Botox vs. Filler: What’s the Difference?

By Warren B. Seiler III MD

Injectables are the most common form of treatment in the cosmetic and aesthetic industry, and here at Seiler Skin it’s no different! We consult with patients on a daily basis to address skin concerns ranging from fine lines and wrinkles to age-related volume loss. I have trained for years to perfect the art of injection, using my knowledge of both facial anatomy and the injectables I use to help patients achieve optimal results. It truly is incredible to see just how much a series of injectables can improve and maintain a person’s self-image and confidence.

While most people are aware of injectables and their use within our industry, many do not know the difference between the two main types: Botox and filler. I’ve seen countless photos in the media of people who are said to have had “too much Botox,” when in reality they’ve actually had too much filler! My job as a physician is not just to provide excellent treatment, but also to educate our patients about the science behind all our products and services. So, I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss how Botox and filler work and reiterate the importance of seeing a practitioner with expert training and a deep understanding of how to use injectables safely and effectively. 

Botox is an FDA-approved treatment for specific facial lines and wrinkles, and is the most popular cosmetic treatment in the world – hands-down. Botox addresses facial lines that are “dynamic,” which means they’re caused by the repeated movement of certain muscles on the face. These movements, such as furrowing your brow or pursing your lips, create “expression lines” over time on the skin connected to these muscles. Botox works by relaxing muscle movement and thereby reducing the severity of fine lines and wrinkles. While this injectable typically is used on areas of the face such as the forehead, between the eyes and around the mouth, it also can be used to treat certain medical conditions, like hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), migraines and TMJ.

Filler is an FDA-approved injectable used to treat skin concerns such as fine lines and volume loss (we use four different Juvederm fillers at Seiler Skin). While Botox treats “dynamic” lines caused by muscle movement, filler addresses “static” issues caused by age-related volume loss. Our skin naturally loses collagen and elastin over time, resulting in visible signs of aging such as thinning lips, eyebrow drooping, smile lines and facial laxity from volume loss. Filler works just as the name implies – by filling the areas that have lost volume! This treatment is used on areas of the face such as the cheeks, lips, mouth and undereye, and also can correct volume loss in the hands.

These two injectables have their differences, but share one big similarity –  both help patients address their “skinsecurities.” We take the time to consult with each patient in order to fully assess their concerns and develop the best course of treatment. Some issues may require one injectable over the other, while others may require both. Concerns around the lips (e.g., vertical lip lines) and the corners of the mouth commonly require a combination of Botox and filler to achieve optimal results. There are also occasions where neither injectable is necessary, and instead a laser treatment may be the best solution for a patient’s concerns.

Remember – injectables are not a quick, easy fix for skin concerns and should not be administered by just any practitioner. They should be administered under the guidance of someone who is expertly trained and understands facial anatomy, and used conservatively in order to create the most natural-looking, beautiful results. The right practitioner should know when to use one injectable over another – or even when both may be needed for treating a specific concern.

Give us a call today and discover if Botox and/or filler could be the answer to your skin concerns!

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