Botox vs dermal fillers: a comprehensive guide

No one wants to look old and no one wants to have wrinkles on the face, so people these days do all sorts of things to have a youthful look. Injectables are nowadays very popular in the field of non-surgical cosmetic procedures. And if you have been considering a cosmetic treatments to get rid of wrinkles, you might have found yourself trying to choose between Botox and fillers.young woman with youthful face with 3 small images showing signs of aging on her face before having Botox or fillers

While both of them are delivered via injection and used to treat your facial wrinkles, it would be wrong to think that they are similar. Botox is a muscle relaxer that is used to treat wrinkles caused by muscle movement. Dermal fillers, on the other hand, are injected under the skin to add more volume and make the skin look fuller.

Botox is the best choice to reduce wrinkles that appear because of the movement of the face. Fillers are used for stimulating the production of collagen in the skin. Both of the procedures are painless and do not need anesthesia. However, you can ask for local anesthesia if you are worried about the pain of injections. Both of them are temporary treatments that will last for only a specific period of time depending on the type and quality of the material used.

What are Botox and dermal fillers?

Botox is a short name for ‘botulinum toxin’. It is a neurotoxin produced by a bacterium, used in plastic surgery as a muscle relaxer to treat dynamic wrinkles due to its effect on the muscles.

Dermal fillers, on the other hand, are gel-like materials. As the name suggests they are injected under the skin to regain the loss in volume caused by age.

Differences between Botox and fillers

The differences between the 2 procedures prevent us from considering them alternatives for each other. They are different in the way they work and in their application. Even the results they provide are different. Here is what you need to know about Botox vs fillers:

Botox vs dermal fillers procedure

Both Botox and dermal fillers injections are simple outpatient procedures usually performed without anesthesia and sometimes with local anesthesia. Botox and dermal fillers are finely injected into the target area using a syringe.

How Botox works

After injecting Botox into the skin, it starts to block the nerve signals from the targeted muscle. Blocking the signals paralyzes the muscle and freezes it. After the muscle is paralyzed the wrinkles are reduced or even completely disappear in some cases.

How cosmetic fillers work?

Dermal fillers’ composition differs from a filler to another but the basic principle remains the same. They do not have any effect on the muscles, they only compensate for the loss in volume resulting from the aging process. Even though most of the fillers nowadays use hyaluronic acid instead of collagen, some studies suggest that they may stimulate the production of collagen as well.

Botox vs dermal fillers applications

Due to the effect of Botox on the muscles, it is generally used to treat the dynamic wrinkles also known as expression lines. This includes the treatment of the creases on the forehead, the line between the eyes and those wrinkles under the eyes or at the corners of the eyes (craw’s feet). It can be also used to treat wrinkles caused by facial expressions such as smiling.

Dermal fillers are used to treat the static wrinkles caused by the loss of skin’s elasticity. This means that they can be used to treat wrinkles around the mouth and cheeks. Dermal fillers are also used to make lips look fuller. They are even used to enhance the symmetry of facial features.


Even though the results may appear different from a patient to another both of the procedures are considered very effective. If you did not notice any change after Botox injection, do not worry as it may take up to a week for the results to appear.

How natural are the results?

Well, it depends. Whether you will have a natural look or not depends on many factors like the quantity of the injectables used and the doctor’s experience. It is important that you choose a well-trained and experienced doctor for your procedure because both filler and Botox injection are delicate procedures that need great expertise to produce natural results. Make sure to discuss with the doctor and tell him what you want and expect from the surgery.

How long do the results of Botox vs fillers last?

Both of the operations provide temporary results. Botox results usually last between 4 to 6 months. As for the dermal fillers, it can be a bit complicated because it depends on the composition of the filler. Calcium hydroxylapatite fillers can last up to 18 months, collagen fillers can last up to 4 months and hyaluronic acid can last from 6 to 12 months.

There are a few types of fillers that are considered semi-permanent. These fillers are polyalkylimide, polylactic acid, and polymethylmethacrylate microspheres (PMMA), which are used for medium-to-deep folds, furrows, and wrinkles.

Risks and complications of Botox vs fillers

Botox, in general, is considered a very safe treatment. We can say that almost anyone can have a Botox. This, of course, does not mean that there are no possible side effects. Some patients may experience a headache on the first day and there might be a risk of bruising in the injection site.

Even though dermal fillers can cause more side effects than Botox, it is still considered a safe treatment. It is very rare to suffer from severe side effects and in case the patient develops one of them, it usually disappears after a week or two. The possible side effects may include bruising in the injection site and some sores and redness.

Since the allergic reaction is considered a possible side effect of the dermal fillers, it is recommended to have an allergy test beforehand. Smokers are advised to avoid getting dermal fillers.

Cost of Botox vs dermal fillers

The cost of both treatments differs from a country to another. The cost of dermal fillers or Botox injection depends on the type of filler or the brand. In general, when we compare Botox vs dermal fillers prices, we see that the cost of fillers tends to be higher than the cost of Botox.

The cost of fillers may also vary depending on the injection site. For example, treating the cheeks can be more expensive than treating the lips. Please contact AriaMedTour for a free price quote for dermal fillers and Botox injection.


In the past few years, the popularity of injectables has been rising constantly. People seem to prefer non-invasive procedures over surgeries.  In 2018 alone there were over 10 million non-surgical treatments throughout the world.

However, when it comes to comparing Botox vs dermal fillers, Botox seems to be the winner. The difference in numbers is huge now but dermal fillers are gaining popularity very quickly.


Before you choose the procedure you need to know what you expect from your procedure. If you want to get volume and fullness a filler injection is the right choice and if you want to get your winkles smoothed out go for Botox.

doctor wearing blue gloves injecting dermal fillers into the laugh line of a woman

Pregnant patients or those who are nursing are advised to postpone the Botox or filler treatment. Botox is not recommended for patients who have weak facial muscle or deep scars and they should consult with the doctor first.

Who is a good candidate for Botox?

The ideal candidates for Botox are mature patients who are physically healthy with no history of neuromuscular diseases. Good candidates also are those with realistic expectations.

Who is a good candidate for dermal fillers?

In order to consider yourself a good candidate for fillers, you should be an adult and a non-smoker. You should also be committed to maintaining good care of your skin.

Pros and cons of Botox and dermal fillers

Dermal fillers Pros

  • The procedure is fast; it usually takes 30 minutes.
  • The results appear almost instantly.
  • There is no recovery time in dermal fillers, which means you can return to your everyday activity a few hours after the procedure.
  • The procedure is not painful, which means you will not need to take any pain killers.
  • If you do not like the results it can be reversed easily.

Dermal fillers cons

  • The results are not permanent. They usually last from 6 months to 24 months.
  • You might have some side effects such as bruising, itching, and nausea.
  • In rare cases, the filler might shift (migrate) to surrounding areas.

Botox pros

  • The procedure is very fast. Most often it takes from 5 to 10 minutes.
  • The results of the Botox will appear quickly. They usually appear after a couple of days after the procedure.
  • Botox can help patients with chronic migraines. Some countries have approved the use of Botox to reduce migraines.
  • Some patients reported that Botox injections helped them to reduce excessive sweating.

Botox Cons

  • Some patients may have an allergic reaction to Botox.
  • Bruising is a common side effect after Botox injection.
  • The results are not permanent; you will have to get the procedure repeated after 6 months.

Last word

While Botox and dermal fillers are popular skin rejuvenating procedures, they may not be always good alternatives to surgery. It is important to keep your expectations realistic and consult with your surgeon about what you have in mind and what results you expect to achieve. Our consultants are also available to help you with any questions you have about Botox and dermal fillers.