For many, the first appearance of frown lines is a real worry. And of course, when we worry, we frown – compounding the problem once more. A make-up re-strategy can make-do for a while, but eventually there comes a time when further treatment becomes a serious consideration.
Short of going under the knife, there are essentially two options to deliberate – Botox or dermal fillers.
It is a shame that the word ‘Botox’ is still charged with a certain amount of stigma. It is understandable, of course, for once upon a time the treatment was certainly not so advanced, safe and reliable as it is now, and indeed, as we covered in some depth in our last blog post, there remains a somewhat unregulated culture of cheap Botox treatments that perhaps serves to keep suspicions alive.
But the truth of the matter is that in 2016, provided that you seek professional treatment from a reputed clinician, Botox is entirely safe, produces beautiful results, and users look and feel younger, and more relaxed and confident to boot – no more frowning at yourself in the mirror.
And the same goes for dermal fillers. Indeed, if you’ve been rummaging around online looking for treatments to counteract the signs of ageing, then you will no doubt have come across this injectable procedure on your travels.
Again, the use of such a treatment was once – maybe just ten years ago in fact – somewhat frowned upon (ironically enough), and considered vain, dangerous and unnecessary. But attitudes have changed over the years, and so too has the science and reliability of the treatment. These days, fillers are quick and simple procedures that yield stunning results, are completely safe (provided you source treatment from a qualified, reputed professional), and are far more accepted in modern society.
But how do you choose between the two? What are the differences? And which is the right treatment for you?
Well, if you’re reading this blog, then I’m sure that these questions are all poised on your lips – so let’s now answer them once and for all.
Dermal Fillers: What Are Dermal Fillers And How Do They Work?
When we refer to dermal fillers, we’re talking about a specific substance that is injected into the face in order to improve its appearance.
The substance in question is made up largely of hyaluronic acid – a naturally occurring sugar chain molecule that attracts and binds water in the skin.
When we reach a certain age – usually 25 or there about – the body ceases to produce collagen and elastin. These two proteins work together to keep skin elastic and tissue firm – and without them, the existing collagen in the body begins to break down, and the typical signs of ageing (wrinkles, sunken cheeks, hollow eyes etc.) begin to occur.
Dermal fillers simply act as a natural replacement for these lost proteins. They work in harmony with the body’s remaining elastin and collagen and give the skin a more youthful and bright appearance.
In addition, fillers also add volume to the injected areas, and physically smooth out any lines and creases that may have occurred.
Fillers: How Long Does The Procedure Take?
The procedure is very brief. In most cases, the treatment will be administered in under half an hour.
Fillers: Are There Any Side Effects To The Treatment?
Normally, the only side-effects associated with dermal fillers are small amounts of swelling and bruising from where the needles go in. These can be masked with makeup and will disappear after just a few days. A little itching and tenderness is also sometimes reported.
Very rarely, more extreme side effects may occur, such as if the patient has an allergic reaction to the filler, or an infection occurs. To minimise risk with dermal fillers, it is very important the practitioner has had specialist training, and is using safe products correctly. Should unwanted effects occur, that practitioner should be able to manage them safely.
Fillers: How Long Does The Treatment Last?
Dermal fillers will last anywhere between 6 and 18 months. This will depend on the type of hyaluronic acid used, as well as how the individual patient responds to the treatment. Your practitioner should be able to advise you as to what product will work best for you.
Fillers: who Is this Treatment Most Suited For?
Fillers are most prominently used on patients at the lower parts of the face, especially around the lips. People who are looking to add volume and structure to the face are the usual candidates for filler treatments. However, fillers can also be used to great effect in other areas of the face, especially when combined with a Botox treatment.
Fillers: Who Should Avoid This Treatment?
It is generally advised that pregnant and breastfeeding mothers avoid dermal filler treatments.
Botox: What Is Botox And How Does It Work?
Botulinum toxin – better known as Botox – is also a natural protein that is used to correct wrinkles and other signs of ageing, but it works in a different way than dermal fillers. Botox is in fact a brand name, and it is indeed the most tested, safe and reliable product on the market. Decades of research have gone into the product, and, aside from cosmetic treatments, has been used extensively to treat medical conditions, such as hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).
Once again delivered by injection, the main function of Botox in cosmetic terms is to temporarily relax muscles in the treated area that are the cause of wrinkles and lines.
Essentially, Botox blocks signals from the brain which instruct the facial muscles to contract. This causes wrinkles, lines and creases to relax and soften.
Botox: How Long Does The Procedure Take?
Not long at all. Typically, a Botox procedure will be finished in under half an hour, though no more than 45 minutes.
Botox: Are There Any Side Effects To The Treatment?
There is no downtime associated with Botox treatment – meaning that you can continue about your normal day once you’ve had it done.
There may be a little bruising or swelling around the areas where the needle goes in, but this can all be very easily covered with make-up.
There are no long-term side effects to a Botox treatment. However, some patients come in who just want a single line fixed. A good practitioner, however, will consider the face holistically. That is to say that when only a single area is treated the patient can end up with an unnatural look, and so the professional practitioner will balance the treatment accordingly. This is all the more reason why you should never opt for cheap procedures administered by under trained or unqualified practitioners.
Botox: How Long Does Botox Last?
Depending on the patient, a single Botox treatment will typically last between 3 and 6 months, after which a retreatment will be required.
Botox: Who Is This Treatment Most Suited For?
Botox is generally used to treat moderate to deep frown lines in the upper parts of the face, in areas such as the forehead, between the eyebrows (glabellar lines) and around the eyes (crow’s feet).
Botox: Who Should Avoid Treatment?
Botox is not suitable for correcting wrinkles caused by sun damage or gravity. In addition, those with medical conditions such as muscle complaints or damaged nerves should avoid Botox treatment, and must disclose this information to the practitioner before treatment commences.
Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also avoid Botox – although there is no clinical evidence to suggest that Botox will harm either baby or mother, medical professionals nonetheless advise against its use when pregnant or breastfeeding.