Botox vs. Filler — Understanding the Difference

“Sandra’s Face Frozen by Filler!”

“Yolanda Removes Filler & Botox!”

The tabloid headlines are attention-grabbing for sure.  But many of them have us scratching our heads and, well, giggling at their absurdity.

No doubt there’s a lot of confusion between Botox and filler, especially among the uninitiated.  We see it all the time here at Bella.  It’s little wonder consumers are bewildered by it all given the sheer number of products available coupled with misleading headlines.

If you’re still a bit unclear, read on as we set things straight:

Botox is perhaps the best-known member of a family of products known as neuromodulators. Similar products include Dysport and Xeomin among others.  Neuromodulators minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles by temporarily relaxing the muscles that create them.   Commonly treated areas include horizontal lines across the forehead, fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes (crow’s feet) and vertical lines between the eyebrows.

Fillers (including Voluma, Vollure, Juvederm, Lyft and others) do just that…fill.  The aging face tends to lose youthful volume, and these gel-like substances help restore that plumpness.  Fillers are also used to volumize areas which may be naturally deficient (such as thin lips) or camouflage defects (like a crooked nose).

Now that we’re clear on the difference between Botox and fillers, do you honestly think Sandra’s face was “frozen” by filler??  Not likely.  However, treatment consisting of a dozen or more syringes of filler will leave a person’s face looking markedly, well, different.  And, in the case of Hollywood celebrities, they can afford such treatment.  The rest of us mere mortals aren’t likely to be affected in such dramatic manner with the 2 to 3 syringes typical of most filler patients we see here in central Ohio.  Consider this….could Sandra have been over treated with Botox (or similar neuromodulator)?  Now, that’s a distinct possibility which is, in fact, a more likely scenario than being “frozen by filler”.

As far as Yolanda removing her Botox, how exactly do you remove a liquid once it’s been injected into the body??  Many brands of filler can be dissolved with the injection of a substance known as hyaluronidase (which, interestingly, is derived from sheep testicles).  The removal of Botox, on the other hand, well, we’re not familiar with that process.  Should Yolanda allow the effects of her Botox to wear off and forego further treatment, that’s a different story.  It just doesn’t sound quite as juicy or alarming when stated that way!

While tabloid headlines are intended to be shocking and entertaining, we also suspect most are crafted by those still a good 15 years away from their first wrinkle!

Ciao for now!