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Everything You Need to Know About Botox vs. Dermal Fillers

Botox and dermal fillers are both widely popular beauty procedures. In fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that these procedures account for nearly 10 million of all cosmetic procedures. 

These two procedures are similar in that they can be used to enhance the beauty of your face, but the way they work and their uses are slightly different. Learn more below. 


Botox is a purified form of botulinum toxin (which is what Botox is short for). This toxin — obtained from bacteria — is safe in the tiny doses administered during Botox procedures. 

Botox temporarily paralyzes targeted muscles by blocking nerve signals to them. Doing this can reduce the appearance of or even removes wrinkles. 


Since Botox targets muscle, it can only correct “expression lines” — lines caused by facial muscle movement. These include things like crow’s feet and forehead lines. Botox doesn’t address lines caused by a loss of face plumpness. 

Also, Botox is temporary. You generally have to get Botox redone every 3-4 months. 

Side Effects 

The ASPS considers Botox to be safe, with only temporary side effects. These include: 

  • Headache 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Nausea 
  • Eyelid or brow drooping 
  • Nearby muscle weakness or paralysis 
  • trouble swallowing, speaking or breathing 
  • gallbladder problems 
  • Blurry vision 
  • Hives, rashes, or itching 
  • Pain, bleeding, bruising, swelling, numbness, or redness

Make sure not to massage or rub these are where you received Botox injections. This could cause the toxin to move to other parts of your face, inducing drooping and similar issues. 

Dermal Fillers 

Dermal fillers are substances injected beneath the skin to give the targeted area more volume and fullness. 

A few different substances may be used:

  • Calcium hydroxylapatite 
  • Hyaluronic acid 
  • Polyalkylimide 
  • Polylactic acid 
  • Polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres (PMMA) 

Each one addresses different cosmetic issues. Price varies between each one as well. 


Dermal fillers have a variety of uses — mostly to reduce signs of aging, along with some other cosmetic issues. Some common uses include: 

  • Add volume to shallow areas on the face 
  • Add plumpness to lips 
  • Decreasing shadows/wrinkles under eyes 
  • Soften/fill in recessed scars 
  • Soften/fill in static wrinkles (not those caused by muscle movements) — usually caused by loss of collagen 

Side Effects 

Dermal fillers are safe, but like with Botox, side effects can happen. These may include: 

  • Skin damage 
  • Redness, bruising, bleeding, or swelling 
  • Skin rash, itching, or pimple-like eruptions 
  • Dead skin cells in the area due to lack of blood flow 
  • Undesirable appearances, such as asymmetry or wrinkle overcorrection 
  • Vision problems (in some cases, blindness) 

Aren’t sure which procedure is for you? Not to worry — here at Absolute Smile, we offer both. Our professionals can sit down with you and look at the benefits of each and make a recommendation based on your situation. All new patients get a free consultation, so schedule your appointment today. 

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