In the war to banish stubborn fine lines and wrinkles, it helps to be armed with the most effective tools to get the job done. That’s where injectable dermal fillers and BOTOX come into play. These popular anti-wrinkle treatments are injected into areas of the face to make the skin appear smoother, rejuvenated, and more youthful looking. Both serve as minimally invasive alternatives to traditional facelifts and similar surgeries designed to lessen the appearance of crow’s feet, frown lines, and other wrinkles that accompany the natural aging process.
Although they do share some similarities, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jules Walters of Walters Plastic Surgery in New Orleans, LA, explains that there are big differences between injectable dermal fillers and BOTOX, namely the substances of which they are made, their primary functions, and the areas of the face that they can be used to treat.
What is BOTOX?
BOTOX, the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment, is a brand name for botulinum toxin, a naturally occurring protein that was approved years ago for use by the FDA. One of the most frequently performed cosmetic procedures, small quantities of BOTOX are injected into the muscles of the face. After years of repetitive movement, these muscles cause wrinkles to form. Once injected, BOTOX blocks nerve signals to the muscles, causing them to be temporarily paralyzed and unable to contract or tighten as forcefully as they previously could. As a result, wrinkles become relaxed are less visible. Contrary to popular belief, BOTOX does not cause the face to appear frozen and expressionless, rather it temporarily makes wrinkle-producing facial movements less easy to perform.
The versatility of BOTOX has made it a favorite among New Orleans patients. It is often used to eliminate forehead wrinkles, fine lines around the lips and corners of the mouth, and crow’s feet, while also reducing the appearance of skin bands on the neck. BOTOX is also effective for smoothing frown lines, so-called bunny lines that appear when the nose is crinkled, and dimpling on the chin. It also can lift the eyebrows and create a more defined arch. However, BOTOX is not effective in treating skin wrinkles resulting from sun damage or the forces of gravity.
Depending on the areas being treated, most BOTOX sessions last about 15 minutes. Patients may feel a slight pinch when the injection needle breaks the skin. Little to no downtime is required following the procedure, however, there may be some temporary swelling and redness at the injection site. It may take up to 10 days for patients to see visibly smoother skin, which typically lasts for between 3-6 months. The neurotoxins that compose BOTOX eventually are metabolized by the body.
What is dermal filler?
Most dermal fillers are made from hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring, gel-like substance produced by the body’s own skin cells which help keep it soft and hydrated. As we age and the skin becomes thinner, the rate at which it creates collagen and elastin decreases. This allows for sagging skin, wrinkles and fine lines to set in as the face’s youthful glow and fullness fades.
Known by the brand names Juvéderm, Restylane and Sculptra, dermal fillers are injected into the soft tissues of the face to increase volume in areas where it is lacking as well as to smooth out wrinkles. The cheeks and lips can be made more plump with the help of fillers, and thin lines on and around the lips eliminated. The nasal labial folds, also known as smile or laugh lines that run from the nose to the corners of the mouth, can be filled in along with “marionette lines” that form between the mouth and the chin. Beyond working to fill out the face, injectable dermal fillers may actually stimulate the skin to produce more collagen.
Most injectable dermal filler sessions are quick and practically painless, although some minor redness, bruising, and swelling at the injection site may follow. No downtime typically is required. When performed by a highly trained, board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Jules Walters of Walters Plastic Surgery, the results of a dermal filler procedure may be noticeable immediately and can last from six months to two years.
What’s the difference?
Determining whether to opt for BOTOX or an injectable dermal filler such as Juvéderm or Restylane depends on the type of wrinkles and issues that you are attempting to treat. Lines that are caused by repetitive facial movements, such as squinting and chewing, call for BOTOX which targets the muscles to relax the appearance of wrinkles. To restore fullness to the cheeks and lips and fill in deep-set facial folds, dermal fillers are the better choice since they are specially designed to add longer-lasting volume to areas beneath the skin. It is important for New Orleans patients to remember that the results of these treatments can vary for each individual. Board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Jules Walters of Walters Plastic Surgery, is experienced in determining which treatment is best suited to meet your goals and desired outcomes.
What is a Liquid Facelift?
While the results of BOTOX and injectable dermal filler treatments can be highly effective on their own, when performed together, the results are truly remarkable. Called a Liquid Facelift, this procedure offers a noninvasive alternative to traditional surgical facelifts by combining fillers, which increase volume and contour as well as smooth out lines, with BOTOX to diminish wrinkles. This procedure also can help to reshape the nose as well as the jawline by addressing sagging skin or jowls. A Liquid Facelift is ideal for patients who wish to improve, enhance or correct several areas of the face at once, possibly saving them both time and money. The procedure, which takes about an hour to complete, requires little downtime and can provide fast results, which may last for up to 24 months.
The choice is yours
Whether you select BOTOX, injectable dermal fillers, or a Liquid Facelift, know that it is possible to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles and restore a youthful glow to your skin. To learn more about these procedures, contact Walters Plastic Surgery in New Orleans, LA and schedule an appointment. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jules Walters is dedicated to helping patients look and feel their best.