Like Botox, dermal fillers are considered a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure. They can be performed in a medical office setting without the use of sedation or pain medication on an outpatient basis.
In contrast to Botox, dermal fillers do not act on the muscle. They are structurally similar to collagen and as such act by adding volume to certain areas on the face. In the hands of an experienced practitioner, dermal fillers are injected to either decrease the appearance/depth of wrinkles or increase the size of certain facial structures.
As a general guideline, Botox is primarily used in the upper face, eyes and above, and dermal fillers are primarily used in the lower face. There are, however, certain exceptions to this guideline. For example, Botox can be used to decrease the appearance of smoker lines on the upper lip or the amount of upper gums that show when smiling, often called a gummy smile. It can be used to decrease the width of the jaw or a pebbled appearance of the chin. It can even be used to decrease the appearance of vertical bands on the neck. Alternatively, dermal fillers can be used to fill in deep wrinkles on the upper face like deep frown lines, crows feet or horizontal lines on the forehead.
Unlike Botox, patients see immediate results upon completion of dermal filler injection (Botox typically takes 3-7 days to take full effect).
Additionally, dermal fillers last approximately three times as long as Botox, anywhere from 9 to 24 months per treatment, depending on the product used and the area injected.
To decrease the appearance/depth of wrinkles, popular dermal filler injection sites include but are not limited to the nasolabial folds, marionette lines, tear trough, and frown lines.
To increase volume, popular injection sites include but are not limited to the lips, cheeks, jowls, and temples.