What is the Difference between Wrinkle Relaxers and Dermal Fillers?

A close up image of a woman's dermal filler before and after results

As you may already know, not all injectables are the same. While there is a whole group of injectables known as dermal fillers, there is also a category known as wrinkle relaxers. They differ by how they work and what types of wrinkles they treat.

Relax Wrinkles with BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport®

So-called “wrinkle relaxers” are BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport®. These injectables are neuromodulators, which temporarily relax targeted areas of facial muscles. By relaxing the muscle, it won’t continue to fold the skin over and over again, which is what forms these types of wrinkles.

BOTOX® and Dysport® are used to soften:

  • Glabellar lines (the 11s between the eyebrows)
  • Crow’s feet
  • Forehead lines
  • Less common but great places to use: Bunny lines, flat dimpled chins, frowning at the corners of your mouth, masseter enlargement (big square jaw) and vertical neck bands

Results last 3-4 months and injections can be re-administered to maintain the effect.

Infographic showing dermal filler treatment areas

Fill in Wrinkles caused by Volume Loss with Dermal Fillers

Unlike wrinkle relaxers, dermal fillers do not mute muscular activity. Instead, they fill wrinkles caused by loss of volume beneath the skin. Dermal fillers may be recommended for:

  • Wrinkles surrounding the mouth (smile lines)
  • Folds extending from the corners of the nose downward (nasolabial folds)
  • Lines extending from the corner of the mouth downward (marionette lines)
  • Upper lip lines (“smoker’s lines”)
  • Hollow/sunken cheeks
  • Thin lips
  • Sunken/hollow lower eyelids – dark circles
  • Horizontal forehead lines and crow’s feet
  • Nose refinement – nonsurgical nose job
  • Weak chin and jawline
  • Thin, old-looking hands

The most popular dermal fillers are a gel-like substance. Many of them are composed of hyaluronic acid, which binds with moisture molecules to hydrate and plump the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a natural ingredient found in your skin, joints and throughout the body. The two best known HA brands are Restylane and Juvederm. Each of them has a family of products that vary in thickness to meet the needs of the various problems being treated. Other types of fillers include fat transfer, Poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra) and Calcium Hydroxylapatite (Radiesse).

Which One to Choose?

We can recommend the right injectable after we’ve examined the trouble spots you want to soften. There are many products to choose from. Dr. Schuster will help you decide which product(s) will work best for your needs. One of the great things about all injectables is that they are non-surgical. You get back to your day immediately, maybe with a little redness and swelling, but no downtime required.

Learn More about Non-Surgical Facial Rejuvenation 

The best way to find out if dermal fillers or wrinkle relaxers will work for your goals is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ronald Schuster. Please visit our fillers and BOTOX® before-and-after gallery to get an idea of what your results could look like. To learn more, please call our Baltimore-area practice at 410-902-9800.