Botox vs Fillers

Even though more people are aware of cosmetic medicine and the basic ‘tools’ Aesthetic Practitioners have been using for years to reduce wrinkles and restore volume loss, there is still a big misconception when it comes to Botox & Fillers.

Here are the 5 most common questions I receive in the clinic during consultation:

1. Is Botox a Filler?

No, Botox is NOT a filler, also do note that Botox is a brand name. The key ingredient in Botox is Botulinum Toxin Type A (BTX-A).  Other approved brands in the market are Dysport and Xeomin.

BTX-A is used to reduce dynamic wrinkles which are wrinkles that occur during motion or facial expressions. The injections are targeted to the MUSCLE as opposed to fillers which are usually injected to lower level of the skin (subdermal), fat pad area, or deep to the bone.

To understand how Botulinum Toxin works, we first need to know a little bit about muscle contraction/movement. Acetylcholine (Ach) is the neurotransmitter associated with induction of muscle movement. When BTX-A is injected into the muscle, it causes a disruption of the proteins required for the release of ACh, therefore resulting in temporary targeted muscle paralysis. This effect is temporary and persists approximately 3-5 months. Muscle function returns as new neuromuscular junctions form.

Botulinum-toxin-Mechanism-Action

2. Will I have an expressionless face or the ‘frozen-fake’ look?

No, having BTX-A injections does not necessarily lead to ‘frozen-fake’ outcome. It is essential for you to inform your Aesthetic Practitioner your habitual facial expressions which will be considered when your doctor decides the injection sites.

For instance, someone who uses a lot of the Frontalis muscle (forehead muscle) when talking, may not want to eliminate those lines totally as it will affect their daily facial expressions and positioning of the eyebrows.  The right amount of BTX-A Units and the appropriate injection sites should result in a ‘Rejuvenated & Natural’ outcome.

3. Am I too young for Botox?

Many people think that Botulinum Toxin injections are only given to people above 50 years old. In the recent years, more women and men are getting their injections in their 30s as a preventative-type intervention to delay the process of wrinkles from forming prematurely.

4. Do men get Botox injections too?

The phenomenon of ‘Brotox’ is real. Men are getting BTX-A injections just as much as the women these days. However, the technique of injections may differ slightly in order to respect the anatomical differences between men and women.

5. Will my wrinkles get worse if I decide to stop getting the injections?

No, if you decide to stop the injections, the muscle function returns as usual and it would not be worse than before. However, people may perceive it as being worse, because they were used to seeing their face without wrinkles for months and the sudden reappearance of wrinkles may be slightly overwhelming. Due to reasons like these, most of the aesthetic procedures will require before/after photo documentation.

***Botulinum Toxin injections are not only used in cosmetic procedures but are widely used in the hospitals to treat medical conditions such as muscle spasms (blepharospasm, cervical dystonia).