Here’s How to Know If You Need Botox or Fillers

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Whether it’s sagging skin or deep forehead creases, an aging face looks different on everyone. However, with so many anti-aging treatments on the market, your skin doesn’t have to look wrinkled and droopy anymore—no matter how old you are. Thanks to neuromodulator injections like Botox Cosmetic and dermal fillers like Restylane Refyne and Defyne, you can delay signs of aging for quite some time. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know which treatment you should invest in to best remedy your concerns. So, we consulted a top dermatologist for a complete breakdown on the difference between Botox and fillers so you'll be able to decide which one is right for you. Read on!

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What is Botox and what is it used to treat?
“Botox is a brand name for a specific neuromodulator,” explains New York cosmetic dermatologist Sejal Shah, MD. “It is used to treat fine lines and wrinkles by temporarily preventing movement of the underlying muscle." Traditionally, Botox is used to treat wrinkles that occur when you use your muscles to make a facial expression, usually on the upper face. "Currently, Botox is FDA-approved to treat crow's-feet, frown lines between the brows, and most recently, forehead lines," continues Dr. Shah.

What are fillers and what are they used to treat?
“Fillers are injectable substances that are used to fill lines and replace lost volume,” says Dr. Shah. “Unlike Botox, which is best for lines that occur with muscle contraction, fillers are best for lines that are present even when muscles are not contracting.” One of the most common uses for fillers is to treat deep nasolabial folds (better known as laugh lines or marionette lines). Additionally, fillers are also used to recontour and replenish volume, especially in the cheeks, midface or lips.

How can patients tell if they need Botox or fillers to rejuvenate their face?
“A simple rule of thumb is to remember that Botox is for lines of expression whereas filler is for lines of rest,” says Dr. Shah. “If areas of concern are accentuated with facial expression, then a neuromodulator is likely the most appropriate treatment. If, on the other hand, the concern is deeper lines that remain even when the face is at rest, areas that appear hollow or sagging, or even just a desire for more volume, then filler is the better option.”    

Who should avoid neuromodulators?
According to Dr. Shah, you should avoid neuromodulators if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have an infection in the area of injection, are allergic to any of the components within Botox, or have a coexistent muscle or nerve condition. 

Who should avoid dermal fillers?
“Avoid dermal fillers If you are allergic to any of the components, including lidocaine that maybe mixed with the filler,” says Dr. Shah. If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or have an infection in the area of injection, you should also avoid fillers.

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