Even though many people believe cosmetic injectables such as BOTOX and dermal fillers can be used interchangeably, they actually address different aesthetic concerns. For example, we use BOTOX at our Westchester County plastic surgery practice to relax targeted muscles, minimizing wrinkles caused by years of changing expressions.
Dermal fillers such as JUVÉDERM® products, on the other hand, are smooth gels that treat lines and wrinkles caused by age-related volume loss. It’s not unusual for providers to inject BOTOX—and similar products such as Dysport® and Jeuveau®—and fillers during the same treatment session.
In some cases, however, we may recommend using BOTOX before getting fillers.
When Does ‘BOTOX-First’ Make Sense?
1. If you’re a first-time injection patient.
BOTOX, Dysport, and Jeuveau are all neuromodulators—prescription medications that use very small amounts of botulinum toxins to temporarily immobilize tiny muscles. For someone getting cosmetic injections for the first time, BOTOX requires less commitment than fillers because the results don’t last as long.
Injections are typically needed every 4 months or so to maintain results, while many fillers last 9 months or more. (Although hyaluronic acid-based fillers can be reversed.) A conservative approach to BOTOX injections is an excellent introduction to injectables, especially for younger patients in their late 20s or 30s.
2. When you’re worried about bruising and swelling.
The face contains a complex network of blood vessels, including some close to the skin’s surface. One way bruising occurs is when needles inadvertently injure blood vessels. Providers use tiny needles to inject BOTOX, reducing this risk. Injections of neuromodulators typically don’t cause much trauma compared to the thick filler gels, meaning the possibility of post-injection bruising and swelling is less with BOTOX.
3. If injecting fillers is risky for the treatment area.
As mentioned above, the face is quite vascular—some areas more than others. One risk when getting fillers is vascular occlusion—a condition that occurs if filler gel enters an artery by mistake.
Studies have shown that areas such as the forehead, the glabella (between the brows), and the nose pose more risk for vascular occlusion than other parts of the face. Fortunately, the lines that develop in those areas are “dynamic wrinkles” or expression lines—worry lines, vertical forehead wrinkles, and bunny lines on the nose— that are most effectively treated with BOTOX.
4. To create a more well-defined jawline.
The versatility of BOTOX is one of the reasons it is the most popular injectable treatment in the world. Besides smoothing wrinkles, BOTOX can slim a patient’s jawline to create a more angular and attractive appearance. Injecting BOTOX into the masseter muscle (the muscle used when chewing food) relaxes it, and it gradually gets smaller. This ultimately creates a more streamlined jaw and neck.
5. When you have an “orange peel” chin.
People who are self-conscious about their chins’ dimpled appearance can benefit from BOTOX injections. A pebbly chin is caused by an overactive mentalis muscle (the muscle covering the chin.) Injecting BOTOX relaxes the muscle, creating a smoother appearance. Once this occurs, you can have filler injected to reshape the chin.
6. If you want to create an attractive pout without lip augmentation.
Fillers are often the go-to treatment for patients who want plumper lips. However, BOTOX lip injections are being requested more often as the popularity of lip flips increases. Many patients believe the BOTOX lip flip creates more subtle results than fillers. The procedure involves precisely injecting just a few units of BOTOX along the upper lip muscle near the border. These injections relax and “flip” the lip to make more of the upper lip visible. This creates a fuller, plumper, but natural-appearing upper lip.
Do you want to learn more about these BOTOX uses or how BOTOX and fillers such as JUVÉDERM complement each other? Call us in Westchester County at (914) 241-3003 or contact us to request a consultation using the online form. You can also see the results BOTOX injections produce in our gallery of before-and-after photos.