Fillers and Neuromodulators: What’s the Difference?

If you’ve read any celebrity gossip magazine or beauty blog in the past few years, you’ve surely heard about cosmetic injectables and dermal fillers. They’re skyrocketing in popularity because they’re a quick and easy way to rejuvenate skin and bypass the need for painful, pricey surgical treatments. They also provide incredibly natural-looking results that can make you look younger without going under the knife.

However, with so many different options out there, it can be easy to get lost amid all the information. In the interest of saving you time and Google searches, here’s everything you need to know about the various injectable treatments and how they work.

What Are Cosmetic Fillers?

As their name suggests, cosmetic fillers are designed to fill in fine lines and wrinkles. They can also plump up lips, cheeks, and the backs of hands that have lost volume as you have aged. These fillers have been all the rage on Instagram for their ability to create the perfect pout and erase smile and frown lines around the mouth. They can also help re-contour the mid-face area, which often becomes gaunt during the aging process.

There is a range of cosmetic fillers available – including Juvéderm®, Revanesse® Versa™, Restylane®, Radiesse®, and Belotero®. Though these product lines all have slightly different formulations and thicknesses to treat different concerns, they are the same in that they all use hyaluronic acid to achieve remarkable results. Hyaluronic acid, or HA, is a substance your body produces naturally, but the amount your body makes on its own decreases with time.

Hyaluronic acid is unique for its ability to attract and retain moisture, which can be invaluable for aging skin. When used strategically by a skilled injector with advanced knowledge of facial anatomy, HA-based fillers can make skin appear smoother, younger, and healthier, with fewer fine lines and wrinkles.

What Are Neuromodulators?

Other injectable skin care products include neuromodulators, the most famous of which is Botox® Cosmetic. Botox®, which has been FDA-approved since 2002, differs from cosmetic fillers in that its role is to cause temporary paralysis in facial muscles, allowing the wrinkles to soften. The key ingredient in Botox® is a purified version of botulinum toxin that prevents muscles from being able to contract for several months at a time.

Unlike dermal fillers, which are most effective around the mouth and in the mid-face area, Botox® works best on crow’s feet, forehead furrows, and the vertical frown lines that form between the eyebrows. It doesn’t plump the skin the way fillers do, but rather prevents these wrinkles from becoming deeper. It is highly beneficial for anyone who is concerned about the expression lines that form from repetitive movements like squinting, smiling, and frowning.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Fillers and Neuromodulators?

Overall, anyone who is experiencing mild to moderate signs of aging, but who does not want to commit to getting surgery, is a good candidate for fillers and Botox®. They are proven safe for any skin type and have helped thousands of busy women and men achieve their desired results with little to no discomfort and minimal downtime. Perhaps the largest appeal of fillers and neuromodulators is that you don’t have to schedule healing time or plan to sit out from your regular daily activities. There are minimal risks and side effects, as well.

The results of these products are not permanent, because your body will gradually absorb them over the course of several months. However, they are long-lasting, and you can maintain them with quick touch-up treatments spaced out throughout the year.

Most patients find the best results through a combination of fillers and Botox®. The best way to determine which of these treatments are best for you is to make an appointment with leading Tampa cosmetic surgeon Dr. Brad Stephan. After evaluating the extent of your aging and discussing your concerns with you, Dr. Stephan will be able to suggest the ideal mix of products to help you look your best. Contact us to schedule your virtual or in-person consultation today.