14th August 2018

Botox vs Fillers: What's the Difference?

Last Modified: May 29, 2023

People are living longer and staying in the workforce longer today than in the past. Interestingly, the number of people undergoing cosmetic procedures has also increased. Is there a connection between these two things?

A small study conducted at Northwestern University a few years ago suggests so.
Everyone wants to feel good about their appearance. According to the study people who want to stay competitive in their careers, may have a greater incentive to turn to anti-ageing treatments.

But we are not talking about surgery here.

Two of the easiest and most common ways to reduce the signs of ageing are Botox and dermal fillers. Although these two treatments have become very popular, we have found that many people still do not understand the difference between Botox and fillers.

We want to clear that up in this post. Think of this a crash course on anti-wrinkle injections.

Botox vs. Fillers: What's the Difference?

Knowing your cosmetic treatment options can help you find the best way to treat your wrinkles and other facial ageing concerns.

How does Botox work?

Botox is an injectable solution made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The word "toxin" scares some patients, but rest assured that it was approved by the FDA more than two decades ago as safe and effective for wrinkle reduction.

Facial movements and expressions, such as squinting or smiling, lead to fine lines and wrinkles. Each time you use a facial muscle, a groove forms beneath the surface of the skin. And as skin ages, it loses its flexibility and is no longer able to spring back in place. This is the main cause of crow's feet and frown lines.

When Botox is injected into a muscle, it blocks the nerve receptors in the muscle. The muscles can no longer contract, they relax and become smooth again.

When the underlying muscles relax, the wrinkles in the overlying skin also smooth out. This effect usually lasts for 3 to 6 months until the body breaks down the Botox and the result wears off.

You Might Enjoy Reading: British Celebrities Who Have Admitted To Getting Botox

How do Dermal Fillers work? 

Dermal fillers also reduce wrinkles, but in a different way. As you age, your body produces less collagen. Collagen is the protein that gives your skin firmness and elasticity. When your body produces less collagen, your skin becomes thinner and less firm.

As a result, your skin is more prone to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines.

Dermal fillers remedy this problem by literally "filling in" the wrinkles. The gel-like filler is injected into the skin to restore lost volume and create a smoother, more youthful appearance.

Although all dermal fillers have the same goal, there are different brands that use different types of material. The most common dermal fillers are made from hyaluronic acid, which occurs naturally in your body.

Some brands of fillers are made from other materials such as calcium hydroxyapatite or poly-L-lactic acid. These fillers also help your body produce more collagen, which restores natural volume over time.

Here is a detailed description of the different types of dermal fillers.

Because there is such a wide range of fillers, the results also vary. Depending on the type of filler, the effect can last between 6 and 24 months.

What does Botox treat?

Botox and dermal fillers work in different ways making each suitable for treating different types of wrinkles. When it comes to wrinkle reduction, Botox injections can treat:

  • Crow's feet (lines in the outside corners of the eyes)
  • Horizontal wrinkles across the forehead
  • Frown lines (the vertical lines between the eyebrows, often called "number 11's")
  • The bunny line (the horizontal line that develops across the top of the nose)
  • Vertical lines above the upper lip
  • Vertical lines throughout the neck

Botox also treats some other aspects of your facial appearance. It can be used to turn up the corners of your mouth, giving you a more pleasant resting face. If you have chin dimples you dislike, Botox can help with this as well.

Outside of anti-ageing, Botox has a few more unique purposes as well. For people who want to reduce excessive underarm sweat, we can inject Botox into precise areas in the underarms. In the same way that it blocks nerve signals to keep muscles from contracting, Botox blocks the nerve signals that stimulate your sweat glands. 

Learn more about Botox for Hyperhidrosis.

Another increasingly common use for Botox is thinning the jawline in specific cases. People who grind their teeth often tend to develop a wide jawline from muscle stimulation. When Botox is injected into these muscles, it relaxes them and gives the jawline a slimmer look.

Learn more about Botox for Jaw Slimming

What do Dermal Fillers treat?

The wrinkles that are best treated with dermal fillers include:

  • Particularly deep crow's feet (these are often treated with a combination of Botox and fillers)
  • Nasolabial folds (the wrinkles that run from the bottom corners of the nose to the corners of the mouth, often called "parentheses" or "smile lines")
  • Marionette lines (vertical lines that extend down from the corners of the mouth)
  • Wrinkles throughout the jawline and chin
  • Horizontal bands across the neck

Another common side effect of ageing is the loss of volume in certain areas of the face. This can create a hollow effect at various points on your face. Dermal fillers are also used to add volume and restore fullness and give a more youthful facial contour. The most common areas include the cheeks, temples and tear troughs under the eyes.

One of the most popular uses of dermal fillers is to enhance the lips. When injected properly, fillers can plump up the upper and/or lower lip, shape the cupid's bow of the upper lip and pull up the corners of the mouth.

Another increasingly popular use of dermal fillers is non-surgical rhinoplasty. In this treatment, fillers are used to correct the shape and size of the nose in patients who're concerned about the appearance of their nose.

How Do I Know if I Need Botox or Fillers?

Botox and dermal fillers are the most popular cosmetic treatments in the UK, but they're also widely misunderstood. Learning about your options can help you know what to expect and have an informed discussion with your provider. Knowing the differences between Botox vs. fillers is no exception. To see if your getting fillers or Botox for the right reasons click here.

Every patient is different, so the best way to know which treatment is right for you is to see an experienced professional. If you're ready to learn more and look younger, schedule an appointment for any of these fantastic facial rejuvenation injections

Post Reviewed by: Dr Baldeep Farmah
Medically Reviewed on: 14th August 2018
Dr Baldeep Farmah is the Medical Director and lead Doctor of Dr Aesthetica, a Medical Aesthetic Clinic.

"We want to empower everyone who walks through our clinic doors, to be able to look in the mirror and see a happier, brighter version of themselves."

For everyone that walks through our clinic doors, you may think you are alone, but you are not. Our patients all have a different story to tell but all come from a similar place.
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Dr Aesthetica offers professional Botulinum Toxin and Dermal Filler treatments in the Birmingham area. We aim to solve your cosmetic related issues with non-surgical interventions.
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We want to empower everyone who walks through our clinic doors, to be able to look in the mirror and see a happier, brighter version of themselves.
Dr Aesthetica, Unit 1, 1431 -1433 Bristol Rd S, Birmingham, B31 2SU
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