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What is the difference between Botulinum and Fillers?

People who want to eliminate the signs of ageing will have the option of Botulinum or fillers. Although both serve to prevent and stop wrinkles from appearing, the way in which they work to achieve this is different.

For anyone considering using an anti-ageing treatment, it is important to be aware of these difference. Here is everything you need to know…

How does Botulinum work?

The primary uses of Botulinum were in medicine. It is used to treat muscle spasticity and help relax the clenching of muscles. It wasn’t until 2002 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorised using Botulinum as a cosmetic treatment. Botulinum is still used for the same purpose in the field of cosmetics, namely to relax muscles in our face that cause lines and wrinkles. Botulinum is a protein and is certified as a safe product to use in medicine and cosmetics.

What does treatment involve?

Botulinum is injected into the relevant area and there are no long-term side effects, only a possibility of some short-term bruising, which can be easily covered. There is no ‘recovery period’ as such, you can resume your usual activities more or less immediately, following treatment.

Who is this treatment for?

The Botulinum treatment is safe to use for most people. Any patient wishing to remove lines and wrinkles around the side of their eyes and eyebrows will find that Botulinum delivers extremely good results.

Who should not use this treatment?

Patients who have underlying muscle and nerve related conditions should mention this at their consultation so that they are able to make a well informed decision on whether to pursue Botulinum treatment. It is recommended by medical professionals, that on a precautionary basis, women who are pregnant and mothers who are breastfeeding should avoid the treatment.

What is the end outcome of treatment?

Botulinum will typically remove any lines or wrinkles for up to six months. Results can vary from person to person. Botulinum should aim to deliver natural results and a qualified consultant would consider not only eradicating a single line but assess its impact on the rest of the face to ensure the outcome is a natural looking one. A variety of different factors may to be taken into account and a consultation should talk this through with you in detail.

How do fillers work?

To understand how fillers work, it’s good to know firstly know how lines and wrinkles appear. Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is responsible for supporting the skin and we are given plentiful at birth. However, the HA starts to diminish as we age and this causes the lines and wrinkles. Fillers contain naturally occurring HA that is injected into our skin using a tiny needle. The injected HA gives the skin the uplift it needs, which the eradicates the lines and wrinkles. Fillers work immediately, targeting the folds and wrinkles to deliver excellent results, leaving no scars and only temporary bruising that would occur with any needle penetration. There are fillers for your lips too, which give them a bit more plump and volume.

How does treatment work?

The procedure usually takes up to 45 minutes and results can last up to two years. Towards the end of this period, the skin will start softening again but there won’t be any sudden change. Moreover, patients can always come in for a top-up. As with Botox®, the consultant would consider the impact to the entire face and should not focus on just removing the single line or wrinkle.

Who is this treatment for?

Fillers are for anybody seeking to add a little structure to their face. Aside from through the effects of ageing, face volume can also be lost due to lifestyle factors. A filler can therefore return some glow and a shine to the face and remove any grumpy or tired look.

Who should not use this treatment?

Like with Botulinum, there is no concrete evidence of risk to pregnant or breastfeeding women, but both are advised against treatment.

Questions to ask before commencing treatment

Regardless of which option you go for, you should always ask the important questions during consultation. You should find out in detail about any side effects of the treatment and aftercare that may be required. There is no harm in asking for ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures of previous patients that have used the same product as well as asking questions surrounding the consultants own qualifications and experience in this field. Do not feel reluctant or afraid to open up with your practitioner about what it is that bothers you, as only then will you receive a personalised and tailored treatment plan that suits your needs and hence achieves your desired outcomes.

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