Injectable cosmetic products are the most common aesthetic procedure performed today, adding up to over 10 million procedures a year. Botox® Cosmetic and other injections based on botulinum toxin type A make up the majority of those, while dermal fillers account for about 30% of the total.
Of the two, however, dermal fillers have more cosmetic applications, since Botox addresses only one type of wrinkle, found beside the eyes and on the forehead. Diamond Surgical Institute provides their patients with both Botox and dermal filler treatments. Here’s what you need to know when deciding which one is right for you.
Active versus passive wrinkles
The type of line that most concerns you has a direct impact on your choice between Botox and dermal fillers. Botox is a muscle treatment, so it works only on lines and wrinkles that result from semi-permanent muscle contractions.
Crow’s feet and worry lines are two examples. Over time, muscles that control facial expressions can lose their tendency to fully relax, causing lines and a tense appearance that makes you look older than your years. Botox injections temporarily help those muscles fully relax.
Other signs of aging, though, are passive. Your skin dries and loses both moisture and volume. Lines and wrinkles form due to the combination of decreased middle layer support and increased skin laxity. Your skin doesn’t “bounce back” as it once did, and plump stores of collagen begin to fade. These passive lines and wrinkles are where the versatility of dermal fillers comes to the rescue.
Types of dermal fillers
There’s another active/passive nature between Botox and dermal fillers. Botox is a medication. It has a chemical that takes action within your body. Dermal fillers, on the other hand, play a more passive role. Once injected, there’s little chemical interaction. Some fillers can stimulate new collagen growth, but largely their role is, as the name suggests, to “fill in.”
Not surprisingly, dermal fillers are often made from substances found naturally in your body. Hyaluronic acid is one of the most common. In your body, it’s a protein that’s found in skin, eyes, and connective tissue. It’s an excellent storage medium for water, so it moisturizes your skin from the inside out. Synthetic hyaluronic acid formulates well into filler gels with a range of properties, making it suitable to fill in fine lines and wrinkles, or to spread smoothly as a volumizer for cheeks and lips.
Calcium hydroxylapatite is found in bones, and when used in dermal fillers, it adds volume, effective for use on the cheeks. Polylactic acid is a material that’s also used to make surgical sutures, and fillers made with it are stimulators, triggering your body to manufacture new collagen in the dermis layer of your skin. These are three of the more common filler formula bases.
When it comes to a decision between Botox and dermal fillers, the right answer for you may be “both.” To learn more, or to schedule a consultation with one of our aesthetics professionals, contact Diamond Surgical Institute by phone at 818-528-2559, or online today.