Do you know what are the two most popular procedures offered in the sphere of aesthetic medicine these days? They are injections of dermal fillers and botulinum toxins. While being minimally invasive, safe, and effective, they both have already won the hearts of thousands of healthcare providers and their patients worldwide.
But what exactly are dermal filler and botulinum toxin injections? What are the key similarities and differences between them? And, most importantly, can they be used together? By means of going through this article, you will be able to find answers to all these questions. Let’s delve into the world of aesthetic beauty together!
Botulinum toxins and dermal fillers belong to products intended for professional use. Therefore, only a certified healthcare provider is eligible to buy Botox, Bocouture, Xeomin, Juvederm, Radiesse, Sculptra, and a variety of other well-known brands online.
“Who Is Who?”: General Information on Botulinum Toxin & Dermal Fillers
In order to understand whether botulinum toxin injections and dermal filler injections can be used together, it is essential to figure out what they are. So, how about going through the general information on them right away? Below, you will be able to find out the details on the most important peculiarities of both treatment options.
Injections of Botulinum Toxins
Injections of botulinum toxins belong to minimally invasive procedures of aesthetic medicine. With their help, a patient might effectively get rid of dynamic wrinkles (including crow’s feet, marionette lines, and nasolabial folds). As well, these treatments do a great job when it comes to the reduction of facial asymmetry or the so-called “lip-flip” procedure.
As their name already suggests, the main active substance in the composition of botulinum toxins is botulinum toxin (type A). It is a naturally-occurring substance with strong muscle-relaxing properties. While being produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, it has the power to temporarily block nerve signals attached to muscles in the treatment area.
It is also important to mention that botulinum toxins might be used to address both medical conditions and aesthetic conditions. For instance, they are frequently applied to treat neurological disorders, overactive bladder, lazy eye, neck pain, chronic migraine, and other health problems associated with muscle contraction. At the same time, however, botulinum toxins are effectively used to take care of:
- Facial wrinkles of dynamic origin;
- Facial asymmetry;
- Thin lips;
- And other cosmetic issues.
Apart from the indications mentioned above, botulinum toxins might also be used to reduce excessive sweating (also known as hyperhidrosis).
Among the main brands of botulinum toxins are Azzalure, Bocouture, Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and other botulinum toxin injections. All of them have a pretty similar composition and might be used to treat the same medical conditions and aesthetic conditions. Still, it is the task of a healthcare provider to define which brand is expected to do the best job for each individual patient.
According to their treatment protocol, botulinum toxins should be intramuscularly administered beneath a patient’s skin with the help of a fine gauge needle. Due to the fact that they do not contain a prefilled anesthetic in their composition, a topical numbing cream might be applied to the treatment site shortly before the procedure. In most cases, a single injection creates the results that last half a year.
Treatments that involve botulinum toxins are exceptionally safe and rarely cause any severe adverse reactions. Still, a patient might feel nauseous, experience overall muscle weakness, or have flu-like symptoms for a few days after undergoing the treatment.
Injections of Dermal Fillers
Injections of dermal fillers also belong to minimally invasive aesthetic medicine procedures. Their main aim is to help a patient acquire a fresher, more attractive, and more youthful look. In other words, dermal filler procedures rejuvenate and enhance the overall appearance of a patient in an exceptionally effective way.
Depending on the main active substance used in their composition, dermal filler treatments might be divided into several groups. Hyaluronic acid fillers, calcium hydroxyapatite fillers, and poly-L-lactic acid fillers are probably the most well-known ones. They all effectively cope with the so-called ‘aging face‘ that has lost its elasticity, tightness, and shine.
More precisely, a dermal filler treatment might be used to treat a great number of aesthetic conditions, starting from static wrinkles and ending with thin lips. Here, you will find the list of the main indications for the administration of injectable fillers (that, however, might slightly differ depending on whether a hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxyapatite, or poly-L-lactic acid filler has been used):
- Fine lines and wrinkles of the static origin (mostly around the facial oval but also on the neck and hands);
- Facial volume loss;
- Poorly shaped lips with an undefined contour;
- And so on.
Apart from their ability to treat wrinkles, restore facial volume, and plump lips, FDA-approved fillers injected beneath a patient’s skin are also capable of accelerating the natural production of collagen and, therefore, nurturing the skin ‘from within.’
There exists a variety of brands that produce dermal fillers. For instance, Belotero, Juvederm, Restylane, Saypha, and Teosyal belong to the most well-known hyaluronic acid solutions. While Radiesse is probably the most popular brand of calcium hydroxyapatite dermal fillers. Sculptra, in its turn, is best known for its poly-L-lactic acid dermal fillers.
As their treatment protocol suggests, dermal fillers should be administered into subcutaneous, mid, or deep dermis of a patient (no matter whether we are talking about hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxyapatite, or poly-L-lactic acid solutions). The procedure should be performed by a certified healthcare provider with the help of a fine gauge needle. As soon as it is over, a patient is expected to notice instantly visible and natural looking results lasting from half a year to two years.
It is important for a patient to have realistic expectations in regard to cosmetic procedures that involve injections of dermal fillers. Despite the fact that they create long-lasting results, they are temporary and will fade away with time (unless prolonged by periodical touch-up treatments).
“So What’s the Difference?”: Similarities and Differences Between Botulinum Toxin & Dermal Fillers
Now, let us define what is the difference between Botox (as well as other botulinum toxins) and dermal fillers. In order to do so, we will go through the key similarities and differences between the cosmetic injections that involve botulinum toxins and cosmetic injections that involve dermal fillers.
Botox injections are similar to dermal fillers in the following ways:
- They belong to cosmetic procedures intended for professional use;
- They might be used to rejuvenate and enhance the overall appearance of a patient;
- They are safe, minimally-invasive, and do not require much after-treatment downtime;
- They create temporary results that will fade away with time;
- They are equally affordable;
- And so on.
It is usually up to a healthcare provider to decide which cosmetic treatment would a certain patient need in order to achieve the expected results. In some cases, a healthcare provider might recommend trying out Botox injections to treat wrinkles at the injection site and surrounding skin. In other cases, however, a healthcare provider might assume that dermal fillers will do a better job for this purposes.
Despite a number of similarities, there exist numerous differences between Botox and dermal filler treatments. For instance:
- Apart from taking care of aesthetic conditions, Botox might also address a wide range of health conditions related to muscle contraction (on contrary to dermal fillers and their purely aesthetic indications);
- The working principle of Botox is completely different from the one of dermal fillers. Despite the fact that they both might effectively reduce fine lines and wrinkles, the way they do so is very dissimilar. Dermal fillers, as their name suggests, fill the skin tissues with extra volume. While Botox results, in their turn, are created by means of relaxing muscle contraction;
- The composition of Botox differs from the composition of all dermal fillers. Apart fro being based on an absolutely dissimilar active substance, it never contains prefilled anesthetic. While injectable dermal fillers oftentimes include lidocaine hydrochloride to maximize the comfort of a patient during the procedure;
- And so on.
One important thing to remember in regard to the differences between Botox and dermal fillers is that they are absolutely different products, despite the fact that they both belong to the category of injectable treatments and work with skin rejuvenation and enhancement.
“And What About the Complex Approach?”: The Rules of Using Botulinum Toxin & Dermal Fillers Together
So, botulinum toxins and dermal fillers are completely different injectable products with similar aesthetic aims. But is it possible to use them together in order to achieve the best possible results? Well, there exist two main rules that have to be followed in this regard. Check them out below.
It is possible to use both botulinum toxins and dermal fillers. For instance, a patient might undergo lip augmentation with the help of an injectable lip filler and, at the same time, do Botox injections to take care of facial wrinkles. This way, the expected result will be achieved by means of combining two different aesthetic procedures.
It is also possible to use botulinum toxins to treat hyperhidrosis and apply dermal fillers to take care of static wrinkles within one appointment with a healthcare provider.
At the same time, however, it is NOT possible to mix botulinum toxins and dermal fillers. Moreover, it is not even possible to mix different brands of botulinum toxins with each other (the same applies to different brands of dermal fillers). Only by maintaining the pure composition of botulinum toxins and dermal fillers used for the treatment of a patient can a healthcare provider ensure its safety and effectiveness.
The process of mixing of different botulinum toxins (for instance, Botox and Dysport) might lead to a number of serious complications. The same applies to the process of mixing different dermal fillers.
All in all, injections of dermal fillers and botulinum toxin treatments can be used together in order to address aesthetic issues of a patient in a complex way. For instance, it is possible to inject Botox to minimize wrinkles and, at the same time, use Juverderm to augment lips. However, the composition of botulinum toxins should never be mixed with the composition of dermal fillers.
In general, the best way for a patient to achieve the desired results would be to find a knowledgeable healthcare provider and rely on their advice.