05 February 2013

While Botox is the product of choice for many people who want to tackle their facial wrinkles, there is also increasing interest in fillers for the specific benefits they can offer. And one American surgeon who carries out a substantial number of both procedures has said that many people who go to her surgery aren't clear about the differences between them. "A lot of women don't know," said dermatologist Dr Jana Johnson."They come in and say, 'This bugs me, I want Botox here.' Well that's not a Botox area. That's where we fill," Dr Johnson says she has told many patients. Whereas Botox freezes small muscle groups to prevent skin movements, fillers are used to compensate for tissue volume loss, she added. "If people over time lose some of the bone density in their cheeks or if the lines on either side of their mouth start to deepen or on the chin, we use filler to put that volume back in." Compared with Botox, fillers also last longer, with six to 12 months the regular interval between treatments in the latter case, said Dr Johnson. And newer fillers coming onto the market are also designed to treat superficial lines, she said, whereas earlier products were more suited for filling deeper lines and plumping up cheekbones.