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Botox vs Fillers: Which Do I Choose?6 min read

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Caroline Hedges

Caroline Hedges is a critically acclaimed researcher, writer and serial entrepreneur. With a knack for making the obscure plain, she is able to distill her research in writing both fun and engaging posts.

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Have you looked in the mirror lately and seen a much older version of yourself staring back? We’ve all been there! There are some days when we expect to see our 22-year-old-self smiling back, but instead we see the echo of that smile in the lines on our face. From the crinkles around our eyes, to the frown lines on our forehead, it is a natural, yet sometimes painful, path of aging. The good news? There are a lot of simple, non-invasive procedures that can reduce the appearance of those lines and bring back that 22-year-old’s smile.

Nonsurgical Options For Youthful Faces

While facelifts offer a surgical solution to aging faces, several non-surgical options exist that do not require much, if any, recovery time and last long enough for many people to justify avoiding the surgical knife. Botox and dermal fillers are injections given by plastic surgery professionals to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Both offer different benefits and you will need to decide, with the help of your doctor, which are right for you. 

Botox For Dynamic Wrinkles

Purified botulinum toxin, also known as botox, works by blocking nerve signals in muscles where it’s injected. Blocking the nerve signals reduces movement in the muscles. The lack of mobility can reduce, soften or even remove certain wrinkles.

Botox only works on wrinkles that are caused by muscle movement, known as ‘dynamic wrinkles’ or ‘expression lines.’ Botox is most commonly used to treat upper face lines, such as the ‘11’ between the eyebrows, horizontal lines on the forehead, and crows feet around the eyes. These lines are typically caused by face movement, such as smiling, frowning and squinting. Botox will not work on fine lines and wrinkles caused by sagging or loss of plumpness, known as ‘static wrinkles.’ 

Like most wrinkle repair treatments, Botox is not permanent. Most people find that the muscle relaxing effects last about 3-4 months and require multiple treatments. 

In this live video, Dr. Chang administers Botox injections to one of his patients! 

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Dermal Fillers For Fuller Skin

Dermal Fillers are sometimes called soft tissue fillers and are injected beneath the skin to add fullness and volume. Many different types of fillers exist:

  • Calcium Hydroxylapatite (like Radiesse) is a mineral like compound found in bones.
  • Hyaluronic Acid (like Juvederm, Belotero Balance, Voluma) is found already in some tissues in the body to promote fullness. 
  • Polyalkylimide is a transparent gel that is compatible with the body.
  • Polylactic Acid (like Sculptra) stimulates the body to make collagen.
  • Polymethy-methacrylate microspheres (PMMA) is a semi-permanent filler.
 Each is designed to treat different signs of aging and each takes a bit of time to become effective. Some last about 6 months, while others last up to 2 years. 

Depending on the type of filler, the main areas dermal fillers address are: 

  • Lips – can be plumped up and the fine lines around the mouth can be reduced.
  • Jowls – can perk up droopy jowls.
  • Eyes – can reduce shadows and under eye wrinkles caused by the lower lid
  • Recessed scars – can be filled in or softened
  • Static Wrinkles – can be filled in or softened, particularly on the lower face. (Around the mouth and cheeks)

What Are The Cost Differences?

We can’t offer a specific number to compare the price of Botox and dermal fillers like Juvederm, Belotero, Voluma, Radiesse, or Sculptra. The number of injections vary in order to achieve your desired results. 

If you’re interested in injectables, it’s best to schedule a free consultation with a plastic surgeon so you can evaluate together which option would work best for you and your budget.

Botox Injections

What Injectable Is Right For Me?

That’s a great question! We strongly recommend that you set up a free consultation with a qualified surgeon or nurse. They will help you decide whether Botox or a dermal filler will help  you achieve your desired look. It may be that you have a mixture of Botox and Filler to get that perfect ‘refreshed’ look.

FAQs About Botox and Fillers

You should start to see the results 2-3 days after the injections have been done.

You should see the results instantly.

Side effects are rare. You may experience droopy forehead or eyelid depending on the injections. You may have soreness around the injections site and bruising. These should be temporary.

Side effects are rare but could include:

bruising around the injections site, allergic reaction to the filler, lumpiness (which can be helped by massaging the area) and infection.

Your forehead, around your eyes, around your mouth, between your mouth and your nose, between your eyes. Your qualified practitioner will be able to advise.

In and around your lips, between your mouth and nose, from your mouth down to your jawline, around the eyes, your cheekbones to name a few areas. Speak to a qualified practitioner for a full list of suitable areas.

A good, qualified person should help to make it virtually pain free. You will feel a pin prick as the needle goes in but that is it.

You shouldn’t require any anaesthetic as fillers sometimes have a little in them anyway. For more sensitive areas like the mouth, an anaesthetic gel may be administered before the treatment. You may experience mild discomfort during the procedure.

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Ready to reverse aging?

Wondering whether Botox or fillers might be the best cosmetic solution for you? We invite you to simply come in for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Chang or one of the cosmetic laser and injection nurses to explore whether you would make a good candidate. To find out more whether Aesthetica can help you, contact us online or at 703-729-5553 to arrange an appointment. Dr. Phillip Chang is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Northern Virginia near Leesburg, Virginia and an expert in a wide variety of cosmetic treatments.

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