Is Botox painful? How long do fillers last? What kind of downtime can I expect from these procedures? These are just some of the questions people pose about these two popular anti-ageing treatments that help to smooth lines, lift saggy skin and more. Here, we speak to experts in the field about all there is to know. Consider this your go-to guide for turning back the clock!
Cutis Medical Laser Clinics: Dr Sylvia Ramirez, Medical Director
How are fillers and Botox different?
Botox works best for lines that are formed over time by muscle movement, whereas fillers reshape the face and replace lost volume due to ageing. Botox is injected directly into the muscle to temporarily block the signal from the nerves to that muscle, so that the wrinkles formed by muscle contraction relax and soften. Dermal fillers, on the other hand, are commonly made of hyaluronic acid, which is already present in our skin. By placing the fillers in specific parts of the face that have lost volume, support is provided to the skin and its surrounding tissues, and a natural lift is achieved.
How fast will I see results after getting fillers done?
The results of fillers can be seen immediately after the treatment. After a week, when most of the swelling has subsided, you’ll be left with a more natural and fresher look. Softer fillers, such as those meant for improving the under-eye area, last around six to nine months. Firmer fillers used to enhance the nose bridge can last for up to one-and-a-half years.
The Aesthetics Centre: Dr Anita Soosay, Medical Director
Is there any downtime involved with fillers?
Downtime is minimal – the area treated may get slightly inflamed right after the procedure, but this usually subsides after a day or so. As with all injections, there is a risk of bruising. However, as most fillers are now injected with a cannula (blunted needle) this risk is very low.
Speaking of risks, are there any bigger risks to consider with fillers?
The biggest problem with fillers is overdoing it, which results in an unnatural look, or choosing the wrong types of fillers, which give poor results. There’s also a slight possibility of being allergic to fillers, but that depends on the type used. Hyaluronic acid fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm have a much lower risk of allergic reactions compared to other types. This is because hyaluronic acid is very similar to what we have in our bones and joints, so our body is unlikely to mount an allergic response to it. In fact, I haven’t experienced a case of allergic reaction with hyaluronic acid fillers in the last 10 years.
The Belle Clinic: Dr Maybelle Tan, Founder
What happens during a Botox or fillers session?
All our patients get a detailed and in-depth assessment. Their medical history, current medication, supplementation and skincare regime are reviewed. After which, photographs are taken and we’ll discuss their concerns and expectations, before proposing a personalised treatment plan. The Belle Clinical Rejuvenation and Restorative Program is a 3D process, targeting hyperdynamic muscle activity (botox), volume loss (fillers) and surface rejuvenation. Our aim is to restore – not recreate your face.
What are their most popular uses?
Botox is injected to relax hyperdynamic muscles and improve expression lines. This is especially useful for individuals who have a habitual tendency to frown, which leads to premature skin creasing, creating permanent wrinkles and lines. Dermal fillers restore youthful volume lost over time. They fill and diminish lines and wrinkles you see, to create a smoother, softer facial profile.
Are fillers painful?
No! The majority of our treatments carry very little likelihood of causing great comfort. Pain precautions are taken before each session and a very fine needle is used. The experience should hopefully be about the same as plucking your eyebrows. We are especially experienced with newbies, too, and always make sure to answer all queries before any treatment.
David Loh Surgery: Dr David Loh, Founder
How does Botox work?
Botox works by blocking the nerve receptors in muscles, sweat and oil glands. While it’s known to erase lines and wrinkles on the forehead, between the eyes and the crow’s feet, it can also reduce the size of the jaw, decrease sweating and lift the skin on the neck. Botox can be used to refine your pores, too. Known as Intradermal Botox (or Micro-Botox), this treatment features multiple tiny Botox injections used to weaken the muscles that open the pores. This also reduces sweating and oil secretions, thus making the skin look more refined. Conditions like mild acne and rosacea tend to respond well to this intradermal Botox.
Is Botox painful?
Botox is delivered with needles, so a slight pain from the injection is expected. However, the needles are tiny and the whole process is fast – only a few minutes – so overall, it’s not that intolerable as a treatment. There is minimal downtime involved, too. Possible side effects include small wheals at the injected areas, which will subside in 30 minutes. Occasionally, tiny bruises may also occur, but these typically fade within a week.
Le Private Clinic: Dr Eileen Lew, Medical Director
What treatments pair well with Botox?
Botox treats facial lines, which can be dynamic and static, so a combination of different treatments may work best to tackle the different types of lines. Apart from fillers and lasers, Perk Lip & Eye Treatment, a new hybrid anti-ageing facial treatment, is a great pre-Botox pick. Perk Eye uses arnica, green tea, citric acid and peptides to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles. It also hydrates and promotes elasticity to the under eye area, and is recommended for before Botox or any under eye fillers to reduce excessive swelling and bruising. Similarly, Perk Lip is used before a lip filler to prevent excessive bruising. It uses peony extract, peppermint, aloe and vitamin E to exfoliate, hydrate, plump and condition the lips.
What should I do to before and after a Botox treatment?
Before the treatment, stay away from excessive drinking or taking supplements that thin the blood (such as St. John’s Wort) as these can increase the risk of bruising. Avoid rubbing the treated areas for three to four hours after the injections.
Amaris B. Clinic: Dr Ivan Puah, Medical Director
What is Botox used for?
Apart from smoothing out wrinkles, Botox can also reverse a pointy chin by relaxing the muscle that causes the puckering. Other uses include tightening and redefining the neck and jawline for an elegant and more youthful look. For those suffering from regular teeth-grinding, it relaxes the jaw muscles and reduces tension on the jaw joint.
Are there any potential risks from Botox?
Botox has an excellent safety profile. The doses are very small and the risks are minimal. If any side effects do occur, they are temporary and only mild to moderate. Botox injections should be performed by doctors with the appropriate training, qualifications, expertise and experience in a clinical setting. In Singapore, only doctors are allowed to perform injectable procedures on patients.
Psst… Dr Ivan Puah is a certified trainer appointed by global pharmaceutical Allergan to train other doctors in the field. Find out what he has to say about Ultherapy and other anti-ageing treatments.