Smiling middle aged man getting a Botox injection on his forehead

Botox vs Dermal Fillers: Which Treatment is Right for You in London?

Dr Mark ListerClinic update

Have you looked in the mirror lately and noticed a few wrinkles or fine lines? If so, you’ve probably considered getting Botox or dermal filler treatment in London to correct the creases. And if you’re not sure which treatment is right for you, we’re here to help.

As we age, the environment and the effects of time take their toll on our skin, leading to wrinkles, fine lines, and loss of volume. While aging is a natural process, there are a variety of cosmetic treatment options that can help reduce the signs and restore your youthful appearance.

Botox and dermal fillers have become increasingly popular in recent years and are now some of the most common cosmetic procedures performed globally. While both treatments are effective for achieving a more youthful look, they work in different ways and are designed to address different concerns. To help you decide on the right treatment for your skin concerns, we’ll review everything you need to know about Botox and dermal fillers, including the differences, benefits and how they work.

What is Botox and How Does it Work?

Botox is a brand name for a form of botulinum toxin—a type of neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botox is used as a cosmetic treatment to temporarily reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It can also treat dynamic wrinkles caused by the repeated movement of facial muscles, such as:

How Exactly Does Botox Work?

Botox works by temporarily blocking the signals between the nerve endings and the muscles, thereby preventing the muscles from contracting. When Botox is injected into a muscle, it binds to the nerve endings, inhibiting the release of acetylcholine–a neurotransmitter responsible for sending signals from the nerves to the muscles, causing them to contract.

When the muscles don’t contract, the wrinkles and lines caused by repetitive facial expressions, such as frowning or squinting, are temporarily smoothed out. The result is smoother skin with a more youthful appearance.

NOTE: Only a trained medical professional should perform Botox injections, as it’s a prescription medication. The effects of the treatment typically last for three to six months, and after this time, the treatment will need to be repeated to maintain the desired results.

What is a Dermal Filler and How Does it Work?

Dermal fillers are gel-like substances containing hyaluronic acid that enhance facial appearance by adding volume and smoothing out wrinkles and fine lines. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring molecule in the skin that hydrates the skin and provides natural plumpness. 

To better understand how fillers work, we must first understand the role of hyaluronic acid. 

With age, the levels of hyaluronic acid in the skin reduces. This causes volume loss, especially around the cheeks, chin, and under the eyes. As a result, the skin sags and facial creases begin to form. 

Dermal fillers work by increasing the levels of hyaluronic acid in the skin, thereby replenishing lost volume. Once the filler is injected into the targeted area, it adds volume and smooths out wrinkles and fine lines, restoring the skin’s youthful appearance.

Types of Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are made of different substances and used to treat different facial areas. The two most common hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are Juvederm® and Restylane

Other types of dermal fillers include:

  • Sculptra- Made of Poly-L-lactic acid
  • Radiesse- Contains calcium hydroxylapatite
  • Bellafill- Permanent soft tissue filler that can’t be absorbed by the body and requires no reinjection

What Are the Differences Between Botox and Dermal Fillers?

The main differences between Botox and dermal fillers lie in:

  • The treatment’s working mechanism; Botox freezes the muscle while fillers plump and hydrate the skin
  • How long the results last: Fillers last longer depending on the type of filler used
  • Treatment cost; The costs vary depending on the condition being treated and quantity of treatment

Here’s a closer look at the differences. 

How Long Do the Results From Botox and Dermal Fillers Last?

Botox treatments last between three to four months before the neurotoxin wears off and the muscle regains function. With an affordable Botox London practitioner, you can schedule a repeat visit before the neurotoxin completely wears off to maintain your results.

Results from a dermal filler treatment can last up to 18 months, depending on the type of filler used. Most dermal fillers are made of substances that the body can gradually break down and absorb naturally. This means that the results from hyaluronic acid dermal filler treatments are not permanent, since the body absorbs it over time. Repeat treatments are necessary to maintain the results.

Can Botox and Dermal Fillers Be Used Together?

Botox and dermal fillers can be used together to target different areas of the face. For a complete facial rejuvenation, your physician may administer Botox around the forehead and around the eyes and dermal fillers around the cheeks and chin to give you a fuller look.

In addition, using both treatments may prolong the results. Hyaluronic acid in dermal fillers breaks down quickly and sometimes during a dermal filler treatment, up to 30% can be absorbed on impact. Using Botox treatment to relax the muscle before getting a dermal filler injection reduces the absorption rate of hyaluronic acid, thereby reducing the quantity of filler required and may also prolong the results.

Woman lying down as a dermal filler specialist touches her cheek
Consulting a dermal filler specialist

What Are the Side Effects of Botox and Dermal Fillers Treatment?

Botox and fillers are generally safe when administered by a licensed medical professional. However, as with any medical procedure, there are potential risks and side effects associated with Botox and fillers.

Common side effects of Botox include:

  • Bruising or swelling at the injection site
  • Headache
  • Nausea

Serious side effects of Botox are rare, but they can include:

  • Drooping eyelids or eyebrows
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Spread of the Botox to other parts of the body

Common side effects of fillers include:

  • Bruising or swelling at the injection site
  • Redness
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Infection
  • Nodules or lumps under the skin

Serious side effects of fillers are rare, but they can include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Blindness
  • Scarring
  • Skin necrosis (death of skin tissue)

It’s important to have a thorough consultation with a medical professional before undergoing any Botox or dermal filler treatment. Your doctor will discuss the treatment’s potential risks and side effects and determine if it’s right for you.

Closeup of a Botox London injection right above a man’s eyebrow
Botox London treatment above the brow

How Are Botox and Fillers Administered?

The process of receiving Botox injections and dermal fillers involves the following steps:

  1. Consultation: Before receiving Botox or dermal fillers, you will speak to one of our trained doctors and discuss your concerns and goals. The doctor will evaluate your skin and muscle structure to determine the right treatment for you. You can then schedule a treatment session or have it performed on the same day if you’re comfortable. 
  2. Preparation: Before the procedure, your doctor will clean the area to be treated and may apply a local anaesthetic (lidocaine) to minimize discomfort if necessary.
  3. Injection: Botox is injected directly into the targeted muscles using a fine needle, while dermal fillers are injected directly into the skin. Botox and dermal filler procedures are fairly quick and take about 30 minutes to an hour to complete.
  4. Recovery and discharge: Botox and dermal filler treatments have little to no downtime. This means that you can be discharged 30 minutes after the procedure and return to your normal activities immediately after the treatment.
  5. Follow-up session: Your doctor will schedule a follow-up session within two weeks of your treatment to examine the results and perform touch-ups if necessary.

It’s vital to have a thorough consultation with a medical professional before undergoing any Botox or dermal filler treatment, as there are potential risks associated with the procedure.

What Kind of Results Can I Expect From Dermal Fillers or Botox in London?

Results from a Botox treatment can be seen as early as three to four days after the treatment. However, maximum results often take up to 14 days to show. On the other hand, dermal filler treatment results are visible immediately after the treatment. The full effects may take up to 14 days as the filler takes time to fully settle in the targeted area.

Woman smiling up at her doctor after getting dermal fillers
Smiling after a filler injection

What is the Recovery Process After Receiving Botox and Dermal Fillers?

The recovery process after Botox injection and dermal filler treatment are quick and short. Most people able to return to their normal activities immediately after the treatment. You may experience mild swelling and redness at the injection sites after the treatment, but these will resolve within a few hours to a day.

Bruising at the injection site after Botox or dermal filler treatment is relatively uncommon, but may occur in some people. If you do experience bruising, it should resolve within a few days. Others may also experience a headache after Botox treatment, which resolves on its own within a few hours to a day.

What to Do After Botox and Filler Treatment

Within the first 24 hours of a Botox or dermal filler treatment, doctors ask that patients avoid:

  • Touching the face to prevent infection
  • Strenuous exercises or excessive heat to prevent the treatment from migrating from the injected site
  • Taking alcohol to prevent bruising: Alcohol is a blood thinner and may cause or worsen bruising on the injection site

What is the Cost of Botox in London?

Botox treatments in London cost between £230-£400, but can be higher depending on the dosage and the number of areas that require treatment.  Some clinics will charge men a higher price because of the higher dosage required  due to the higher muscle mass men typically have campared to women. However, at Face Clinic London, we do not charge men higher prices, and charge according to how many areas are treated, rather than the dosage required.

Other factors that may determine the cost of treatment is the location of the clinic, the practitioner’s skill set and level of experience. Getting treatment from a trained medical professional may cost more, but it helps reduce the risk of complications. In addition, certified medical professionals have medical indemnity (insurance cover) to protect patients.

What is the Cost of Dermal Fillers in London?

Dermal filler prices in London range between £230-£1,200 depending on: 

  • Type of filler used
  • Quantity of the filler
  • Treatment area; neck/face etc
  • Number of treatment areas
  • Desired results

Dermal fillers have multiple uses, from treating facial creases to plumping lips and other parts of the body. After your initial consultation, your doctor will make a recommendation on the areas that require treatment and type of filler to help you determine the total cost. 

Botox or Dermal Fillers: Which Is Right for Me?

One of the most popular uses for Botox and dermal fillers is for smoothing out wrinkles and fine lines. Botox treatments only wok for wrinkles and fine lines caused by muscle movement, such as:

  • Crows feet from squinting
  • Forehead lines from frowning
  • Laugh lines from smiling

Facial creases caused by sagging or loss of volume are better treated with dermal fillers, these include:

  • Nasolabial folds
  • Wrinkles under the eyes
  • Static wrinkles on the lower face

In some cases, your doctor may recommend getting both Botox and filler treatment to correct all facial creases for a more rejuvenated look.

How Do I Choose a Qualified and Experienced Practitioner for Botox or Dermal Fillers in London?

The popularity of cosmetic treatments have created an opportunity for fraudulent doctors who capitalise on patients’ lack of knowledge. To avoid ending up with a botched procedure, it’s important to carry out due diligence and ensure you get your treatment from a trained, licensed and experienced health practitioner. Here are some tips to help you choose a qualified Botox and filler practitioner in London:

  • Find a clinic that specialises in cosmetic procedures. Botox London best practitioners are specialised in cosmetic/aesthetic medicine and wil provide you with quality service.
  • Ask if the practitioners are licenced or board certified
  • Ask if the practitioners are insured to protect you in case something gores wrong
  • Check the clinic’s reputation from Botox London reviews. While reviews may not always be accurate, they can guide you away from clinic’s with a bad reputation.
  • Choose a clinic that offers free follow-up service. This provides an extra layer of “security” that the doctors are interested in making sure they completed the service.
  • Compare the prices against the industry average. Unusually lower rates than the average Botox price in London may be a red flag.

Turn the Hands of Time at Face Clinic London

We all dream of ageing gracefully, but sometimes the hands of time can be cruel to our skin. Botox and filler treatments can help even out those facial creases, giving you back that youthful glow.

All cosmetic treatments at Face Clinic London are carried out by fully qualified doctors. We strive to uphold all ethical standards and provide professional care for all clients from consultation to follow-up visits. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and speak to a doctor about your skin concerns.

Book Appointment

All treatments are carried out by our team of doctors at our London Botox clinic. Appointments can be booked online, via email or by calling our Soho clinic on 020 7851 6624 during opening hours. We are located a few minutes walk away from Carnaby Street.

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Dr Mark Lister