Do dermal fillers last longer with Botox? According to a recent study by Dr. Ismail Kucuker in Samsun, Turkey the answer is yes. Chemodenervation – temporarily paralyzing facial muscles – using Botox can increase the longevity of hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers.
Botox Slows Fillers Degradation
Botox is the number one cosmetic procedure in the US with dermal filler injections in second place. Over 2.3 million injectable procedures were performed in 2014 (according to ASPS statistics) and that number is projected to increase in coming years due to high satisfaction rate and new products that continue to become available.
Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers specifically are most popular and considered the safest option as hyaluronic acid is naturally found in the body and easily broken down over time. If there are any adverse effects or a patient is dissatisfied for any reason, HA fillers can dissipated with an injection of hyaluronidase. With permanent and semi-permanent fillers, if a patient developed a nodule or was unsatisfied with the way it looked following treatment, the only way to fix the issue would be to have the filler surgically removed. So using something that breaks down overtime is a positive but patients still want it to last as long as possible to make it more affordable.
To slow the degration process of HA fillers, plastic surgeons sometimes use it in combination with Botox. Fillers are broken down quicker in areas with increased movement. So with Botox weakening the muscle, there is less movement, thus HA fillers are more likely to last longer.
Official Chemodenervation Study
To study this, Dr. Kucuker and his colleagues injected a small amount of HA filler in rabbits. They chose to inject under the skin in front of each ear as this area corresponds to the forehead region in humans, where Botox is commonly used.
On one side, HA filler was used, and on the other side, both Botox and filler were used together. Follow up scans confirmed that Botox slowed the degradation of the injected filler decreasing the rate by 42 percent. Also noted was the 50 percent greater volume of HA filler remaining on that side where both filler and Botox were used. The difference was visible as well as measureable, proving that Botox helps HA fillers last longer.
“This study showed that HA filler application in combination with BoNT-A [botox] significantly decreases the degradation process and increases the remaining volume at the end of the paralyzed period,” Dr. Kucuker concluded.
You can read the full study at plasticsurgery.org.