A collage of two photos representing dermal fillers and neurotoxin injections

Neurotoxin Injections vs. Dermal Fillers: How Are They Different?

In the world of aesthetics, neurotoxin injections and dermal fillers are often compared, contrasted, and put against each other—so how are they different?

Both are FDA-approved, minimally invasive procedures that can defy the effects of aging, from wrinkles and frown lines to sagging skin. Many sing their praises, but few truly understand what sets them apart.

So, what is a dermal filler injection and how are neurotoxin injections different? Keep reading to learn more.

Comparing Neurotoxin Injections and Dermal Fillers

What Are Neurotoxin Injections?

Neurotoxin injections, often referred to as their brand names, such as Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, or Jeuveau, are versatile treatments known for their effectiveness in addressing specific areas of the face where wrinkles and lines typically form due to muscle contractions.

This procedure involves injecting a purified version of botulinum toxin, a protein that possesses the remarkable ability to temporarily disrupt the communication between nerves and muscles, into a specific areas of the face and body.

In simple terms, the contraction of facial muscles is a result of nerve signals that instruct the muscle fibres to contract. This contraction is responsible for dynamic wrinkles, such as those that appear when we smile, frown, or raise our eyebrows. When botulinum toxin is injected into specific muscles, it selectively interferes with this nerve-muscle communication. As a result, the targeted muscle becomes temporarily relaxed and less active.

 A before and after comparison of a patient’s Botox treatment

What Is a Dermal Filler Injection?

Dermal fillers plump and restore volume. Similar to neurotoxins, they are administered through injections into specific areas of the face. However, these injectables contain various substances, with hyaluronic acid being one of the most common components.

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occuring substance in our bodies. It acts like a sponge in that in can hold a lot of water, which makes it perfect for adding volume and hydration to the skin. When a dermal filler is injected beneath the skin’s surface, it acts like a cushion, filling in hollow areas, smoothing out wrinkles, and restoring lost volume. The hyaluronic acid in the filler attracts water, which helps maintain hydration and a youthful fullness in the treated area.

Comparing Treatment Areas

The choice between these treatments depends on individual goals, the areas to be treated, and the desired outcome.

Neurotoxin Injections

With the treated muscles relaxed, the skin overlying them becomes smoother. This treatment is especially effective at targeting:

  • Smile lines
  • Marionette lines
  • Frown lines
  • Crow’s feet
  • Forehead wrinkles
  • Neck bands

Doctors may also recommend Botox treatment for migraines, Bruxism, excessive sweating, and other conditions.

Dermal Fillers

In addition to their use in treating static wrinkles, dermal fillers can also be used to fill in shallow areas of the face and soften scars. Here are the most common areas of the face dermal fillers are best at treating:

  • Smile lines
  • Cheeks
  • Jawline and chin
  • Marionette lines
  • Under-eye hollows
  • Lips
  • Temples

 A man receives a lip-plumping treatment

Botox vs. Fillers for Lips

When it comes to enhancing the lips, the choice between neurotoxin injections and fillers hinges on the desired outcome.

Botox is typically not used directly in the lips, but can be employed to treat issues like “gummy smiles” by relaxing the upper lip muscles. This treatment is known as a “lip flip.”

Lip fillers, on the other hand, are designed to add immediate and noticeable volume. They are the preferred option for “plumping” the lips, defining the lip borders, and reducing the appearance of fine lines around the mouth.

Your choice ultimately depends on whether you seek fullness, definition, or are addressing a more specific lip concern.

Comparing Duration of Results

Neurotoxin Injections

One potential downside to neurotoxin injections is that results have a gradual onset, taking several days to a week to become fully visible. However, this also means the results gradually fade as the neurotoxin is naturally metabolized in the body. On average, the effects of neurotoxin injections can last three to six months, meaning its recommended to schedule regular maintenance treatments in order to sustain results over time.

Dermal Fillers

Unlike botulinum toxin, this treatment grants immediate results, with noticeable improvements as soon as the filler is injected. The duration of results with dermal fillers varies based on the type of filler used, the treatment area, and other factors specific to the individual. Some fillers can last several months, while others may provide results for up to two years. Similar to neurotoxins, maintenance treatments are necessary in order to sustain results as the filler gradually breaks down over time.

Neurotoxin Injections Dermal Fillers
Targets dynamic wrinkles ✔️
Manages static wrinkles ✔️
Treats loss of volume ✔️
Instant results ✔️
Short procedure ✔️ ✔️
Minimally invasive ✔️ ✔️
More budget-friendly ✔️

Schedule Your Free Botox or Filler Consultation

Now that you’ve uncovered the differences between neurotoxin injections and dermal filler injections, it’s time to map out your skincare goals.

At Harmony Med Spa, we specialize in customized treatment plans that enhance your natural beauty. From the moment you contact us to the actual treatment and aftercare, every step of the way, our clients are treated like part of the family.

Check our monthly promotions for amazing deals on Botox, fillers, and more!