Neurotoxins vs. Dermal Fillers: What’s The Difference?

Published on: Apr 25, 2023 / Last Updated on: May 11, 2023 / INJECTABLES
Neurotoxins vs. Dermal Fillers: What’s The Difference?

When it comes to enhancing one's facial features, there are several options available. The most popular are neurotoxin injections and dermal fillers. These treatments work to decrease signs of aging by addressing the volume and tightness of the skin. They are both fairly easy procedures that can be performed in one office visit. And they both have many benefits that extend beyond esthetic purposes.

There are many types of fillers and neurotoxins so naturally, there are many questions to ask about how effective and safe these treatments are. In this blog, we will discuss the main differences between dermal fillers and neurotoxins. Considering it’s the most popular neurotoxin on the market, and considering many other injections are very similar, we will talk only about Botox regarding neurotoxins for the sake of specificity.


woman receiving botox injection

Botox is a type of neurotoxin that is derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botox itself is not the treatment but rather the brand name for onabotulinumtoxinA. It works by inhibiting the nerve cells that send signals to certain muscles to contract. Patients typically target the muscles that form lines and wrinkles when making facial expressions. This is what produces the anti-wrinkling effect of the treatment. Common treatment areas include glabellar lines, crow’s-feet, forehead wrinkles, and bunny lines.

The effects of Botox can last for up to six months, after which the procedure can be repeated to maintain the results. The procedure does not bring an immediate onset of results. Typically it takes 3 to 4 days for the effects to show up. Botox is a safe and effective treatment that has been FDA-approved since 2002, with millions of people receiving the treatment each year.


male patient getting dermal filler injection

Fillers are another type of injectable that is used to restore volume to the face, smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, and enhance the overall appearance of the skin. They are made from a variety of materials, including hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite, and poly-L-lactic acid. Fillers are commonly used to address concerns such as hollow cheeks, thin lips, and deep wrinkles.

The procedure involves injecting a gel-like substance into the skin. This substance then restores the lost volume and gives the skin a smoother, fuller look. The results are immediate and can last anywhere from six months to two years, depending on the type of filler used. The two most popular dermal fillers are Sculptra and Radiesse. Read more to learn about all the FDA-approved and unapproved uses of dermal fillers.

Botox vs Fillers: The Key Differences

The most obvious difference between Botox and dermal fillers is the areas of the face they’re targeting and what exactly they’re augmenting. Botox is best for addressing wrinkles and lines on the face such as forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet, and marionette lines. Dermal fillers are great for restoring volume to the face and giving the skin a fuller, more youthful look. Fillers can be used for augmenting lips, cheeks, chin, jawline, and more.

There are more differences between these treatments when also considering their longevity. In most cases, one treatment of Botox will produce the desired effects for about 3 to 4 months, then follow-up treatments will be necessary to maintain them. On the other hand, dermal fillers can last anywhere from 1 to 2 years, but having a follow-up treatment every 6 to 12 months will help maintain the results longer. Another thing to consider is the permanency of each treatment. Once Botox is injected, it can’t be removed manually. You will just have to wait for the neurotoxin to slowly degrade in your system. However, fillers can be removed by dissolving the substance with an enzyme called hyaluronidase.

These treatments also carry added benefits that can aid esthetic and therapeutic treatment. Certain types of fillers contain the biodegradable substances, calcium hydroxylapatite and poly-L-lactic acid, which both have the ability to stimulate the natural production of collagen. Collagen serves many different purposes, one of which includes giving the skin structure, strength, and elasticity. Around the age of 30, our collagen levels start to deplete causing the skin to lose its volume and elasticity which makes fine lines and wrinkles more visible. There are also therapeutic purposes for Botox including relieving migraines, muscle stiffness, chronic lower back pain, and more. Read more to learn about therapeutic Botox.

In terms of safety, both Botox and fillers are considered safe when administered by a qualified and experienced healthcare professional. However, there are some potential risks associated with both treatments, including infection, allergic reactions, and bruising.


Overall, Botox and fillers are both effective treatments for enhancing one's facial features. The choice between the two largely depends on your individual concerns and goals. If you are looking to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, Botox is the better option. However, if you are looking to add volume and contour to your face, fillers are the better choice. When considering either treatment, it is important to do your research and find a qualified and experienced healthcare professional who can help you achieve the best possible results. With the help of experts at M Health and Beauty, you can find out which treatment suits your needs best and start your journey toward achieving your beauty goals.