What IS the difference between Anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers ?

This is one of the most common questions we get asked in clinic alongside “ Do I need anti-wrinkle injections or filler?”.

Injectable treatments such as anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers are the most commonly performed and requested non- surgical treatments to effectively treat the signs of ageing including lines, wrinkles, volume loss and jowls. Despite how common these treatments have become it can still be confusing to know whether you need anti-wrinkle injections or dermal fillers to treat your concerns.

So let’s get to it… (warning it gets a bit sciencey).

Anti-wrinkle injections, often known by their brand names such as Botox, Azzalure and Bocouture, all contain the same basic ingredient: botulinum toxin type A. Botulinum toxin type A is a purified protein which acts on muscle receptors causing them to relax. Because of the effect that anti-wrinkle injections have on muscles they are most commonly used to treat lines and wrinkles which are caused by expressions – think smiling, frowning and raising your eyebrows.

So if you are noticing fine lines appearing on your forehead or that frown line is making you look angry then anti-wrinkle injections are a great option to soften those lines and prevent them from developing into deep static lines that are still there whether you are moving or not.

Because anti-wrinkle injections affect muscle contractions they can also be used to correct a  downturned smile (DAO’s in medical lingo) a ‘gummy’ smile and strong neck bands known as platysmal bands.It is also a highly effective treatment to slim a broad jaw and give a more feminine heart shape appearance to the face and alleviate the symptoms of teeth grinding at night (bruxism).

Anti-wrinkle injections last around 12 weeks depending on the amount injected and the individual’s muscle strength and metabolism. Dermal fillers in comparison are the go to injectable to treat the signs and symptoms of ageing which are not caused by muscle movement,  primarily volume loss and deeper folds and wrinkles. Dermal fillers are a hyaluronic acid gel like substance which mimics the body’s own hyaluronic acid. It is injected into the tissues of the face to ‘fill out’ lines and wrinkles and to add volume to specific areas such as the cheeks or lips.

Dermal fillers come in different thicknesses and concentrations of hyaluronic acid designed to treat different areas of the face. After a thorough consultation, your medical practitioner will select the filler which best suits your desired outcome and individual anatomy. 

The most common areas treated with dermal fillers are the lips, to smooth out lines, increase hydration and add volume, and the cheeks/ mid face to replace lost volume and add definition. Dermal filler can also be a great treatment for tired looking under eyes where the area appears hollow. Fillers are also a popular treatment option to contour and lift the jawline giving it a more youthful appearance.

Dermal fillers last a lot longer than anti-wrinkle injections, typically around 6-12 months depending on the area treated, the product used and amount of product injected and the individuals metabolism.

Combining anti-wrinkle injections and dermal filler produces the best results as they are each combating different causes and symptoms of ageing. Remember a 20 year old forehead and a 60 year old lower face is never a great look!






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