expressions. The botulin toxin blocks nerve signals in the muscle, which relaxes the muscle and prevents it from moving, thus softening the fine lines and wrinkles caused by expression.
- Wrinkles caused by muscle movement are termed dynamic wrinkles. Common expression lines are crow’s feet around the eyes, the “11” frown lines between the eyebrows, and horizontal forehead lines. The majority of fine lines and wrinkles on which Botox is effective are found in the upper areas of the face.
- According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), side effects from Botox are often temporary. The injections can cause short-term bruising and swelling around the muscle, eye irritation, eyelid/eyebrow drooping, muscle weakness, headache, flu-like symptoms, or hives and a rash.
- Botox is one of the most-tested and safest products in the cosmetic field. Currently, there are three FDA approved brand names on the market – Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin. The wrinkle-reducing effects of Botox are only temporary; each injection lasts anywhere from 3-6 months, and will need to be repeated regularly for maintenance. According to the ASPS, the average cost of a Botox injection in 2016 was $385.
- Botox is also a tested and certified medical treatment for certain health conditions, such as uncontrollable neck spasms (cervical dystonia), lazy eye, eye twitching, muscle contractures, excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), overactive bladder, and chronic migraines.
As skin ages, its natural stores of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid decline in production, which causes the appearance of looser, thinner, and drier skin on the face, neck, and hands. Dermal filler injections add fullness and volume to thinning areas of the skin where wrinkles have formed, lifting and smoothing fine lines or creases.
- Dermal fillers can contain a wide range of natural compounds, including: hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite, collagen, and polylactic acid. Each of these compounds adds fullness and structure to sagging skin.
- Wrinkles which are visible when the skin is at rest are termed static wrinkles. Dermal fillers are effective for people looking to smooth nasolabial laugh lines, plump up thin lips and hands, reduce the appearance of recessed scars, and fill in creases and thinning skin on the cheeks and neck. Dermal fillers are most often used for creating volume on the lower face and neck.
- According to the ASPS, side effects are temporary and can include bruising or swelling at the site, a skin rash, a pimple-like breakout, lumps and overcorrections, or feeling the filler substance under the skin.
- Currently, there are many collagen-based, hyaluronic acid-based, and polylactic acid-based filler injections that are safe and approved for use by the FDA. Like Botox, the effects of fillers are only temporary and injections will need to be repeated regularly for maintenance. According to the ASPS, fillers range in price depending on the compound and amount of solution used, but each injection can cost anywhere from $650 up into the thousands.
Because Botox and dermal fillers target different types of lines, furrows, creases, and wrinkles, both injections can safely be used in one treatment session. But even in the setting of cosmetic purposes, the decision to get Botox and/or fillers should not be taken lightly. Neither treatment offers a permanent solution to fine lines and wrinkles, and multiple maintenance sessions can become costly and time-consuming down the road. And although Botox and fillers are both safe and approved treatments, neither should be undertaken during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Speak with a trusted and certified dermatologist before undergoing sessions – such as our board-certified Dr. K Wade Foster here at Florida Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centers. If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss Botox or dermal fillers, call out office today at the location nearest you.