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

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

July 13, 2022

10 min read

There’s no doubt that injectables are on the rise and will only continue to get more popular with time. Botox is the top choice for many, but dermal fillers are slowly encroaching on this top spot. When it comes to filler vs. Botox, you might not know the difference. In this article, we’ll determine what is the difference between filler and Botox so you better understand the effects of each.

What Is Botox?

Botox is the brand name for a type of botulinum neurotoxin. In the U.S. there are four FDA-approved neurotoxins: Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeauveau. Although the number of units you’ll need for each neurotoxin may differ, the results are the same. Patients seek Botox to treat dynamic wrinkles but it is also increasingly used to help treat hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) in the armpits. It can also be used in the jaw to prevent teeth from grinding.

How Does Botox Work?

filler vs botox

Botox works to temporarily weaken or paralyze the muscles in the face. It blocks the nerve signals which causes the treated muscle to relax. As a result, the treated muscles will not 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.

What Does Botox Treat?

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 above, Botox can also be used to treat excessive sweating in the armpits when injected under the skin’s surface.
  • Teeth grinding: Botox can help relax the muscles and reduce jaw pain.
  • Migraines and headaches: Many patients turn to Botox for relief from tension headaches and migraines.

What Are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers are often associated with Botox but they have a different purpose. Fillers are made from hyaluronic acid and they are gel-like products that help restore lost volume. 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.

How Does Dermal Filler Work?

dermal fillers vs botox

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 is 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, lips, and chin.

Each filler type has a unique thickness and lifting capacity, making each ideal for different treatment areas. For example, lifting fillers help 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. Your injector will go over the different types of injectables with you!

What Is Dermal Filler Commonly Used for?

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 filler 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 also be used to reduce scarring.

Dermal Fillers vs Botox: What Should I Choose?

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


One 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 Fillers
Purpose Paralyzing facial muscles Improve volume loss
Preventive/curative To prevent wrinkles Treating deep wrinkles or volume loss
Duration of treatment About 15 minutes 15-30 minutes
When do results appear? Active 3 days and optimum results after 2 weeks Immediate
Duration result 3-5 months 8-12 months

Possible Side Effects

Another difference between Botox and filler is the potential side effects. Despite the many side effects that you may experience, rest assured that both Botox and fillers are FDA-approved in the United States and have undergone rigorous testing to ensure safety. For both Botox and filler, it’s possible to develop:

  • Bruising or swelling at the injection site;
  • Acne-like bumps underneath the skin;
  • A bluish cast to the skin.

Generally speaking, the most common side effects of Botox and fillers is bruising or pain at the injection site. This is the same reaction that potentially comes with any injection and it does not mean that you are having a toxic reaction. In the case that you’re experiencing eye dryness, drooling, drooping eyelids, or a crooked smile, make sure you get in touch with your injector as soon as possible.


botox vs filler

You’re likely wondering how much are fillers and Botox? According to 2020 statistics obtained from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average Botox cost in the U.S. is $466 per treatment. The price varies based on how many units you need, how aggressive or conservative you want to be in treatment, the area in which you live, and the qualifications of the injector.

For fillers, the price is dependent on the product that you’re using. On average, one syringe of Radiesse is $717 while hyaluronic acid fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane come in around $684.

Book Your Consultation Today

There are many differences between Botox and filler 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. 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! Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.


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 is 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.

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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