Ask the Expert: Injections [Q&A]

Dr. Angela Sturm shares her insight on frequently asked questions about getting injections including how long do fillers last and how to avoid looking puffy and overdone.

Q. What is the difference between Botox, Dysport, Juvederm and Restylane?

A. Botox and Dysport produce the same result but are made by different companies. These products soften (if you put a little bit) or stop (if you put more) the movement of muscles.  About 3-7 days after the injection, you’re not able to make the scowl lines between your brows and lines on your forehead when you try. You just look more rested and happy.

Juvederm and Restylane are very similar hyaluronic acid fillers that are made by different companies and work to fill low areas and add volume. These can be injected into cheeks, nasolabial folds (smile lines), marionette lines (below the corners of the mouth) and in the lips. Results (plus a little swelling) are seen right away.

Q. I am interested in adding volume to my cheeks’ smile lines but am afraid of looking puffy and overdone. Can I avoid that?

A. Definitely! The best injection results are those that you don’t notice—other than that they look good. You don’t want people to know what you’ve done or even that you’ve done anything at all. The goal is to and like you don’t change over time.

The fillers come in 0.5cc and 1cc syringes. I like to use the smallest amount possible to achieve the patient’s desired results. Adding more is much easier than correcting overfilling.

Q. Is there anything I can do if I don’t like the look of the fillers?

A. There is a substance to remove hyaluronic fillers, like Juvederm, Restylane, Restylane Silk, Restylane Lyft, Voluma or Belotero. This is injected into the area of the filler. You will feel it start to dissolve immediately and work over about 48 hours.

For fillers like Radiesse and Sculptra, this is more complicated and you would want to see a specialist.

Q. How long do fillers last?

A. It depends on the filler. The softer ones, like Belotero and Restylane Silk last about 6-9 months. Restylane and Juvederm last about 9-12 months. Radiesse lasts about 12-18 months and Restylane Lyft and Voluma last about 12-24 months. Sculptra works differently in that it stimulates collagen and lasts approximately 2 years. This all depends on your body’s metabolism of the filler, so it can be shorter or longer depending on you.

Q. How long does Botox or Dysport last?

A. Botox and Dysport both last about 3-4 months. Some people are lucky and have a slower metabolism for the products and will see the result for about 6 months, but this is not as common.

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