Which is better Botox or Filler? By Dr Liz Clark
Injectable treatments are so commonplace now that most people know they give us an anti-ageing effect. However while we’ve all heard of them, they still get confused. One of the most common questions clients ask is; which is better, Botox or Filler?
Many people think they are similar treatments. Actually they are very different treatments and often we use them in combination to have the desirable effect.
At a very basic level, toxin (such as Botox) relaxes lines created by movements and expressions. However Dermal filler, reduces lines that are present at rest or improves shape by creating extra volume.
Botox is a brand name for Botulinum toxin (toxin) but other brands are available including Bocouture or Azzalure.
All of them contain toxin that is purified for use in aesthetic medicine. We inject tiny doses of the product to relax muscles, which prevents creasing of the overlying skin, which in turn reduces the wrinkle. This is classically used for crows feet, frown lines between your eyebrows, or forehead lines.
Is it Safe?
Toxin is safe if used by a qualified and experienced practitioner. It is injected using a tiny needle and shouldn’t be painful. As with any injection, you can get some bruising after the procedure and you’ll need to keep the site clean and dry for a number of hours to prevent infection.
How long does Botox last?
The effects of the toxin will develop gradually over 10 – 14 days and should last for 3-4 months.
There are many different types of filler but the most commonly used one is hyaluronic acid (HA filler). Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body and is a substance that retains structure and water in body tissues, including the skin. It’s a gooey, gel like substance that adds fullness or volume to tissues.
HA filler comes in many variations and is designed to be used at different depths in the skin depending on the desired results. Here are some examples:
- You may need more structure to your face, which could involve adding volume to your cheek bones. This will lift the contours of your face and requires a thicker filler which sits deeply in the skin.
- You may wish to soften nasolabial lines (nose to mouth lines), with a mid density filler.
- We can also add volume to your lips, or even out lips which aren’t symmetrical.
- If you have top lip ‘barcode’ lines, then these can be softened with a much finer filler which is more superficial.
If done by an experienced practitioner the results will be subtle and leave you “looking well” rather than being plumped and fake. After the process you can see the results immediately, but they’ll settle and improve over the next few days.
Is it Safe?
Bruising and swelling can occur after injecting filler and it can be tender for a few days after. One rare but serious complication is an Occlusion, which you should discuss with your practitioner before the procedure. Some fillers can become lumpy, and can cause an allergic reaction, this tends to be with cheaper fillers so make sure your injector is using premium products.
How long do Fillers last?
The filler will last a variable amount of time – anything from 6 months to 18 months. In general, the more an area moves or the more blood supply the area gets, the quicker it will be re-absorbed into the body. Cheek filler will last 14-18 months whereas lip or tear trough filler may last 9-12 months.
So what should I ask for?
Some clients come to me and ask for a specific area of concern to be addressed. Some others don’t know what is available and want to ”look less tired” or just to find out what is available.
You should always have a consultation to discuss any injectables before you have a treatment and feel confident and comfortable with the injector. It’s normal to ask a lot of questions if you want to.
As for the original question; which is better, Botox or Filler? It’s not such a straightforward answer as sometimes we need to use a combination of both to get the best results. Don’t be afraid to ask, as it’s your face and it’s important you’re happy at the end of it.
Thanks for reading, Dr Liz Clark.
If you want to book a free consultation then get in touch via the injectables page here.