Question: I’m 44 years old and have developed wrinkles around my eyes and lines around my mouth. I’ve read ads for both Botox and Restylane but am confused about which would work best for me. Are there significant differences between the two products?
Answer: Botox and Restylane are excellent products that function in completely different ways. In fact, I use both products together on a very regular basis because they complement one another so well. Botox paralyzes the muscles beneath the skin that cause grooves and wrinkles. It is injected in a very precise manner in terms of the location on the face and the number of injections needed to treat an area. Common treatment sites include the grooves between the eyebrows, crow’s feet, and forehead lines. Once these muscles that create the lines are paralyzed, the skin lines soften, and may sometimes disappear all together. Restylane, on the other hand, does not affect the muscles beneath these lines and grooves; rather it functions as a filler, similar to a putty, which elevates the depression in the skin, giving it a smooth appearance. This product is also injected into the skin in a very precise manner. Restylane is used most commonly to “plump” thin lips but often to correct lines and folds around the mouth and the grooves between the eyebrows. These products, used together, can make a significant difference in the overall appearance of a person with fine lines, wrinkles and folds on the face, due to age. They offer a very non-invasive alternative to surgery for someone who wants to look years younger. As always, it is important to find a physician with significant experience and training in the use of these products.