Fillers versus Neuromodulators for the Holidays

While the battle isn’t as epic as Godzilla vs. Mothra or Batman vs. the Joker, there is an ongoing rivalry between different injectables. People sometimes get mixed up about the different injectables and what areas of the face they are meant to improve. Plus, there’s a difference within injectables between dermal fillers and neuromodulators.

Although during this oddest of years, we won’t have our usual social calendar chock full of events, we’ll probably still be doing some more limited getting together with friends and family. Our injectable offerings at Creative Image Laser Solutions will help you look younger by erasing and filling some lines and creases and returning lost volume. Here’s how to know which injectable is right for you.

What is a neuromodulator?

If you want to get very simplistic, you can think of neuromodulators as the ultimate muscle relaxer, except they not only relax the muscles, but actually temporarily paralyze them. The goal of these products is to stop a particular muscle from contracting. They do this by inhibiting the nerve communication, hence the term neuromodulator.

Certain wrinkles, called dynamic wrinkles, are caused by muscle contractions when we perform repetitive behaviors such as squinting and frowning. These expressions are formed mainly on the upper third of the face. Don’t believe that? Try squinting or frowning and feel which muscles accompany the action. Over time, after these muscles contract hundreds of thousands of times, when they contract they create a wrinkle on the surface skin.

Neuromodulators are made from the botulinum toxin type A. These are the same bacteria that cause botulism. During the late 1940s, research on this toxin showed that when it was injected in very miniscule amounts into a muscle the toxin temporarily stopped the muscle from contracting. They found that the botulinum toxin blocked the nerve in the muscle from sending a message to the brain to contract the muscle. Without the message, the brain didn’t send out the word to contract the muscle, so it stayed relaxed. Botox was a direct result of that research.

The FDA originally approved Botox for treatment of involuntary eyelid spasms. But Botox became a rock star in 2002 when the FDA approved it for the treatment of facial wrinkles such as crow’s feet and the 11s (the lines between the eyebrows). Botox is now one of the world’s most famous brand names and is year in and year out the world’s most performed cosmetic procedure.

Dr. Butka offers two neuromodulators, Botox and Dysport, for our Creative Image Laser Solutions patients.

What is a dermal filler?

A dermal filler takes a different approach to wrinkles. True to their name — these injectables fill the wrinkle from beneath. When skin is sun damaged or has lost volume, there is a depression on the skin surface, whether an individual wrinkle or an area of volume loss. Dermal fillers are injected directly beneath the wrinkle or area with decreased volume. The filler “fills” the space and pushes the skin back upward, erasing the wrinkle and returning volume.

Dermal fillers are either “natural” or “synthetic.” Natural fillers such as Juvéderm and Restylane are comprised primarily of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in humans that is responsible for keeping the skin hydrated and plump. It does this by binding with water molecules under the skin’s surface.

In contrast, synthetic fillers are made of synthetic materials such as calcium microspheres.

Dr. Butka offers Juvéderm, Restylane, Restylane Lyft (formerly Perlane), and Belotero Balance for our patients from Brownwood and the surrounding areas.

Now’s the time to come in to have Dr. Butka erase lines and creases, or to return volume to sunken areas just in time for your holiday festivities. Call us at (325) 641-1927 to schedule your injectables session.

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