This is actually a common question that comes up during cosmetic consultations. Neurotoxins and fillers are both injected into the skin, but they do completely different things. Sometimes a patient only needs one or the other, but they commonly work very well together to achieve the desired effect.
Botox is just one of the three FDA-approved neurotoxins. The other two are Dysport and Xeomin. Neurotoxin is a scary word, but the safety profile of all three of these drugs is excellent. They are commonly used to soften the frown lines between the eyebrows, the lines across the forehead, and the crow’s feet around the eyes when you smile or squint. They work best on lines that are there when you smile or frown, but go away when you relax your face.
Fillers do just that– they “fill.” They replace volume where volume is lost. You’d be surprised how much collagen and even bone has already been lost in a 30-year old face. Some fillers can be injected directly into wrinkles, like the smile lines between the nose and mouth. However, I find that the best use of fillers is when they are used to sculpt the face rather than just fill. That’s where the art of medicine comes into play. In my younger patients, I use them to define the cheekbones, strengthen the jawline, and gently enhance the lips. In my older patients, I use them to “lift” more than to fill. With the right filler placed strategically in the right places, one can achieve a “liquid” face lift.
Dr. Whitney P. Bowe
For Chelsea Skin & Laser