Many people know about injectables like Botox and Juvederm. For years, these appearance enhancers have helped people feel more confident in their appearance. However, we’ve found that quite a few patients are confused as to the difference between these two treatments. Some patients, for example, will ask for botox in areas of the face where fillers are more appropriate and vice versa.

To clear up some misunderstandings, we want to let people know the main ways that fillers and botox differ and which injectable may be right for you.

Muscle relaxant vs. Collagen builder

The significant difference between Botox and fillers is that Botox is a muscle relaxant. In cosmetic procedures, Botox is used to freeze the muscles to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and prevent new lines and creases from forming. Fillers, on the other hand, fill trouble areas like cheeks and lips with collagen. The new collagen injected will stimulate new collagen growth to help enhance and renew the skin in those areas. Because of these different functions, the areas that can be treated with these injectables are also entirely different.

Forehead and eye area vs. Cheeks and mouth

Because it is primarily a muscle relaxant, Botox can only be applied to the areas where muscles are the most prominent. These areas on the face include the forehead and the space between the eyes. Because the muscles in the cheeks and around the mouth do not need to be relaxed (and, indeed, should not be relaxed), fillers are used to help lessen the appearance of wrinkles in these areas. The stimulation of new collagen can soften the appearance of things like laugh lines and “smoker’s lines” around the lips.

Fillers Vs. Botox: How to Choose

So, now that you know a bit about the difference between these treatments, how do you know which one is right for you? It really depends on the sorts of wrinkles you want to treat. If you are primarily concerned with lines that appear on your forehead or around your eyes when you make an expression (smile, frown, laugh, etc), Botox is the best choice to freeze and diminish the appearance of these lines. If, however, you are primarily worried about what we call “static wrinkles,” that is, wrinkles and lines that appear around your cheeks and mouth even when your face is relaxed, fillers will help stimulate new collagen which will soften the appearance of these lines. While Juvederm fillers and botox can be, and often are, used in combination with one another, their functions and outcomes are very different. Knowing the fundamental differences between these treatments will help you make more informed decisions about your treatment options. Stay tuned every month for more blogs about services, skin care, vision and more!