Face fillers | Botox v Dermal Fillers | pros and cons

Need a quick facial revamp? Beauty clinics offering non-invasive facial rejuvenation treatments are booming. Whether you are looking for fuller lips or shallower wrinkles, there is a beauty procedure that can help you achieve your goal. We pit the two most popular face filler treatments against each other.

How does Botox rejuvenate your face?

Touted as the miracle wrinkle eraser, Botox can quickly and painlessly relax wrinkle-causing muscles to reduce expression lines and create a smoother complexion. Character forming expression lines are the result of repeated facial movements, and include laugh lines, brow lines and crow’s feet. As we age and our skin starts to lose its elasticity, expression lines are reinforced every time we laugh, cry, frown, or act surprised. When Botox is injected into the facial muscles that cause expression lines, it temporarily retards the muscles by blocking the nerve-muscle connection so they can’t contract. This restricts the facial movements that cause the deep furrows and prevent new lines from forming.

How do Dermal Fillers rejuvenate your face?

Dermal fillers smooth and tighten the skin with the aim of changing the contours of your face for a more youthful appearance. Made from naturally occurring gel substances, dermal fillers are injected under the skin using a fine needle. These substances fill facial creases and expression lines, create fuller lips, plump hollow cheeks, and improve the appearance of sunken scars. Although collagen was once widely used as the injectable gel, today hyaluronic acid is more popular. Fat extracted from another part of your body can also be used, although is very expensive and less popular.

What is Botox?

Botox is the brand name for the prescription drug with the active ingredient Botulinum Toxin Type A. Although derived from the bacterium clostridium botulinum, the same toxin that causes botulism (food poisoning), it is produced in laboratories similarly to penicillin is from mould.

What is hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a polysaccharide that occurs naturally in the human body. It helps to cushion and lubricate joints and is found in connective tissue, eye fluids and the skin. Approximately 50% of the HA found in the body is in the skin. The substance is well-regarded by the beauty industry not just because it makes the ideal dermal filler, but because of its ability to hold moisture.

How long does Botox last?

Effects of Botox last between three and six months, depending on the person, the area treated and the procedure. Top-ups for facial procedures are generally required at 3-4 months to continue a line-free appearance. Before you agree to the treatment however, ask to see a treatment plan to outline how much Botox is required, how often you’ll need to return, and how much each treatment will cost. Treatments can cost between $100-$300, depending on the practitioner and the area being treated.

How long do dermal fillers last?

HA dermal fillers last between 6-12 months, with a single unit costing around $600-$800.

Is Botox painful and what are the side effects?

Pain associated with the actual injection has been described as being similar to an ant bite, while side effects are usually temporary and mild in nature. Adverse effects include bruising, swelling and localised pain. More significant side effects are rare but include flu-like symptoms, respiratory problems, difficulties swallowing, and general weakness. People suffering from certain health concerns are more at risk of serious side effects.

Are dermal filler injections painful and what are the side effects?

Yes, although the pain differs from person to person, depending on their pain threshold and the area being filled. Most clinics offer a topical anaesthetic cream to numb the face when filling areas such as nasolabial folds – the creases running from the corner of the nose to the corner of the mouth. Lip augmentation usually requires an injectable anaesthetic, as the pain is excruciating for most people.

Anything else I need to know about face fillers?

According to the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, Botox should be administered by doctors only. However, as many non-medical professionals perform the treatment, it is recommended that a doctor is supervising, or, on the premises. Like Botox treatments, you will want a reputable clinician to administer dermal fillers to reduce the risk of complications. Common side effects include bruising, infection and allergic reaction. However, if a clinician accidentally injects the filler into a blood vessel, complications can be much more significant.