What Are Dermal Fillers?
Dermal fillers are substances injected into your skin to add volume and fullness.
Substances used in dermal fillers are:
- Calcium hydroxylapatite. It is a compound found in bones. Calcium hydroxylapatite is mineral-like
- Hyaluronic acid. It adds plumpness to the skin.
- Polyalkylimide. It is a non-degradable hydrogel used for soft tissue replacement.
- Polylactic acid. It stimulates the production of collagen.
- Polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres (PMMA). PMMA is considered to be a semi-permanent filler and is most often used to treat medium-to-deep wrinkles.
The time it takes to work and how long these dermal fillers last vary. Some of these last six months, while the others can last for up to 2 years or even longer. You can decide what dermal filler would be the best choice for you after discussing it with your doctor.
What Can Dermal Fillers Treat?
Signs of aging can be treated by various types of dermal filler. You can choose the appropriate dermal filler for you by assessing what you need:
- plump up your thin lips
- enhance or fill in shallow areas on the face
- decrease or remove the black spot or wrinkle under and around the eyes
- fill in or soften the appearance of recessed scars
- fill in or soften static wrinkles
Static wrinkles also include those around your mouth and cheeks. The formation of these wrinkles is usually due to the decreasing production of collagen as you age.
Botox is a protein substance that weakens or paralyzes muscle made from Botulinum toxin. It is produced by the bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. Although it is a toxin, it may be adequate for aesthetic and medical purposes if doctors use it appropriately. A small dose can reduce skin wrinkles and treat some medical problems.
As a cosmetic treatment, Botox reduces the appearance of facial wrinkles, and it is minimally invasive. This treatment for the correction of fine lines and wrinkles around the eye is considered safe and effective.
Since the treatment is minimally invasive, it does not require anesthesia before the procedure. It uses topical anesthetic or ice to numb the area that needs to be treated to avoid any pain or discomfort.
What Can Botox Treat?
Botox can only treat wrinkles that are caused by the movement of your muscle, also known as dynamic wrinkles or “expression lines.”,
See the list of the most common dynamic wrinkles that Botox can treat:
- Lines on the upper face
- Horizontal lines on the forehead
- Crow’s feet around the eyes
Common facial expressions such as smile, frown, and squint cause these lines.
Botox will not work on fine lines and wrinkles caused by sagging or loss of plumpness in the face, also known as static wrinkles. Lines in the cheeks, neck and jowl areas are some of the most common static wrinkles that Botox can’t treat.
Fillers, Botox, And COVID-19 Vaccine: What You Should Know
Dermal fillers and Botox are different treatments. Botox is a protein that works by disabling particular nerves and by weakening or paralyzing specific muscles. On the contrary, dermal filler is not an active protein and stays right where it was injected.
In December, a report about two people suffered facial swelling after having the COVID-19 vaccine. They both had a prior history of dermal filler injections in their cheeks. One had received dermal filler injections two weeks before having the vaccine, while the other had it about six months before having the vaccine. Aside from those two, another trial participant who had a prior history of lip filler injection suffered swelling in the lips about two days after having the vaccine.
The reason for the swelling is explained to be what’s known as the delayed hypersensitivity reaction, and it takes days instead of hours for people to notice this effect. It’s believed that it’s fair to consider this as a rare side effect. It can be a local immune system reaction, but its mechanism is still not fully solved. Sometimes, this local inflammatory reaction can happen with the flu vaccine, likely because the dermal filler is a space-occupying substance.
The good news is, the three trial participants that suffered swelling remained localized and subsided after having steroids or antihistamines. But still, scientists need more information to confirm the connection between the vaccine and the swelling.
You should still get the vaccine after dermal filler injections or plan to get it. However, you need to discuss the report about the localized swelling in those three trial participants with your provider since it might occur to you as well.
There have been no reported detrimental effects from patients with prior history of Botox injection or any of the three other FDA-approved neuromodulators such as Xeomin, Dysport, and Jeuveau after having the COVID-19 vaccine. Many people who had Botox injections and are scheduled for vaccinations still worry about the swelling. Again, Botox and dermal fillers aren’t the same.
However, regardless of whether you had fillers, Botox, or other neuromodulators, you still have to get vaccinated. The report about those three trial participants who suffered swelling isn’t a reason to panic. It doesn’t reduce the efficacy of the vaccine or any other available COVID-19 vaccines.