Should You Relax the Muscle or Fill In Volume?

Most of us don’t miss the 100-degree days of our recently completed Dallas summer. And although our fall and winter months are a far cry from Minnesota or Maine, the cooler temperatures still signal the upcoming holiday season and entertaining for family, friends, and coworkers. Many of Dr. Amirlak’s patients like to have a little help before these events, erasing or filling a wrinkle or crease here or there.

But should you have Botox or a dermal filler like Restylane? People often bunch the two together, but they are completely different in how they work, and more important to you, where they work.

Let’s have a little primer on the differences, and then you can decide whether you’d like to have a dermal filler session or a Botox session.

Botox for the expression-able face

Botox is one of the world’s most famous brand names, renowned for erasing crow’s feet, the 11s between the eyebrows, and forehead lines. What do those three problem areas have in common? They are all on the upper third of the face, the area where we create expressions. That’s where the FDA approved Botox for cosmetic use.

That’s because Botox works by relaxing muscles. When Botox is injected into a muscle it temporarily stops that muscle from contracting for a period of about four months. On the upper third of the face we use muscles around our eyes, between the brows, and across the forehead to form expressions such as frowning or showing surprise. Over time, and hundreds of thousands of these expressions, wrinkles form on the surface skin above the contracting muscles. These are called “dynamic” wrinkles. When Botox is injected into the muscle below the wrinkle it relaxes the muscle so the wrinkle on the skin above doesn’t form.

Dermal fillers for the mid to lower face

OK, so that takes care of the upper portion of the face. On the mid to lower face, muscle contractions don’t form your creases and wrinkles. Those form due to declining collagen production (particularly evident in areas such as the cheeks, which lose volume and flatten), sun damage, personal habits such as smoking, and other factors. These are known as “static” wrinkles, and they show themselves at all times; they have nothing to do with muscles under the skin.

Dermal fillers, such as the Restylane line we carry at Dr. Amirlak’s, work on static wrinkles. When our trained injectors inject a dermal filler under a crease or area of volume loss, the dermal filler simply fills in the area and pushes the skin back up. That erases the wrinkle or fills the area such as the cheeks. Unlike Botox, which is a single product, dermal fillers have different products for different areas. For instance, Restylane is great for smile and marionette lines. Restylane Silk is designed only for use on the lips to add volume and shape.

There, now you know how to choose your injectable — what do you think you want to address heading into the Dallas party season? Of course, you could use Botox and Restylane or Juvederm, as they are complementary of each since they work on different areas of the face!

Call Dr. Amirlak and our team at (214) 974-4948 to make your appointment.

Posted in: Botox

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