Botox and Dermal Filler treatments are cosmetic therapies, given to patients via injections, that are normally minimally invasive, meaning they do not involve surgery. Popular in the US, these treatments have accounted for more than 10 million procedures, according to updated data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). However, the similarities between Botox and Dermal Fillers are limited to these simple concepts; there are profound differences between the therapies, which deserve more attention, both from a clinical and an economic standpoint. We are going to get to know these techniques more in depth, in order to give information about the promised benefits and the possible drawbacks that they can create, in case of poor evaluation of the risks to which the patient is exposed during and after the treatment.
Differences between Botox and Dermal fillers
Botulinum neurotoxin, briefly known as Botox (brand name of a toxin made by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum), contains purified bacteria that can paralyze facial muscles by freezing them. In this way, Botox tends to discourage the appearance of lines and wrinkles originating from facial expressions. It is used in specialized studios to treat different types of problems: eye problems (strabismus, blepharospasm), migraines, heavy axillary sweating (hyperhidrosis), cervical dystonia (causes severe muscle spasms in the neck and shoulders).
Dermal fillers, also known as soft tissue fillers, are substances that can be injected – in the dermis or hypodermis – in various areas of the body, to give greater volume and fullness. In particular, they treat signs of aging, correcting facial imperfections such as wrinkles, furrows, depressions, hollow scars. The main substances included in dermal fillers are normally calcium hydroxylapatite, hyaluronic acid (already present in body fluids and tissues adding fullness to the skin), polyalkylimide, polylactic acid (for increased collagen production), polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) microspheres. It’s important to note that the time it takes for fillers to work is variable: some last 6 months, while others last up to more than 2 years.
How effective are they?
If we talk about the effectiveness of the treatment, Botox produces good results in most cases, according to data from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAOS), starting one week after the injections, without any particular side effects. The effects of Botox last about 3-4 months, after which further treatments will be needed to maintain the results. Dermal fillers are considered an effective treatment, offering on average longer-lasting results than Botox – much depends on the type of filler injected.