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Botox vs. Fillers: Which is right for your wrinkles?

Kelly Vasileiadou
30. August 2023
The name Botox for the treatment of facial wrinkles is commonly known, fillers less so. Both methods of aesthetic medicine have different objectives, indications and advantages and disadvantages. Since it is my goto treatment to look younger that I do on a very regular scheduleI wanted to explain for which type of wrinkles each method is better suited and what else you should know about both procedures.

The development of wrinkles is part of the natural aging process: With increasing age, the production of the proteins collagen and elastin in the skin decreases. These provide the firmness and elasticity of the skin in younger years. Due to the decrease in these proteins, your skin becomes thinner and develops wrinkles at an older age. 

However, the intensity of wrinkles varies from person to person. While healthy lifestyle habits such as a healthy diet, good skin care, sun protection and not smoking help slowing down the skin aging process, other factors such as excessive sunbathing, smoking, frequent facial expressions such as frowning, and genetic predispositions contribute to increased wrinkling. Not everyone wants to put up with this. But how to find remedy?

How to smooth facial wrinkles in the first place?

Alongside with chemical peels, laser treatments and topical treatments such as creams, serums and lotions that reduce wrinkles using ingredients such as retinol or hyaluronic acid, Botox and fillers are probably the most common methods of smoothing wrinkles, especially facial wrinkles, because they are particularly effective. 

While Botox is mainly used to treat dynamic wrinkles caused by repeated muscle contractions, fillers are mainly used to smooth wrinkles and restore or increase volume in certain areas of the face.

What is Botox anyway?

The name Botox is actually a trademark: the product is made from botulinum toxin type A. It is a powerful neurotoxin, produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. This temporarily blocks the transmission of nerve impulses to the muscles with the result that your muscles relax.

The lack of muscle activity leads to wrinkle smoothing and reduction, especially wrinkles around the forehead, frown lines and crow’s feet around the eyes. In cosmetic surgery, Botox is therefore usually used to treat these types of facial wrinkles. For injections with Botox, you need a doctor or a medical professional with appropriate qualifications.

Incidentally, Botox is also used in medical practice for other purposes, such as excessive sweating, migraines, muscle disorders and certain bowel and bladder disorders.

How long does the Botox effect last?

The effect of Botox is temporary and usually lasts for several months. The treatment may cause side effects such as temporary pain at the injection site, headache or mild muscle weakness. Botox treatments should always be performed under medical supervision by trained personnel to reduce the risk of complications.

What are fillers actually?

Fillers are substances used to restore or increase volume in specific areas of the face or body. They are suitable for smoothing wrinkles and lines, correcting scars, highlighting certain features or more facial contouring.

Hyaluronic acid fillers are the most common type of filler used. They are used to fill wrinkles such as nasolabial folds, marionette lines or deep wrinkles on the cheeks. Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in the body that binds water. This in turn leads to more volume and moisture in the skin. Hyaluronic acid fillers come in different densities and consistencies (viscosity) for different areas of the face.

In addition, aesthetic surgeons sometimes use collagen fillers. Collagen, as a natural protein that is partly responsible for skin firmness and elasticity, can come from animal or human sources. Collagen fillers are less common nowadays than they used to be.

How are fillers used to treat wrinkles?

Fillers are inserted and placed under the skin by injection. The procedure is sometimes slightly uncomfortable and may involve mild swelling, redness or bruising. In return, the results, i.e. smoothed skin, are usually visible immediately and last for up to several months or even a year, depending on the type of filler and individual factors.

What side effects can occur with fillers?

Possible side effects of fillers include allergic reactions, infections, irregularities in appearance, temporary numbness and tissue necrosis. Professional consultation and execution of the treatment by a qualified physician or medical professional is important to achieve the best possible result and minimize risks.

Should I treat my wrinkles with Botox or fillers?

The decision whether to use Botox or fillers to treat wrinkles depends on various factors, primarily the type of wrinkles, where they are located and, of course, the desired result. While Botox is particularly suitable for dynamic wrinkles such as forehead wrinkles, frown lines or crow’s feet around the eyes, fillers are primarily recommended for static wrinkles such as nasolabial folds, for marionette lines, deep cheek wrinkles and for generally more volume and contouring.

Since Botox and fillers have different mechanisms of action, we have described the most important advantages and disadvantages of both methods for you again in more detail:

Advantages when treating wrinkles with Botox

Botox is most commonly used to treat dynamic wrinkles caused by repeated muscle contractions, such as forehead wrinkles, frown lines, and crow’s feet around the eyes. Botox temporarily blocks muscle activity and causes the treated muscles to relax. This smooths wrinkles and improves the appearance of the skin. However, Botox is not suitable for static wrinkles that are visible at rest.

Advantages of fillers for facial wrinkles

Fillers are mainly used to treat static wrinkles caused by the loss of volume and elasticity of the skin. For example, they can effectively bolster up the wrinkles between your nose and the corner of the mouth (nasolabial folds), the lines from the corners of your mouth to the chin (marionette lines) and deep wrinkles on your cheeks. Fillers can also increase volume in the lips or cheeks and help contouring certain facial areas.

Botox vs. fillers: which method is right for me?

To be sure, which method is best for your individual case depends to a large extent on the nature of your wrinkles. Other factors may play an important role as well in determining which of the two methods is the right choice: these include your general skin condition and your personal needs and preferences. 

In any case, it makes sense to have a professional consultation and assessment with a qualified doctor or medical professional in order to choose the best option and a treatment strategy that is as tailored as possible. In this setting, you can also discuss your concerns and expectations.

Can fillers and Botox also be combined?

In order to successfully treat wrinkles, a combination of Botox and fillers may also be recommended in some cases. For example, Botox injections for smoothing forehead and frown lines can be combined with hyaluronic acid fillers to bolster up nasolabial folds. This way, an optimal result can be achieved.

About Dr. Kelly

Dr. Kelly Vasileiadou

Specialist FMH for Surgery
Beauty is not perfection. Refining your face or body image to enhance or restore your natural beauty – that is my mission. Your trust commits me to providing you with excellent medicine and exceptional care. My team and I work tirelessly to satisfy you. That’s what I stand for with my name.

Schedule your appointment with Dr. Kelly® today.

Before you decide on a treatment, you have the great opportunity for a personal consultation. Our goal is to care for you not only medically, but also from person to person.

Dr. Kelly® | Aesthetic Surgery and Medicine
by Dr. Kelly Vasileiadou

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