What is the difference between Botox and dermal fillers?

Botox Vs. Dermal Fillers

Taking selfies and video calls are on the rise now, which gives more reasons to pay attention to your face than before. Signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, and laugh lines can make your skin look dull. Anti-aging products available over the counter are not effective in alleviating these signs of aging. Instead of planning to go under the knife, it is wise to consider a practical option: facial injectables.

While Botox treatments are already here, derma fillers are quickly gaining popularity among non-surgical therapies. However, choosing the right choice for your face can be challenging. Read on to learn about the nitty-gritty details of both types of injectables, such as how each works, its benefits, its effects in the long run, and its pros and cons.

Botox Vs. Dermal Fillers

How Botox and Derma Filler Differ?

Botox or botulinum toxin, a famous cosmetic injection, was earlier used for muscular treatments, migraines, and neurological disorders (1). It acts as a neuromodulator by temporarily relaxing your facial muscles and their movement by kindling acetylcholine’s release. This organic chemical called acetylcholine can contract specific muscles and smoothen fine lines to maintain flawless skin.

Botox is a preventative treatment, which, when injected strategically on facial contours, smoothens wrinkles and lines by restricting muscle movement to keep deep wrinkles and skin creases at bay. Even though the FDA has approved several brands like Jeuveau, Xeomin, or Dysport, Botox is the highly preferred treatment among aestheticians and dermatologists. However, it is not suitable for wrinkles triggered by collagen breakdown (2).

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    As you age, the fat pads in your face decrease gradually, causing wrinkles, hollow cheeks, and sagging skin. Popularly known as facial fillers, derma fillers are cosmetic gels that contain hyaluronic acid, which combines with water to restore volume to the face. These FDA-approved fillers add volume to the aging face to offer a plump look free from smile lines, depressions, and wrinkles (3).

    Derma fillers temporarily restore the youthful look by mimicking your facial structure. Derma fillers are also available as lip fillers, chin, and cheek fillers. These fillers replenish the loss of fat pads, kindle collagen production, and tighten sagging skin. In addition, Derma fillers are a great choice to reduce dynamic wrinkles by lowering and softening them (4).

    How Botox Works

    Botox performs on your facial muscles to inhibit muscle movements by blocking nerve signals to keep your face relaxed. By accomplishing less muscle movement, Botox works to soften the wrinkles to make them disappear from your skin surface to achieve young and supple facial skin.

    Pros of Botox

    • Quick Procedure: You can get a Botox injection before your lunch break gets over. This procedure is rapid and requires less than 10 minutes, making it ideal for people who have busy and tight work schedules.
    • Zero Recovery Time: Getting back to your routine life is not a big thing after getting a Botox shot. This treatment doesn’t require you to take bed rest or follow-up medicines.
    • Very Effective: The results offered by Botox injections are almost instantaneous. The results might vary for individuals, but the effect will be visible within a few days.
    • Less Invasive Procedure: Botox treatments are performed with injections fitted with very fine needles. It offers results similar to a surgical facelift, despite being a less invasive cosmetic injectable procedure.
    • Not Permanent: Taking Botox shots is not a continuous affair. You can take it next time if you love its effect after the first shot. Or, you can opt for a non-Botox look after its effect wears off in a few months.
    • Low-Risk Treatment: When you opt for Botox treatment, for a professional service with several years of experience to achieve the desired results.
    • Not Limited to Aesthetic: Though Botox is popular as a preventative treatment to deal with wrinkles, it can also lower excessive sweating and migraine and relax muscles. It is also used for jaw slimming to prevent jaw grinding.

    Cons of Botox

    • Non-Permanent Procedure: Botox is a temporary treatment that requires you to inject it at least three times a year to flaunt a wrinkle-free face. Its result last between three and six months.
    • May Cause Allergies: Some may face allergic reactions after a Botox shot, which can be treated immediately.
    • Few Facial Expressions Might Not Work: As Botox is designed to restrict muscle movement to erase fine lines and wrinkles, it might prevent you from making a few facial expressions.
    • Mild Side Effects: Some might experience mild side effects like swelling or bruising on the injection site. Some might have nausea, headache, neck pain, droopy eyelids, or swelling (5).

    Areas of The Face Where Botox Is Used

    Botox can be used to treat the signs of aging in the following facial regions:

    • Frown lines in the middle of eyebrows
    • Bunny lines on the nose
    • Lines on forehead
    • Hooded eyes
    • Crow feet near the eyes
    • Tear trough below the eyes
    • Jawline for bruxism or teeth grinding
    • Neck bands/li>
    • Lipstick lines around the mouth
    • Dimples on chin

    How Dermal Fillers Work

    Dermal fillers work to restore the fat loss in the facial muscle induced by the aging process. These fillers fill up the crevices, hollows, folds, and creases to correct the flaws and replace the volume to offer a plumper look. In addition, it has a different consistency to cater to the needs of varying skin types and issues.

    Pros of Using Dermal Fillers

    • Makes you flaunt a well-rested look
    • Temporary procedure to look younger
    • Minimal pain as the fillers are injected with needles of surgical-grade
    • Restores collagen in the skin to achieve a healthy looking skin
    • No downtime required
    • Improves your confidence level

    Cons of Using Dermal Fillers

    • Some may experience mild side effects like inflammation, bleeding, and swelling (6)
    • effects are temporary, lasting for about six months
    • If not performed by a qualified professional, these fillers can cause rashes or skin lumps
    • Slightly on the pricier side

    Areas of The Face Where Dermal Fillers Are Used

    Listed below are the common facial areas where derma fillers can work wonders:

    • Plumping lips
    • Nose
    • Cheeks
    • Chin
    • Nasolabial folds
    • Marionette lines near the mouth
    • Forehead

    Duration of Results for Botox vs. Derma Filler

    Dermal fillers take more time to show visible results compared to Botox treatment. You can see the results within four days, while dermal fillers need up to 4 weeks to show their effect on your skin. The duration of Botox treatment effect ranges between four and six months (7) while the derma fillers will lose their effect after six months.

    Safety Concerns for Botox vs. Derma Filler

    • Avoid using medications with anticoagulants and anti-inflammatory medications before the treatments
    • Do not eat foods that have garlic as an ingredient
    • Don’t consume caffeine-rich foods
    • Avoid foods that can make your body dehydrated
    • Seek professional services for injectable fillers
    • Avoid injecting them on your own
    • Do not rub or scratch the injection site for a few days

    Cost of Botox vs Derma Filler

    • The cost of derma fillers in India is between Rs. 15000 and Rs. 30000 per syringe
    • The cost of Botox injections ranges from Rs. 8000 to Rs. 30000 per session based on the severity of wrinkles

    Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Botox and Derma Filler

    • You must know what aging signs you wish to get rid of and what is your aesthetic goal to choose the right option
    • Know whether you have static wrinkles or dynamic wrinkles to make a wise treatment choice
    • Consider your budget for the injectables
    • Analyze your ability to withstand pain
    • Check for any allergic reaction with any of the components used in the treatments and choose wisely
    • Check the experience and qualifications of the dermatologists or skin care clinic you approach
    • Read user reviews, check their ratings, and evaluate their before and after photos
    • Do not choose the services of a skin clinic that offers the lowest price, as it might reflect in their service quality


    1. Department of Orthodontics, D.Y. Patil School of Dentistry, Mumbai https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9469437/
    2. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/23089-collagen
    3. https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/aesthetic-cosmetic-devices/dermal-fillers-soft-tissue-fillers
    4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/dermal-fillers-the-good-the-bad-and-the-dangerous-201907152561
    5. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/dermal-filler-dos-and-donts-wrinkles-lips-and-more
    6. Dermatologic Surgi Center, 1200 Locust Street, Philadelphia https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2890129/
    7. Cary Skin Center, Cary, North Carolina, USA https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20369902/


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