Episode 5: What's The Difference Between Botox and Fillers?
What is the difference between Botox and filler? I'll start by telling you what they have in common. They are both cosmetic injectables and they represent a minimally invasive way to have a very nice impact on one's appearance with no downtime and very little risk when performed by an expert. The similarities really do stop there.
What is the difference between static and dynamic lines?
To best understand the differences between Botox and filler, it is important to first understand that there are two different kinds of lines on the face, and Botox is targeted at one of those kinds of lines and fillers are targeted at the other kind of lines and are also used to provide facial volume. The first kind of facial line is what we would call a dynamic line. And those are lines that are not present when your face is at rest, but are only visible when you are moving your facial muscles to make expressions. And very common examples of these dynamic facial lines are the horizontal lines that you might see on your forehead when you raise your eyebrows, or the vertical lines or 11 lines that you can see between your eyebrows when you're frowning, or the radial lines that extend out from the side of your eyes when you're smiling or squinting that are often referred to as crow's feet. And all of these lines are caused by the muscles of facial expression contracting under the skin and causing that skin to wrinkle in response to their contraction.
On the other hand, the other kind of facial line is a static facial line. And those lines are the lines that are present on the face when the face is at rest. And common examples of static facial lines are the nasolabial folds, which are the parenthesis shaped lines that roughly span from your nose down around your lips, or the horizontal lines that might be present on your forehead even when you're not raising your eyebrows, or similarly, vertical lines between your eyebrows when you're not scrunching your brow. And similarly, the crow's feet that are present when your facial muscles are at rest. And what's interesting about static lines is that they are often caused by the repetitive motion of the facial muscles such that these dynamic lines, when they are created over and over again, often leave an imprint and become static lines.
And the analogy I like to use for this is that if you take a freshly bound book and you look at its spine, it's completely clear of any kinds of creases or lines, but as you open and close the book, you'll notice that lines do appear when the book is open and closed, and those are akin to the dynamic lines on the face because they go away when the book is closed. However, over time, as the book is repeatedly opened and closed, those dynamic lines are visible as static lines, even when the book remains closed, because over time, the binding of the book becomes worn and the dynamic lines have essentially carved their way as a permanent presence into the spine of the book in the form of static lines.
When should you have Botox and when should you have fillers?
With that background in place, we can make the broad claim that Botox is best at treating dynamic lines and fillers are best used for treating static lines and also for adding facial volume where it's needed. So specifically, Botox works by very selectively and in a controlled way, weakening muscles of facial expression. So when Botox is injected, the muscles in the target area do not contract as strongly, so they're not able to produce the dynamic lines that they were previously producing with as much strength.
Alternatively, fillers, which are aimed at treating static lines, simply take up space. They literally fill in the static lines that are present often from that repetitive motion of dynamic lines. Fillers can also be used to add volume to areas of the face where there is a scarcity of volume. And some of the most popular places to place fillers are on the cheekbones to accentuate mid face fullness, fillers are often placed in those nasolabial folds to reduce their prominence, and fillers can also be placed in the hollows under the eyes, which are often referred to as tear trough deformity, to reduce the prominence of those features as well.
The truth is that the applications for Botox and fillers are very widely varied and are constantly expanding, but those are some basic guidelines to understand the difference between these two classes of products.