Injection Treatments for Laugh Lines

Q :  Which is better for my laugh lines, Botox or fillers?

A: It is very common that Botox and injectable fillers are confused as to what they do. Because both are administered by a needle and are used in the face, many assume that they do similar things. In fact, they are quite different both in chemical composition and the effects that they create and in how they are used.

Botox works its magic by being a muscle weakening or paralyzing agent. It is primarily used in the forehead and around the eyes to decrease unwanted expressions caused by overactive muscles. As a result, Botox (and now Dysport) is really a ‘northern facial’ procedure. It effectively reduces horizontal forehead lines, furrows between the eyebrows, and crow’s feet around the eyes.

Injectable fillers (there are now over a dozen commercially available brands) work by adding instant volume to deep wrinkles and folds as well as enhancing the size of the lips. By adding a material under the skin or into the lips, the outer skin and lips is pushed outward. Injectable fillers are primarily used around the mouth making it a ‘southern facial’ procedure.

While there are crossover areas in the face where Botox and fillers are otherwise used, they are largely separated in application to these northern and southern hemispheres.

Folds around the mouth are commonly referred to as laugh lines. When one smiles, indentations or wrinkles are created beyond the sides of the mouth. They are different than the nasolabial folds which run from the side of the nose  to outside of the corners of the mouth which are situated above the laugh lines. Injectable fillers can be effective at softening one’s laugh lines.

Dr. Barry Eppley