Which Is Better: Botox or Dermal Fillers?

 Which Is Better: Botox or Dermal Fillers?

When it comes to wrinkle treatment, you have many options. Among the most popular, Botox and dermal fillers are the best, but which is right for you?

Wrinkles in Brief

Wrinkles and fine lines are the unfortunate reality we face as we age. Our skin slowly loses the war against time, giving way to signs of aging. The explanation for why wrinkles develop comes down to one thing: cellular decay. Our skin cells die and regenerate thousands of times in our lifetimes. As this happens, our body loses some of its ability to produce the same levels of useful substances like collagen and hyaluronic acid. With insufficient supplies, the skin can only do so much to maintain itself, and wrinkles develop in the skin. So what can we do to reduce these wrinkles? Cosmetic dermatology has provided a variety of solutions, and the results can be as subtle or pronounced as you’d like. For noninvasive anti-wrinkle solutions, there are two big contenders: Botox and dermal fillers. They each have their strengths and weaknesses, so let’s get into comparing these two treatments.


Botox is an injectable cosmetic treatment that can deliver temporary but remarkable results for dynamic facial wrinkles. Botox uses a protein derived from the botulinum toxin to inhibit muscle movement in the face. When done professionally, Botox can freeze these muscles without making your face look frozen. Much of the stigma surrounding Botox is incredibly misplaced, as the treatment is generally very safe and effective. Botox is FDA approved for dynamic wrinkles on the forehead (called frown lines), the wrinkles between the eyes (called glabellar lines), and wrinkles at the outside corners of the eyes (called crow’s feet). Botox is only useful against dynamic wrinkles. It won’t help combat gravity or wrinkles that are the result of extensive sun damage. With that said, many of the primary problem areas are treatable with Botox.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are another type of injectable treatment altogether, though they’re also considered noninvasive. Dermal fillers have a broad range of treatable areas, including the face and even your hands. Dermal fillers offer temporary results against wrinkles, primarily around the lips, cheeks, under eyes, and brows. Fillers work very literally, actually using an injected substance to fill in sunken, wrinkled skin. There are various types of fillers, including injectables made with hyaluronic acid and collagen, as well as fillers that use fat from other parts of the body or gel microspheres. Depending on the type of filler used, results can last anywhere from 2 months to several years.

Declaring a Winner

So now that we have the basic facts, which of these two treatments is better for treating wrinkles? The answer is, of course: it’s complicated. As you can probably tell, these two injectables don’t fully overlap when it comes to what they can treat, so they aren’t exactly interchangeable. What you specifically need may determine which treatment is right for you. For dynamic wrinkles, Botox is the clear winner. For wrinkles that aren’t caused by repetitive muscle movement, dermal fillers are usually the right call. If you want to achieve fuller lips or restore your hands youthful appearance, Botox won’t be helpful. Both treatments can offer impressive results, but they aren’t permanent. Maintenance visits are necessary to keep the skin looking youthful, but both may start to last longer after a few properly scheduled follow-ups. The risks associated with either treatment are not extreme, but issues are possible. Botox can, in rare cases, lead to botulinum toxicity, which can be deadly if not detected and properly treated. Both products can cause redness, swelling, bruising, and tenderness, but neither treatment calls for much in the way of downtime or recovery. You can get the treatment in your dermatologist’s office and get back to your day once you’re done. In the end, both treatments are very viable for reducing wrinkles, but your specific issues generally determine which is right for you.

Interested in learning more about either treatment, or ready to schedule your first go with Botox or fillers? We’re waiting for your call at Northeast Dermatology Associates, so don’t hesitate!

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