What is the difference between Anti-wrinkle injection (Botox®)  and dermal fillers?

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Botox® and dermal fillers are two of the most popular cosmetic procedures around right now. Both are typically provided through injections, and neither are surgical procedures. Many people believe that the two things are similar, but they’re far from it.


As a cosmetic nurse, I deal with people who often get confused by the two procedures. Consequently, this blog post will look at the main differences between the two, and what they do for your skin.


Botox®  is a term that derives from something known as botulinum toxin. This comes from bacteria, and it is purified into a small solution that’s used in Botox needle. The primary purpose of these injections is to reverse signs of ageing by reducing the appearance of wrinkles.


How does this work? Well, here’s where things get fairly scientific. You see, Botox® acts to stop nerve singles within specific muscles. When this happens, it almost freezes the muscle in question. This isn’t a permanent freeze, but it’s enough to stop tiny muscles from contracting, which often causes wrinkles. As a result, wrinkles caused by the moving muscles will appear reduced or completely removed.


In essence, Botox® only works on wrinkles that are caused by muscle movement in your face – like the frown lines on your forehead or smile lines around your lips/cheeks. It won’t work on any other types of wrinkles, and it has no other purpose other than this.

Dermal Fillers

By looking at what dermal fillers are and how they’re used, you will immediately see the difference between them and Botox®. The simplified definition is that dermal fillers are a substance injected below the surface of your skin. It can be made up of different chemicals, but the main aim is to add more volume to the area and make your skin appear more full and plump.


The way the substance works will depend on the dermal fillers you’re getting. Unlike Botox®, this can be used to treat various cosmetic problems. It’s commonly used to help improve the plumpness of lips or get rid of dark circles under your eyes. However, it can also be used to remove static wrinkles as well.

The Main Differences

As you can see, there are a few significant differences between the two treatments. One thing that hasn’t already been covered is how long each treatment lasts. With Botox®, you will not get a permanent effect, and the results tend to last up to 4 months. With dermal fillers, they can last for over 2 years depending on the specific filler used.

About the Author
Miss Julie Brackenbury, RGN, Independent Nurse Prescriber

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