BOTOX® Cosmetic, Fillers, or Both?


BOTOX Cosmetic and fillers, fillers and BOTOX: One of the most common misconceptions I hear from my new Louisville and Lexington patients is that these two injectable treatments are created equal. The product names are sometimes used interchangeably. It’s important to know that they have entirely different uses and results.

Before you see an injector for your first treatment, check out this reference guide, so you’ll never be confused again!


  • Ingredients: The main active ingredient in BOTOX® is a neurotoxin called Botulinum toxin A. It blocks the signals from your nerves to your muscles in the treatment area, which causes those muscles to contract less. This smooths out wrinkles and makes expression lines less prominent.
  • Cosmetic concerns: This treatment primarily reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines for a more relaxed, youthful appearance. You’ll also see BOTOX for other indications, such as treating chronic migraines and excessive sweating.
  • Areas of use: BOTOX is approved by the FDA to treat crow’s feet, the “angry 11s” or glabella lines between the eyebrows, horizontal forehead lines, and smile lines.
  • Results: Proper placement of BOTOX can reduce existing fine lines and prevent new ones from forming. It can help create a rested, more youthful appearance. Results typically last 3 months or more.
  • Similar brands: Dysport® achieves similar goals and results to BOTOX. It is also made from a neurotoxin, slightly different from BOTOX. Some patients prefer one to the other, though BOTOX is more popular at our practice.
  • When it can be used: BOTOX is meant for dynamic wrinkles — specifically, when patients feel that those wrinkles and fine lines make them appear more aged than they truly feel.
  • The takeaway: BOTOX to reduces the appearance of fine lines and dynamic wrinkles (i.e., wrinkles caused by facial expressions).

Dermal Fillers:

  • Ingredients: The most active ingredient is hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the body, particularly in your skin and connective tissue (e.g., cartilage).
  • Cosmetic concerns: Along with aging comes a natural decrease in collagen production, which coincides with a loss of tissue volume in facial features. For example, the eyes may appear more sunken, cheeks may appear more hollow, and smile lines may deepen. Dermal fillers applied to these areas restore volume for a more youthful, refreshed appearance.
  • Areas of use: Each brand of dermal fillers has been approved for different areas of the face. These areas include cheeks, lips, and smile lines. Similar to BOTOX, fillers may be applied to other areas of the face to treat a variety of concerns. For example, fillers can reduce the appearance of deep acne scarring in the cheeks or change the shape of the nose. The treatment brand and its use will depend on the patient’s needs.
  • Results: By adding volume, dermal fillers give patients fuller, more youthful facial contours.
  • Brands: Brands of dermal fillers include JUVÉDERM®, Restylane®, and Sculptra®, as well as product lines within those brands (e.g., JUVÉDERM VOLUMA®, Restylane® Lyft).
  • When it can be used: Dermal fillers are ideal for addressing volume loss.
  • The takeaway: Dermal fillers restore lost volume and create fuller features in the face.

In many cases, patients decide to combine BOTOX and fillers for a more comprehensive effect. For more details on these treatments and how they can be used individually and together, Dr. Calobrace discussed the subject in more detail during an appearance on The Plastic Surgery Channel.

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