Our face consists of skin, fat, muscle, and bone. As we age, these structures experience a volume loss that contributes to the visible signs of aging. As time progresses, the bone loss in the face leads to jawline retraction, the nose seems to descend, and facial muscles lose volume and flexibility. The skin stretches, elasticity is gone, and we see all the signs of aging that we don’t want.
With today’s scientific improvement in aesthetics, we don’t need to worry so much about looking older. There are injectables available that can help turn back the years and help us recover our youthful and glowing looks.
What are Dermal Fillers?
Dermal fillers are injected into the skin to reduce the appearance of unwanted wrinkles, create volume, revitalize the skin, smooth deep under-eye circles, and create contours. Fillers usually use hyaluronic acid formulations to fill and revive your face.
A dermal filler may be composed of different substances, and some are naturally occurring while some are synthetic. A common ingredient used in dermal fillers is hyaluronic acid (HA), a sugar molecule that is produced naturally in just about all living organisms. HA binds to water, acting as both a lubricant and a shock absorber in the joints. Hyaluronic acid is also crucial for regulating the water balance and transport of nutrients in your skin.
HA fillers often last for over six months, depending on the product. In addition, HA fillers can be dissolved in case of an adverse reaction or if you don’t like the result. Most HA fillers are also premixed with lidocaine to maximize comfort during injections.
Some dermal fillers can be made from calcium hydroxyapatite, poly-L-lactic acid, polymethyl methacrylate, and autologous fat or fat transplanted from different parts of your body.
Calcium hydroxyapatite is naturally found in bones and used in dentistry for many years. Poly-L-lactic acid is synthetic that triggers collagen production. Fillers made with poly-L-lactic have gradual results since the compound stimulates the body to produce collagen rather than filling up spaces.
Dermal fillers can smooth away facial lines and wrinkles, shape your face, and create fuller lips. Areas treated include:
- The lines from your nose to your mouth or nasolabial folds
- Between the eyebrows or the glabella lines
Each filler ingredient has pros and cons, unique density, longevity, and texture. Choosing the suitable dermal filler requires an experienced, board-certified dermatologist or medical professional who understands facial anatomy. Dermal fillers can help you achieve natural, gorgeous, and safe results.
What is Botox?
Botox is a neuromuscular conduction blocker made from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. For muscles to contract, nerves release a chemical messenger called acetylcholine at the point where nerve endings meet muscle cells. Acetylcholine binds to receptors on the muscle cells and causes the cells to shorten or contract. Preventing the release of acetylcholine, Botox injections stop the muscle cells from contracting. By stopping the messages, Botox helps the muscles to become less stiff, and your face becomes smoother.
Botox is non-invasive, the quick treatment, and the only minor discomfort comes from the injection. The treatment only takes a few minutes to complete, and no anesthesia is required. You can see the full results about 7-14 days after treatment.
Botox lasts from about three to six months, and you may want maintenance touchups to prolong your youthful look. Touchups require fewer units of Botox, and as your body absorbs Botox, lines and wrinkles will appear less severe over time since the muscles are shrinking.
Botox has been used for years, and it is recorded that in 2016 over 7 million people had botox injections. Botox is most often requested to ease wrinkles in these areas:
- Glabellar lines, “elevens,” or the wrinkles between the eyebrows
- Wrinkles around the eye or Crow’s feet
- Horizontal creases on the forehead
- Lines at the corners of your mouth
- Uneven or cobblestone skin on your chin.
The FDA has approved Botox injections for use around the eyes and forehead, and ongoing research is being conducted to determine if Botox could improve dark circles under your eyes.
Botox and dermal fillers are both cosmetic treatments applied through injections. They do have some similarities but are two different types of treatment. Each treatment complements the other. It is often helpful to use both treatments to treat different types of wrinkles. Botox relaxes dynamic wrinkles, and dermal fillers smooth out static wrinkles.
Both treatments are non-invasive and well-tolerated. There is little downtime, and the results appear within days. Using Botox and dermal fillers together is an excellent alternative to surgery.