Botox vs. Juvederm: What’s the Difference and How They’re Really Used

Botox vs. Juvederm: What’s the Difference and How They’re Really Used

In the world of cosmetic treatments, Botox and fillers take the lead. They seem similar at first glance: both are injectables that treat wrinkles and add a youthful appearance to the face without any downtime. But, in reality, Botox and fillers are made up of different substances and have very different uses—including the types of wrinkles they treat and how they treat them—all of which we’ll explore below.

What is Botox?

Botox is the brand name for botulinum toxin, a type of neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. But worry notBotox is used in such small, refined doses that its toxins are not harmful to us. 

Botox is manufactured by one of the principal pharmaceutical companies for medical aesthetics, Allergan, and was FDA-approved back in 2002. Out of the four FDA-cleared neurotoxins available in the U.S., Botox is the most popular

How is Botox used?

For aesthetic purposes, Botox is commonly used to treat expression lines on the forehead, between the brows, and around the eyes and mouth. If you’re someone who struggles with wrinkles in these areas, then Botox could be the perfect solution for you. 

Botox is injected in tiny muscles that contract when you make facial expressions. Once the botulinum toxin relaxes the muscles in the desired area, it subsequently relaxes the expression lines caused when those muscles move. So next time you frown or smile, the usual creases that appear will no longer be visible.

One of the reasons Botox is so popular is because of its versatility. Botox can be used in areas besides the face. For example, if injected in the neck muscles, which pull down on the face over time, Botox can achieve a lifting effect. 

What’s most incredible about Botox are its healing powers for preventing and treating non-cosmetic conditions such as:

  • Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)
  • Migraines
  • Neurological disorders that cause muscle weakness
  • Teeth grinding caused by TMJ
  • Overactive bladders 

With more research comes more possibilities with Botox. The range of clinical applications are increasing and so is the number of individuals seeking these extraordinary medical benefits.

What are the side effects of Botox?

With Botox, you can expect common, minor side effects like bruising and tenderness at the injection site. Headaches may also occur on the day of treatment. Serious side effects are rather rare, but must be addressed immediately if they arise.

We strongly encourage choosing a qualified practitioner who uses proper brand name products to greatly reduce your chance of side effects. Botox is considered a prescription medication and in California, can only be administered by a board licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or registered nurse. 

How much does Botox cost?

The primary factors that determine the cost of Botox include the chosen clinic and practitioner. Some clinics may decide to charge by unit while others may charge by area. The price per unit can also vary. On average, each session costs anywhere from $200 to $800.

How long does Botox last?

From the day of injection, noticeable results generally take a week and maximum results take a full 14 days. Botox will last anywhere from 3-4 months depending on the patient. Each patient’s treatment and outcome will vary based on a  number of factors. In general, most patients report getting Botox injection approximately every 3-4 months. But again, this depends on the each patient’s preference, and unique results.

Who is Botox for?

Botox is recommended for those who want to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s also used as a preventative measure to prevent or delay the onset of facial wrinkles. 

Botox is generally safe for everyone with the exception of  patients who are pregnant or have myasthenia gravis (MG) and other rare neurological conditions.

The only way to be sure is by seeing a board-certified specialist to help you determine the best type of treatment.

What are fillers?

Dermal fillers are designed to restore lost volume to tissues and fill facial lines. Fillers come in a variety of forms, with temporary or permanent effects, and are categorized by the type of substance that they’re made up of. 

The five, FDA-approved fillers consist of the following substances:

  • Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
  • Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA)
  • Poly-L-lactic Acid
  • Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)
  • Autologous fat injections

Among the different types of fillers, hyaluronic acid is more commonly used to plump and hydrate skin. HA is a natural, gel-like textured substance already found in our skin. A popular filler brand that uses HA is Juvéderm, which, like Botox, is also manufactured by Allergan.

How are fillers used?

Fillers are meant only for small-scale areas of the body, mainly the face. Unlike Botox, which relaxes and “freezes” the muscles near wrinkles to reduce their appearance, fillers work by filling in wrinkles. 

Fillers smooth wrinkles that are visible when the face is at rest, whereas Botox treats wrinkles and creases that form when there’s an expression on the face. 

Fillers are also used to restore lost volume, soften creases, and enhance facial contours, i.e., lifting cheek bones. 

What are the side effects of fillers?

Several tests and studies have shown that fillers are safe. Although rare, side effects like bruising, lumpiness, redness, and swelling can occur and pass within two weeks of treatment.

Severe side effects like nerve damage, allergic reactions, and infections are rare. For the most part, complications do not result from the injection itself but its improper use.

Choosing a board-certified injector for your cosmetic or medical treatments is crucial for lowering the risk of side effects.

How much do fillers cost?

The cost of fillers depends on various factors, much like Botox. Typically, the cost can range anywhere starting from $500 and go up to $2000. For patients seeking full face treatments, the cost will fall into the higher range. 

How long do fillers last?

The effects of fillers generally last anywhere from 5 months to 2 years, depending on the type of filler, area of treatment, and patient. Fillers that are denser and injected more deeply are more likely to last longer. 

First-time patients tend to start with hyaluronic acid fillers due to its temporary nature. HA fillers will typically last from 6 to 18 months. Lip injections usually wear out faster than injections to the nasolabial folds, better known as “smile lines.” 

Which filler is right for you?

The beauty of fillers lies in their ability to accommodate different skin types. But with so many filler brands and products on the market, it’s normal to be confused. When it comes to choosing the best type of filler for you, the guidance of a board-certified healthcare provider can go a long way.

Every filler is unique. Texture, density, and injection depth all vary depending on the areas of concern. Hyaluronic acid, for instance, varies in thickness based on the patient’s skin care needs.

In Summary

Botox and dermal fillers use different techniques to serve different purposes, each with their own set of risks and advantages. Botox weakens muscles to prevent lines of expression while fillers literally “fill” lines at rest. What’s special about them is how they’re used together to replace visible signs of aging with a healthy glow.

With your practitioner’s guidance, you should be able to determine whether Botox or dermal fillers best suit your skincare needs. Whichever treatment that ends up being, one important thing stands: feeling prepared and safe in the care of your practitioner comes first and guarantees great results.