Dermal fillers vs anti-wrinkle injections – what’s the difference?

It’s no secret that the world of anti-ageing is growing at a rapid pace. But with new products and techniques emerging daily, it can be difficult to distinguish fact from fad.

Fillers have received widespread attention in recent years, with Kylie Jenner’s famous smile hitting international headlines. Yet amid all the pout plumping chaos which subsequently ensued, many people were left confused about the difference between dermal fillers and wrinkle reducing injectables.

Dermal fillers

The ‘radiant glow’ associated with being young and healthy is often put down to the fullness and smooth, plump contours evident in the upper, lower and mid-face regions. In seeking to restore this glow, practitioners often call on one or more of a variety of dermal fillers that can be injected under the skin to smooth and fill deep folds and lines.

Dermal fillers are gel-like substances injected into these areas to plump out wrinkles and smooth the face. They are also used to restore volume to the face where tissue has degenerated with age, or where lipoatrophy (fat loss triggered by disease) has caused the cheeks to collapse.

Fillers can also be used to fill pockmarks and acne scars, contour or reshape facial features, add volume to lips and cheeks. More permanent fillers can even be used to reshape the nose and jaw line, to create a more balanced and harmonious face shape.

There are a multitude of different fillers on the market that range in longevity, composition and viscosity, and this can be quite confusing. While a cosmetic doctor is the best person to advise on the most suitable filler for specific needs, it’s important to educate yourself before the consultation. This will ensure you feel more comfortable and confident when it comes to discussing options.

Anti-wrinkle injections

Anti-wrinkle injections are an effective non-surgical alternative for reducing lines such as frown lines and wrinkles, to rejuvenate the appearance of the face and help reverse a prematurely aged appearance. As a muscle relaxant, botulinum toxin is commonly used to treat frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines) and the worry lines across the forehead, as well as crow’s feet around the eyes.

In addition, it can be used to produce the effect of a brow lift by relaxing the muscles that drag down the brow. A few tiny injections are administered into the correct muscles just under the skin, reducing nerve stimulation to the targeted muscles.

The procedure usually takes about 10 minutes, but this can vary depending on the number of areas being treated. The effects are not obvious immediately after treatment and, over the next few days, the muscles remain in a relaxed state, and it often takes around three to four days for final results to become visible, normally reaching their full results by one week. For example, after treatment for lines on the forehead patients are physically unable to frown, preventing the dynamic wrinkles that are usually present.

It is important to note that anti-wrinkle injections are gradually reabsorbed by the body over time; so repeat injections are necessary about every three to five months in order to maintain results. With continued use, the effects may start to last longer because the targeted muscles have ‘unlearned’ the response that originally contributed to the development of the lines.