Anti-wrinkle injections vs Fillers

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There is a lot of confusion over the difference between anti-wrinkle injectables – such as Botox – and dermal fillers. Both are used to give a youthful appearance to the face and neck, and are a simple, non-invasive alternative to a facelift or necklift. Both are an effective and instant way to achieve more youthful-looking skin with minimal pain and investment of time. 

However, there are many differences between the two procedures.

What are anti-wrinkle injectables? 

The most well-known anti-wrinkle injectable is Botox, but there are also several others that have the same purpose. These contain purified bacteria that are injected into wrinkled areas to freeze muscles. This works in one of two ways – the first being to smooth out or prevent lines caused by certain facial movements, and the second being to slow down the formation of wrinkles over time. 

Substances such as Botox can be used to freeze the muscle in various areas of the face, most commonly in the forehead, at the sides of the eyes and around the mouth. They are best used as a preventative measure, and are most effective in areas where facial expressions can lead to the creation of wrinkles. 

Anti-wrinkle injectables typically last for around four to six months, after which time you will need to get them topped up to maintain the same look. Results start to appear after a few days, with the full effects being visible after around a week. 

What are dermal fillers?

Fillers are small amounts of gel – typically hyaluronic acid – which is naturally produced by the body in areas such as behind the eyes. They are injected into the skin to fill in wrinkles and plump up soft tissue. They also dissolve over time. 

Dermal fillers are popular for various areas of the face, such as your cheeks, mouth and jawline to define features, and around the eye, typically to fill in undereye bags. Lip fillers are also popular, adding plumpness and definition. They are best suited to those who want to add plumpness to the skin and to create definition or shaping of the face. 

Unlike anti-wrinkle injectables, the effects of fillers are instant. They also produce longer-lasting results, typically between six to 18 months, depending on the patient. Side effects are minimal, but typically include mild swelling, bruising or tenderness. These usually fade within a couple of days. 

Whichever procedure you decide is right for you, it is important to choose a qualified medical professional to carry out your injections. The UK is currently unregulated in this field, meaning that essentially anyone can claim to be a practitioner. Always minimise any risks by visiting a doctor’s surgery rather than a beauty salon or spa.