Dermal Filler for Face or Botox: What’s the Difference?

Posted on June 9, 2022

Botox and dermal fillers can both treat wrinkles.

Botox and dermal fillers are commonly used treatments administered by injections, often at a clinic. They are minimally invasive, which means they do not require surgery.
Botox contains microorganisms that cause muscles to freeze. Botox can therefore assist to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles produced by facial emotions.

On the other hand, a dermal filler is injectable. They are made of substances that provide volume to places that have thinned with age. This thinning is most frequent in the cheeks, lips, and the area surrounding the mouth. People should have realistic expectations of what they are capable of.

But what exactly are the differences between Botox and dermal fillers?

In this article, I will talk about dermal fillers, Botox, and the differences between them.

What Are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal or soft tissue fillers are substances injected into the face, beneath the surface of the skin to increase volume and fullness. They are a great alternative to plastic surgery.

Dermal fillers typically differ in terms of how long they take to function and how long they last. Some fillers last for six months, while others last up to a year.

Each of them is intended to treat various signs of ageing or other aesthetic and medical concerns.

Since filler treatments work in different ways, you should discuss your needs and expectations with a cosmetic doctor like Dr. Julian De Silva to see which filler best suits you.

Substances In Dermal Fillers

Here are the common substances facial fillers include:

Poly L Lactic Acid (PLLA)

Since 2004, PLLA is an FDA-approved fillers treatment for thinning fat pads on the face. Later on, in 2009, it was FDA approved to improve the appearance of nasolabial folds, contour modifications, and other facial wrinkles.

Moreover, the fat, muscles, bone, and skin in our faces begin to diminish as we age. This loss of volume causes the face to seem sunken or drooping.

Injectable poly l lactic acid is used to give the face structure, a framework, and volume. PLLA is also a bio-stimulatory filler. This means it encourages your skin’s own collagen production.

Collagen is crucial to maintaining your youthful appearance Hence, having more collagen means looking younger.

PLLA is then broken down by your skin into water and carbon dioxide over time. The effects of PLLA are gradual. It produces natural results over a few months.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a form of transitory filler. It is naturally occurring throughout the body, with the largest amounts found in the joints, eyes, and skin. Hyaluronic acid draws water into the skin, allowing it to become more hydrated.

Fillers include HA injections to treat fine lines, wrinkle, fat loss, and other facial creases. It also adds structure, framework, and volume to different parts of the face such as the cheeks and lips. The benefits of injectable hyaluronic acid are instantly noticeable.


Plastic surgeons frequently use polyalkylimide, a semi-permanent filler. They use the injections to treat deep wrinkle such as folds and depressed scars. They also use it to plump thin lips, enhance the cheekbones and jawline, and rebuild face volume lost due to ageing.

In addition, polyalkylimide has relatively low reactivity with human flesh, making it biocompatible and eliminating the need for an allergy test.

Over the course of roughly a month, a thin coating of collagen grows surrounding the injection. Eventually, the gel is completely encircled. A big amount can be injected in a single operation. This product, which is regarded to be fairly stable over time, can even be eliminated if required.

Calcium Hydroxylapatite

The skin, bones, fat, and muscles in our faces begin to diminish and change as we age. These alterations cause face creases, folds, and laxity.

Calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) injections are an FDA-authorised filler. It is used to enhance the look of moderate to severe facial creases and folds.

It can also be used to treat the symptoms of face fat loss caused by HIV infection. CaHA is available in both lidocaine and non-lidocaine formulations. Lidocaine is an anaesthetic that is used to alleviate discomfort and increase patient comfort during the injection procedure.

Polymethyl-Methacrylate Microspheres (PMMA)

PMMA was licensed by the FDA in 2006 to treat nasolabial folds or smile lines.

Moreover, this substance was recently approved by the FDA to treat moderate to severe facial acne scars on the cheeks. This makes it the only injectable filler for acne scars authorised by the FDA.

Prior to its approval, alternative acne scarring therapies included laser resurfacing, chemical peeling, and dermabrasion.

What Is Botox?

Botox is a pure type of botulinum toxin derived from microorganisms. Though it is lethal and causes tissue death in higher doses, the modest, controlled amount of Botox can be used to treat a wrinkle. In addition, Botox has been used safely as a cosmetic treatment for decades.

Moreover, Botox on Harley Street and other botulinum toxin-based therapies are frequently referred to as neuromodulators or neurotoxins. While they have the term toxin with them, Botox is perfectly safe to use.

In particular, Botox works by preventing nerve impulses from being sent to the muscles where it is injected. When such nerve signals are disrupted, the injured muscle becomes paralysed or locked for a short period of time. A certain wrinkle can be smoothed, minimised, or even erased without moving these specific muscles in the face.

Botox is a common cost-effective procedure for treating wrinkles.

Botox is a common cost-effective procedure for treating wrinkles.

What Are Facial Fillers?

Facial fillers such as dermal fillers or Botox are compounds that are injected into the skin to smooth out a wrinkle and make it less visible. Injection of a face filler is often performed as an outpatient treatment using numbing drugs. The procedure might take 15 minutes to one hour to complete.

For up to a week after the fillers treatment, you may have slight pain, bruising, and swelling. After the swelling has subsided, you may require a touch-up injection for the best results. The duration of the impact is determined by the type of filler used, among other things.

Differences Between Dermal Fillers and Botox

Injectables are quite popular for enhancing your look without surgery. Injectables are chemicals that, when injected into the skin with a syringe, bolster muscles or fill up the skin, making a wrinkle and fine lines less visible.

Botox and dermal or soft tissue fillers are both injectables that are administered with a needle.

The primary distinction between Botox and filler treatments is that Botox is intended to eliminate lines and a wrinkle by paralysing the underlying muscles. On the other hand, dermal fillers are used to fill in a wrinkle.

In summary, the following are the differences between Botox and fillers:


Botox temporarily paralyses muscles to prevent creases and wrinkles produced by facial expressions. These are most typically found on the top face, such as the brow and around the eyes.

On the other hand, dermal fillers use hyaluronic acid and other similar chemicals to fill in or plump regions of the skin that have lost volume and smoothness. These include creases around the mouth, thin lip, and hollow cheeks. They may also be used to fill in wrinkles on the forehead, scars, and other places that need more volume for a smoother appearance.

Duration of Effects

The effects of Botox can last for up to five months. On the other hand, the outcomes of dermal fillers can last for up to 12 months.

Duration of Treatment

A Botox treatment typically lasts for 15 minutes. On the other hand, a filler treatment lasts for up to 30 minutes.

How Long Effects Show

The results of a filler injections treatment are immediately visible. On the other hand, the results of Botox may take up to three days to show.

Which Is Better: Dermal Fillers or Botox

Botox produces apparent results for the majority of patients after a week or two of the procedure, with just mild side effects. These side effects include redness, swelling, and bruising.

Hence, it’s crucial to tell your board certified cosmetic doctor about any existing conditions you may have. Before proceeding with the treatment, your board certified doctor will inform you of any potential risks.

Furthermore, there is no downtime with Botox treatments. You may resume your normal everyday activities. Botox’s full effects will be visible and felt for around four months, perhaps longer. After a certain period of time, you will require extra maintenance treatments.

Dermal fillers are just as effective as Botox. More significantly, the outcomes typically last longer. The duration of the effects of fillers, on the other hand, varies greatly depending on the type of filler.

Just like Botox, a filler treatment has side effects as well. Side effects include sensitivity, minimal pain, and redness. However, these side effects are temporary.

Some fillers can stay as long as Botox, while others can last for more than a year. When the fillers’ effects wear off, you’ll need more cosmetic procedures to keep the results.
When deciding between Botox and fillers, you should first determine the skin condition that needs to be addressed and the area of your face that needs to be treated. It’s also a good idea to talk to your cosmetic doctor or plastic surgeon about it.

Since Botox and fillers are different substances made for various purposes, they can be mixed sometimes. For example, you can use Botox in London to smooth the lines between your eyes and fillers to get rid of lines around your mouth.


Remember that Botox in London, UK and dermal fillers work differently. They are also often administered in distinct regions of the face. However, they can be combined as complementary treatments to get your desired outcomes.

Do you want to talk to a board certified, reputable, and experienced cosmetic doctor? Book a consultation with Dr. Julian De Silva now!

Dr. Julian De Silva, Medical Director

About the Author

Dr Julian De Silva is a leading facial plastic surgeon that specialises only in surgical and non-surgical facial procedures. Dr. De Silva has considerable experience in cosmetic and reconstructive facial surgery from fellowships in London, Los Angeles, and New York. He is one of a handful of elite surgeons to be recognised with British, European and American qualifications, memberships and board certification.

About Dr De Silva | Dr Julian De Silva's Google Scholar

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