Botox vs. Injectables: Which Is Right for Me?

woman receiving injectable

22 Feb Botox vs. Injectables: Which Is Right for Me?

Though some say wrinkles are signs of a “life well-lived,” many people yearn for the smooth, youthful skin they once had. But once wrinkles form, they are often there to stay—unless you head to a qualified dermatologist specializing in injectables.

Injectables, which include neuromodulators and facial fillers or volumizers, can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and restore lost volume in the face. There are several types of injectables available, especially at our practice in Long Beach. Facial fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm as well as neuromodulators such as Botox are available, along with numerous other options.

Neuromodulators: Botox and Dysport

Arguably the most well-known injectable, Botox is a neuromodulator that relaxes the muscles to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It uses botulinum toxin type A, a protein produced by certain bacteria, to prevent the muscles causing the wrinkles to contract. The effects can be seen a couple days after injection, and it lasts between three to five months.

Dysport is another neuromodulator that is similar to Botox—it uses the same toxin—but with a slightly different formulation; its effects are similar, lasting three to five months. The effects of Botox and Dysport do wear off, therefore patients must receive the injections about three times per year.

Facial Fillers

Alternatives to neuromodulators are facial fillers or volumizers, which are injected into the skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Facial fillers and volumizers often last longer than neuromodulators, and some even stimulate the skin to produce more collagen on its own. There are numerous types of dermal fillers that use different materials to improve the appearance of wrinkles.

Sculptra: This long-lasting facial volumizer uses poly-L-lactic acid, a synthetic substance that stimulates the production of collagen. Unlike other facial fillers that show immediate results, Sculptra takes a little longer to work—a few weeks to months for some patients—but the results can last more than two years. With Sculptra, patients usually receive two to four treatment sessions.

Restylane: This dermal filler uses a gel containing hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring sugar found in the human body, to restore volume and fullness to the nasolabial folds, also known as the laugh lines. The results from Restylane last about six months.

Juvederm: Like Restylane, Juvederm uses a colorless hyaluronic acid gel to add volume and fullness to the face, especially around the mouth for results that last about six months. Juvederm injections may also help hydrate the surface of the skin for a fresh-faced look.

Radiesse: This dermal filler uses calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA)—a mineral-like substance found in our bones and teeth—to reduce the appearance of more severe wrinkles around the mouth and plump up the cheeks. The tiny “microspheres” of CaHA stimulate the body to produce its own collagen, and over time, the spheres break down and the gel is absorbed. Results from Radiesse can last up to a year.

Wrinkles may very well be a sign of a good life, with years of smiling and laughing—but when there are easy, virtually painless and long-lasting ways to reduce their appearance, many will choose to head to the dermatologist. Injectables including neuromodulators and facial fillers or volumizers can help you turn back the clock—at least for your skin.

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