The Ultimate Staten Island Face-Off: Neuromodulators vs. Fillers - Who Will Take the Crown?

Apr 9, 2024
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Alright, Staten Island – you wanted us to settle the wrinkle debate, so here we are. 

Which is better – neuromodulators or fillers? 

As much as I’d like to give you a clear answer, that would be impossible without knowing more about you and your health. It’s like asking someone from New York City whether they root for the Giants or Jets – you’ll get a different answer (and a different reason for that answer) from everyone. 

What I can tell you is that neuromodulators and fillers are two completely different substances designed for two completely different people – what works best for one person might not work best for the next person. That’s why it’s important to understand the difference between the two. 

  • Neuromodulators, like Botox, weaken and paralyze the muscles causing wrinkles and fine lines. 
  • Fillers, like Juvederm, temporarily fill in wrinkles and fine lines, making the skin appear fuller.

At Reforma Dermatology, our goal is to assess each individual patient to determine which procedure – if not both – will help them achieve their desired look. As much as we want to reduce those wrinkles and fine lines, we want to make sure we do it safely – and that requires a proper assessment. 

Don’t worry, we can take care of that in our Staten Island office. In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at the difference between Botox and fillers – that way, you know what to expect when you come in!

Neuromodulators: Relaxing Wrinkles for a Smoother Surface

Neuromodulators are a group of substances that prevent certain muscles from contracting when we talk, smile, laugh, squint, chew, or make facial expressions. You can think of it as a wrinkle-relaxing injection – paralyzing all the right muscles to make your skin appear smoother, tighter, younger, and healthier. 

Three of the most popular types of neuromodulators include: 

  • Botox - made from a neurotoxin called botulinum toxin A, which binds to receptors in the muscle and blocks the release of acetylcholine. 
  • Dysport - works in a similar way as Botox, but has a quicker onset and is best suited for wider treatment areas. 
  • Xeomin - works in much the same way, but it contains just one ingredient and is best reserved for those who don’t react well to Botox or Dysport.

Neuromodulators work best on dynamic wrinkles, such as crow’s feet, frown lines, forehead wrinkles, and smile lines. Results last 3-6 months before wearing off, but that’s nothing a follow-up appointment won’t solve. Your dermatologist will create a treatment plan tailored to your specific wants, needs, and desires. 

Dermal Fillers: Filling Wrinkles for Younger-Looking Skin

Dermal fillers are a group of substances that restore volume in the face and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Where neuromodulators are a wrinkle-relaxing injection, dermal fillers are more of a wrinkle-filling injection – filling in those creases and providing volume in areas that need it the most. 

The four most prominent types of dermal fillers include: 

  • Juvederm - a hyaluronic acid-based filler that’s best reserved for fine lines in tight areas of the face due to its smooth texture.
  • Restylane - a hyaluronic acid-based filler that’s best reserved for sunken areas of the face due to its more granular and cohesive texture.
  • Radiesse - a calcium hydroxylapatite-based filler that stimulates collagen production and is best reserved for severe wrinkles and folds.
  • Sculptra - a poly-L-lactic acid-based filler that stimulates collagen production, but at a much slower rate than Radiesse.

Dermal fillers work best on static wrinkles, thin lips, and sunken cheeks by replacing lost volume. Results last anywhere from six months to two years, depending on the treatment area and substance used. Don’t worry – downtime is minimal, and most people can return to work the following day, if not that same day!

Neuromodulators vs. Fillers: Which One Is Right for You? 

This brings us back to the million-dollar question… 

Which injection is right for you – a neuromodulator or a dermal filler? 

Well, that depends on the treatment area, the type of wrinkles you’re hiding, your personal goals or preferences, and your commitment level. 

An important thing to consider with Botox and other neuromodulators is that you can always add more, but you can’t necessarily take away – unless you wait for the effect to wear off. Hyaluronic acid-based fillers require less of a commitment because they dissolve when exposed to hyaluronidase.

As a general rule of thumb, neuromodulators are best reserved for dynamic wrinkles and existing fine lines, while dermal fillers are best reserved for static wrinkles and sunken skin. We also recommend dermal fillers for lip and cheek volume. 

Can you use both injections at the same time? 

Since most people have a combination of dynamic and static wrinkles, it’s common – and completely safe – for dermal fillers to be used alongside neuromodulators. Your dermatologist will determine the best course of action for your skin and put together a customized treatment plan for each individual patient.

Reforma Dermatology: Your One-Stop Shop for a Wrinkle-Free Life

How many times have you taken a shirt or pair of pants out of the washer or dryer, just to find it wrinkled like a piece of paper? It’s unfortunate, but it’s not the end of the world. Just grab that trusty iron of yours and press those wrinkles out with a little heat and steam – problem solved!

We can’t use that same logic for wrinkles on the skin, but we have something much better than heat and steam – we have neuromodulators and dermal fillers! 

At Reforma Dermatology, we take pride in serving the Staten Island community with best-in-class skin care services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced and talented injectionists – we can’t wait to help you reach your skincare goals!

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