There's one theme I keep seeing over and over these days. So many of my patients are following You-Tubers and bloggers and Insta-stars to learn about Botox and fillers. And that's great! But they're coming to me without understanding that Botox is not a filler, and a filler isn't Botox. And they don't do the same things or even treat the same things. So let's talk about that a bit.
What does Botox do??
Botox stops a nerve from telling a part of a muscle to move. That's it. It's a communication-blocker. The nerve can't tell the muscle to move, so the muscle doesn't move. This effect is temporary, lasting usually 3-4 months. Any lines that are caused by muscle movement are treated by Botox. In sum, Botox treats lines caused by muscle movement. It can do a lot of other things, too, but for the sake of this blog post, we'll keep it simple and just focus on lines caused by muscle movement.
What do fillers do??
Fillers of all types are used to contour an area, to fill a hollow or divot, to create light and shadows. They do this by literally filling a space or filling a deep line or hollow or crease. They're gels or thick liquids, usually made of hyaluronic acid, although there are many other types as well. (This blog isn't intended to be a comprehensive primer on fillers, just an intro, so watch for a later blog entry with more details!) In sum, fillers do just what their name says: they fill spaces.
What "lines caused by muscle movement" can you treat with Botox??
- 11's between the brows (the glabella)
- Forehead lines
- Crows' feet--those crinkles outside your eyes when you smile
- Bunny lines on the side of the nose
- Smoker's lines (upper lip)
What spaces can you fill with Fillers??
There are LOTS of different fillers available, but to keep it simple, here's a list of some places we can use fillers to create light and shadows in the right places:
- Undereye hollows
- Smile lines/"parentheses"/ nasolabial folds
- Nose reshaping
See the difference between those two lists? Botox is treating dynamic lines, while fillers are treating static hollows. We do often use Botox and fillers together, but one can't replace the other.
To your health and beauty!