Botox & Soft Tissue Fillers

What are Botox soft tissue fillers?

Also called dermal fillers, Botox soft tissue fillers are injectable skin implants that replace lost volume under the skin and restore plumpness to the skin. These gel-like substances reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines as well as add volume to areas like the lips and cheekbones. Botox soft tissue filler treatments fall under a dermatological treatment. Unlike more permanent cosmetic procedures, Botox soft tissue fillers are temporary. The effects of the fillers last anywhere from a few months to a year, often requiring multiple treatments to maintain the anti-aging effect. 

Botox soft tissue fillers are very common and are a popular treatment option for signs of aging in the skin. Working with a dermatologist, you can discover what fillers would be most effective for your skin type. The FDA has approved a variety of ingredients for fillers, but not all Botox soft tissue fillers are approved by the FDA. It is important to know which types of fillers to use to avoid any unapproved treatments, which can pose a higher risk to the individual. 

What are the uses for Botox soft tissue fillers?

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Anti-aging treatments are common uses for Botox soft tissue fillers. The results tend to appear shortly after the treatment, making them a desirable option for anti-aging. The most popular treatments that use fillers are the following: 

  • Reducing fine lines in the face, especially around the eyes and mouth
  • Plumping lips 
  • Filling in deeper wrinkle lines around the face
  • Adding volume to the cheeks, forehead, and cheekbones
  • Reducing the appearance of scars

Fillers can be a versatile treatment option and can be used in a variety of anti-aging applications but also for other medical conditions. The FDA lists the approved and unapproved uses of dermal fillers for adults of 21 years or older. Approved applications include temporary fillers for facial wrinkles and folds, augmentation of the lips, cheeks, or chin, correction of facial scarring, and restoration of facial fat loss for people with HIV. 

Examples of unapproved uses of dermal fillers include the augmentation of breasts, buttocks, or feet. In addition, the use of fillers as implants into bone and surrounding ligaments and areas of the face, like the eyebrows, nose, and neck are unapproved. 

What are the side effects of Botox soft tissue fillers?

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Botox soft tissue fillers have common side effects that occur within 1 to 2 weeks of the treatment as well as some rarer side effects

Common Side Effects Around the Injection Site:

The following list of side effects are most common immediately after the treatment or within a few days of treatment. Most often, these side effects are not dangerous and should clear within 2 weeks. 

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pain 
  • Bruising
  • Itching
  • Rash 

Rare Side Effects: 

While uncommon, the following rare side effects are important to know as they may pose harm to your health. If you experience any of these side effects following a dermal filler treatment, seek medical attention immediately. 

  • Infection
  • Nodules around the injection site
  • Sight impairment or blindness 
  • Weakness or pain on one side of the body

Are there any risks of Botox soft tissue fillers?

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There are important risks of Botox soft tissue fillers to consider before electing this treatment option. While both Botox and fillers are safe and have FDA approval, there are still risks. Doctors do not recommend Botox or dermal fillers for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. 

  • Severe allergic reaction: Some people may be allergic to the ingredients in the injectables. A severe allergic reaction can send someone into anaphylactic shock that requires immediate medical attention. It is important to thoroughly discuss the potential of an allergic reaction with your doctor before any procedure. 
  • Unauthorized fillers or administrators: One risk to consider is the risk of unauthorized administrators of the fillers. Make sure your doctor has the right qualifications. Also, be sure to get the injectables in a medical office and avoid a spa, salon, or private homes as these locations are more likely to use unapproved injectables or be under qualified to inject the fillers. 
  • Migration or leakage: A potential risk of injectables is that the fillers will migrate from the site of injection or leak into the surrounding area or through the skin. 
  • Unintended injection into blood vessels: A risk of injectables is an unintended injection into the blood vessels. This is the most concerning risk of dermal fillers because such an injection can lead to blocked blood vessels and impacted supply to tissue. This occurrence is not common, but it is still very serious and possible. In addition, the injury to the blood vessels can cause necrosis, vision abnormalities, or stroke. 

Death: In very extreme and rare cases, death may result from Botox soft tissue fillers.

How do doctors administer Botox soft tissue fillers?

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Before the actual soft tissue filler procedure, your dermatologist will have a consultation with you to determine which type of filler will work best for your needs. There are multiple types of fillers approved for use, so your doctor will ensure that you do not have any allergies that would interact with the fillers. The main list of approved ingredients for fillers include the following:

  • Polyalkylimide (brand name Aquamid)
  • Polylactic acid (brand name Sculptra)
  • Calcium hydroxylapatite (brand name Radiesse)
  • Hyaluronic acid (brand names Captique, Esthélis, Elevess, Hylaform, Juvederm, Perlane, Prevelle, Puragen, and Restylane)
  • Polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres (brand name Bellafill)

During this initial consultation, your doctor will determine the best treatment plan and explain what to expect during and after the procedure. The procedure itself takes place in the doctor’s office. Your doctor will inject the fillers in the targeted locations. To help with possible discomfort, your doctor may apply ice or a topical numbing agent to dull any pain. You may need to return for subsequent appointments to finish the filling injections. 

The recovery process for Botox soft tissue fillers is quite simple. You may experience some side effects after the injections, but you will be able to return to your normal activities and skincare right after the procedure. The effect of the filler may take some time to appear. Since these anti-aging treatments are temporary, you may need to have follow up treatments if you wish to have the fillers. 

What is the difference between Botox and soft tissue fillers?

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Botox and soft tissue fillers are two types of injectables formulated to address signs of aging in the skin. While they serve a similar purpose and have some aspects in common, they do have differences that set them apart. 

The main difference between the two treatments is their targeted use for anti-aging. Botox acts as a muscle paralyzer that blocks nerve signals to the muscles in areas around the eyes and mouth to relax these muscles. This nerve-blocking effect freezes the muscles to prevent wrinkles from forming and makes the surface of the skin appear smooth. Botox comes in a serum form, which takes time to interact with the muscles. After the initial injection, the serum takes up to 2 weeks for results. The anti-aging effects of Botox last from 3 to 5 months. 

Whereas Botox acts as a muscle relaxer, dermal fillers add back lost volume to the face. The gel-like fillers treat deep wrinkles and volume loss in the face by mimicking the body’s natural plumpness from collagen and subcutaneous fat that decrease as you age. You can immediately see the results of soft tissue fillers once in place. The effect of the fillers lasts 8 to 12 months after the initial injection. 

Both Botox and soft tissue fillers are minimally invasive procedures. For each treatment, your doctor can inject the treatment in the office. The recovery time is the same for both and should not interfere with your daily life. Botox and soft tissue fillers are a less permanent alternative to surgery that still help you achieve a natural look. 

Should you combine Botox and soft tissue fillers?

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Botox is best for dynamic wrinkles which are wrinkled caused by repeated facial movements such as smiling, frowning, and squinting. Dermal fillers work to smooth out static, deeper wrinkles which are present on the face without any movements as well as restoring volume to the face to help fill out the face and its contours. 

Many people ask if they can combine Botox and soft tissue fillers for their anti-aging treatment. Since each type of treatment offers their own effects, some wish to use both to address their concerns. You can have both at the same time, and the two fillers can work together to accomplish the results you are seeking. Your doctor may recommend Botox for one area of the face and tissue fillers in another. Both types of fillers are administered in the doctor’s office and can be injected at the same time.

How effective are Botox and soft tissue fillers?

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Botox and soft tissue fillers are a safe and common form of anti-aging treatment. The effects of the treatments work best with repeated injections, but some may not choose to continue treatments if they do not like the results. Since both are temporary treatments, the effects can wear off with time, and you can choose to continue or stop injections.