Botox is slightly different from injectable dermal fillers like Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse and Sculptra. While dermal fillers use a synthetic or natural substance to “fill in” hollow or sagging areas of the face, Botox (or Dysport, which is another brand name for the same substance) contains a safe toxin that works to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
This toxin, called botulinium toxin type A, was discovered to have a paralytic effect on twitching muscles during research in the 1940’s. The toxin causes tense muscles to relax, which is useful in the treatment of many neurological conditions like uncontrolled blinking and lazy eyes. In the 1980’s, ophthalmologists began using botulinium toxin and noticed that, as a side effect, deep lines in the patients’ foreheads softened and their skin smoothed out.
Since 1989, Botox has been used cosmetically to reduce the appearance of deep lines and wrinkles caused by tight muscles. Botox is best used on the forehead or around the eyes, and though it delivers magnificent skin-smoothing results it will not be able to fill sagging or drooping skin. Dermal fillers – including the brands Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse and Sculptra – contain varying substances that fill in loose and wrinkled skin to give a more youthful appearance. Each dermal filler contains a different filling material that works differently, and cosmetic dermatologists may have a preferred brand (Dr. Michelle Abadir prefers Juvederm in Westchester for its pliability and ability to mold).
Dermal fillers are best suited to the skin around the nose and mouth, as this skin tends to lose its elasticity and droop with age. They can also be used to fill in thin lips, and different brands of dermal filler will give slightly different results – the heaviness of Restylane makes it excellent for filling in larger lines around the nose, while the smoother particles of Juvederm mean it’s better-suited to treat smaller lines and lines in the lips. Radiesse actually stimulates the body to produce more collagen, restoring a natural and youthful appearance.