Dermal Fillers vs. Botox: What’s the Difference?

Dermal Fillers vs. Botox: What’s the Difference?

September 05, 2023

15 min read

There’s no doubt that injectables are on the rise and will only continue to get more popular with time. Among the most popular include Botox and dermal fillers. Botox is the top choice for many, but dermal fillers are slowly encroaching on this top spot. Botox and dermal fillers are both used to soften wrinkles caused by facial expressions, such as forehead wrinkles. However, there are also procedures that use these products to correct thin lips or fill sinking areas such as lower eyelid fill and a softening jaw muscle. In this article, our experts at the Metropolitan Skin Clinic will outline what is the difference between Botox and fillers so you better understand the effects of both.


Is Botox a dermal filler? No: Botox is the brand name for a type of botulinum neurotoxin, a muscle relaxer made from bacteria. In the U.S. there are four FDA-approved injectable neurotoxins: Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeauveau. Botox is a specific botulinum neurotoxin. Although the number of units you’ll need for each botulinum toxin type may differ, the results are the same. Patients seek Botox to treat dynamic wrinkles but it’s also increasingly used to help treat hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) in the armpits. Some even use it in the jaw to prevent teeth from grinding.


botox vs fillers

Botox works to temporarily weaken or paralyze the muscles in the face. By blocking nerve signals, the treated muscle is caused to relax. As a result, the treated muscles won’t be able to move as much as they once did, helping to soften and reduce wrinkles. In some patients, Botox can even remove the appearance of wrinkles entirely. Not only does Botox work to treat existing wrinkles but it helps to reduce the chance of future wrinkles from developing in the first place. On the other hand, Botox isn’t as effective on static wrinkles such as lower face wrinkles that aren’t caused by facial expressions.


In addition to treating the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, Botox can treat other skin conditions such as:

  • Platysmal bands: These are the muscles that begin at the base of your neck and extend up the side of your neck to your jawline. Aging causes a loss of fatty tissue, causing these muscles to stick out and make the neck look more aged.
  • Hyperhidrosis: As we briefly mentioned, Botox can also be used to treat excessive sweating in the armpits when injected beneath the skin’s surface.
  • Teeth grinding: Botox injections relax the muscles and reduce jaw pain by relaxing the jaw muscles.
  • Migraines and headaches:  Many patients turn to Botox for relief from tension headaches and migraines.

Now that you know more about Botox, you may be wondering: Is Botox considered a filler? The answer is no. Keep reading to find out more about filler vs. Botox.



What is the difference between fillers and Botox? Dermal fillers are often associated with Botox but they have a different purpose. So, are fillers Botox? No; dermal fillers are made from hyaluronic acid and they are gel-like products that help restore lost volume and soften static wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in the body and it helps to lubricate joints, nerves, hair, skin, and eyes. Fillers can also be used to contour the face when injected strategically. Depending on the type of filler that you use, it can provide either temporary or permanent results. Common filler types include Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse, and Belotero and the results can last anywhere from 5-24 months.


whats the difference between botox and fillers

A difference between fillers and Botox is the timeline. While Botox could take up to a couple of weeks to kick in, dermal fillers provide immediate results. The hyaluronic acid in dermal fillers is man-made, but it’s incredibly similar to what’s found in your body. This means your body will recognize the substance as your own. The specific type of filler that you choose depends on the treatment area. Common areas for filler include the cheeks, under eyes, lip lines, and chin.

Each filler type has a unique thickness and lifting capacity, making each ideal for different treatment areas. For example, lifting fillers helps to hold up the area similar to a tent pole. Other types of fillers are more volumizing and act as a dome with a softer feel. Others have more of a syrupy feel to help fill superficial fine lines. Don’t stress, your injector will go over the different types of injectables with you!


Patients turn to dermal fillers for a variety of skin and aging concerns. There is a direct and indirect approach to using fillers. The direct approach helps to treat lines and areas that you can see. This is ideal for patients who want to see results instantly. Examples of this would be lip injections or cheek fillers that you can see right away.

The other approach to fillers is indirect. This approach can be equally (or more) effective in bringing more structure and support to your face as the fillers work to lift the tissue along the jaw or cheekbones. In addition to cosmetic uses, dermal filler can be used to reduce scarring.


Let’s discuss Botox versus filler and everything you need to know to help you make your decision between Botox and dermal fillers.

Botox® Fillers
Objective Paralysis of facial muscles Restores lost volume
Preventive or Corrective Aims to prevent wrinkles Targets existing deep wrinkles and volume loss
Treatment Time Roughly 15 minutes Ranges from 15 to 30 minutes
Begins Working Starts taking effect in 3 days, optimal results after 2 weeks Effects are immediately visible
Effect Longevity Lasts between 3 and 5 months Endures from 8 to 12 months


is botox considered a filler

One noteworthy Botox and filler difference is the effectiveness of each. How effective each treatment is depends on its use case. For example, many patients like to get Botox preventatively to keep wrinkles from setting in, to begin with. This is common for many patients in their mid-twenties.

Fillers, on the other hand, are most commonly used in the under-eye area, jawline, and cheeks. This is because lines at rest can often benefit from filler. While Botox is an ideal option for improving the “crease points” where muscles contract, fillers are ideal for treating deep lines that are present even when facial muscles aren’t contracting.

• Botox Effectiveness

Botox can be used to treat wrinkles that are dynamic wrinkles. They show positive effects for the majority of patients for most common wrinkles like smile lines, frown lines, forehead lines, or crow’s feet. However, its effects are not instant: most patients notice effects within a week of injection. In addition, it should be noted that Botox isn’t a permanent treatment and that you will need repeated treatments every 3 to 4 months for continued wrinkle-reducing effects. Although Botox treatments can be used to correct common dynamic wrinkles, they’re also used to treat varying signs of neurological disorders like migraines or weak facial muscles.

• Dermal Fillers Effectiveness

Dermal filler treatments (also called soft tissue fillers) are used to treat laugh lines, but may also be used for other medical procedures like thin lips and to enhance or reduce the appearance of recessed scars. Like Botox, fillers wear out after some time. Dermal filler results vary based on the type of filler used and last between four months and two years. Dermal filler procedures are most effective on soft tissues and recessed scars.


Whether you’re using filler or Botox, both cosmetic treatments have their side effects. It’s essential that you use only FDA-approved fillers and Botox injected by a board-certified dermatologist or board-certified plastic surgeon.

• Botox Risks and Side Effects

Botox injections are minimally invasive and you can immediately resume your activities. Anyone considering Botox and other treatments to correct dynamic wrinkles should be in good health and have no issues such as thick skin or deep scars. Botox may cause temporary side effects such as numbness, redness, headaches, bruises on the site of the Botox injections, and drooping eyelids.

• Risks and Side Effects of Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers correct smile lines and can help treat wrinkles like crow’s feet, but their risks and side effects tend to be more significant than Botox. Although FDA-approved fillers injected by board-certified plastic surgeons are safe, you may experience side effects lasting up to two weeks including allergic reactions, bruising, infection, itching, soreness, and swellings. Patients using dermal fillers for wrinkle reduction should be in good overall health and non-smokers.


botox vs dermal fillers

Botox and fillers aren’t covered by insurance, but many professionals offer financing or payment options to make these cosmetic procedures more affordable.

Cost of Botox

Botox is the more affordable option. The cost varies depending on the procedure. If you’re trying to Botox correct muscle movement and other facial expressions, the cost of a session is typically around $500 depending on the number of syringes needed to correct expression lines or other procedures.

Dermal Fillers Cost

The cost of dermal fillers varies widely depending on the type of fillers used. Some of the cost per syringe for different types of fillers are as follow:

  • Calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse): $687;
  • Collagen: $1,930;
  • Hyaluronic acid fillers: $644;
  • Poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra, Sculptra Aesthetic): $773;
  • Polymethylmethacrylate beads: $859.


As you can see, there are many differences between Botox and dermal fillers that you should consider when you’re seeking treatment. Finding a reputable med spa is an essential part of the process that you don’t want to overlook. This is why it’s so important to go to an experienced practice that can guide you in the right direction.

If you’re wondering where to get Botox and fillers in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas, look no further than the Metropolitan Skin Clinic. In addition to a range of effective and high-quality skincare products, we also have highly qualified and passionate injectors who would love to work with you! Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help.

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Is getting botox and filler painful?

Most patients report that any injections hurt less than they anticipated! For Botox, you’ll only feel a small poke that’s highly tolerable and short-lived. For fillers, rest assured that we use a numbing agent beforehand to minimize any pain or discomfort that you’ll experience.

What part of the muscle is Botox injected into?

Botox injections are administered directly into the muscle (intramuscular) in addition to the area between the muscle and the skin (subcutaneous). You’ll feel small pin-like pricks as the injector moves through different treatment areas.

Can Botox and filler be used together?

Absolutely! Botox and filler are often used in tandem to help patients achieve their desired look. For example, many patients opt for lip filler in addition to a lip flip to help improve the appearance of thinning lips. Your doctor may help you choose between a botox and filler injection to get the effect you desire.

Do I need Botox or filler?

The decision between Botox and filler depends on your aesthetic goals. While you might not know where to begin, our team is happy to discuss your goals with you to determine the best course of action.


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