BOTOX® vs. Dermal Fillers: How Long Do They Last?

There are many factors that set BOTOX® and dermal fillers apart—including how they work and what they treat—but a question patients frequently ask at Ironwood Dermatology is “How long will it last?”

Keeping in mind that BOTOX® Cosmetic is for inhibiting muscle activity and that dermal fillers come in a wide variety of volume-adding formulas, it can be wise to track which effects last the shortest and longest, especially for patients who want to maintain a more youthful-looking face for the long term. Scheduling maintenance visits is easier when you have a good idea of how long your forehead will appear smooth or jawline should have extra definition.

First, BOTOX®. Tucson-area women and men regularly choose this treatment for their forehead and frown lines, as well as their crow’s feet. After a brief session with one of our injectors, you can expect three to four months of smooth skin, worry-free. After that time, the targeted muscles will start moving again, leading to visible furrows and wrinkles whenever you frown or make similar facial expressions.

Dermal fillers, on the other hand, tend to be longer lasting. Juvederm®, for example, has several gel fillers that go the distance, including Volbella (which enhances lips and smooths out vertical lip lines for up to a year), Vollure (which reduces the appearance of nasolabial folds and more for up to 18 months), and Voluma (which adds volume to the midface and lasts up to two years).

With this in mind, you may have several BOTOX® sessions between visits for dermal filler injections.

A member of the Ironwood Dermatology team can work with you to ensure your schedule is as seamless as possible, which means you can enjoy an overall youthful-looking face with no interruption to the smooth look in just one area.

To learn more about dermal fillers, BOTOX®, and more, contact the Tucson-based Ironwood Dermatology online or call 520.618.1630.

Discover 2017’s Top Five Cosmetic Treatments

When it comes to nonsurgical cosmetic treatments, from microdermabrasion to BOTOX®, Tucson’s Ironwood Dermatology team noted with interest the recently released results of an annual report compiled by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Published at the start of March 2018, the report details statistics from 2017, taken from medical databases and doctor surveys. Among the many items of interest is the overarching fact that nonsurgical cosmetic treatments on the whole are growing in popularity. The entire field grew by 2 percent from 2016 to 2017, with more than 15.7 million treatments performed on men and women across the United States.

That also represents a 186-percent jump from the year 2000.

Topping the list is—as usual—BOTOX® and its fellow injectables based on botulinum toxin type A, which collectively made up almost half of the total treatments performed. With 7.2 million treatments reported, this option is unquestionably the most frequently chosen cosmetic option in the country—surgeries included.

Next on the list, with more than 2.6 million applications, is soft tissue fillers, which includes the entire Juvederm® line. There are formulas for reducing the appearance of nasolabial folds, for adding youthful roundness to the apple of the cheeks, and for subtly boosting lip contours.

Chemical peels came in third with 1.3 million applied. Though they all accomplish the same thing—removing the outermost layers of dead skin for a brighter, fresher look—they come in a variety of compounds with different strengths. This treatment also makes the skin more receptive to revitalizing serums.

Fourth is laser hair removal, a versatile treatment that can be applied virtually head to toe. Statistics show that just more than a million laser hair removals were performed in 2017, proving that bare skin made smooth without the hassle of razors or waxing remains a popular choice.

Rounding out the top five is microdermabrasion, which essentially buffs or polishes away dead skin cells in the outermost layer. Though the mechanics are different, the results are similar to a chemical peel.

Learn more about any of these treatments by reading about them on the main Ironwood Dermatology website, contacting the practice online, or calling 520.618.1630 to arrange a consultation.

Not Just for Women: Men in Tucson Are Increasingly De-Wrinkling with BOTOX®

Gone is the age-old belief that men don’t care about their looks, as more and more of them smooth their scowls away and refresh their appearance. Data for the past few years have shown a significant increase in men opting to receive cosmetic procedures—and none more so than BOTOX®. The Tucson, AZ, dermatologists at Ironwood have noted this uptick in “brotox” and strive to educate men about how the injectable treatment works and what to expect from a session.

Aside from an overall confidence boost and a more youthful appearance, a fresh face from BOTOX® Cosmetic could help men bolster their chances professionally in a competitive job market, as well as romantically in the dating world.

BOTOX® Cosmetic works by treating what are known as “dynamic wrinkles” on the face—lines that are caused by the repeated contractions of facial muscles over time. If it is injected precisely and in controlled amounts to the muscles causing those contractions, the muscles weaken to soften the lines they would otherwise etch on the face.

While BOTOX® is FDA-approved to treat glabellar lines (also known as frown lines or 11s) between the eyebrows, horizontal lines across the forehead,  and crow’s feet at the outer corners of the eyes, the injectable can also be used to correct a wide variety of facial concerns, such as:

  • Vertical lip lines
  • Marionette lines
  • Drooping nasal tip during smiling

Note that if the wrinkles are “static” (meaning they are present even with the face resting), dermal fillers may be a more appropriate treatment option.

There is a myth that BOTOX® will make patients look unnatural or unexpressive. When administered by a licensed, skilled, and experienced injector, it can soften only the lines you don’t want, but leave the overall face entirely capable of a full range of expression.

Men in particular tend to prefer to leave small areas, such as crow’s feet, relatively unchanged, to preserve a look of experience and distinction. Since injecting BOTOX® is so precise—with the effects limited only to a small area—our dermatologists are able tailor treatment protocol to meet the unique concerns and goals of any patient.

To learn more about BOTOX® Cosmetic and determine if it’s right for you, contact Ironwood Dermatology online or call 520.618.1630.


A wide variety of temporary and permanent fillers are now available. They can be used to restore youthful facial contours by eliminating frown or smile lines, crows feet and scars and they can be used to augment specific facial features such as lips, chin, and cheeks.

Over time, these products have become safer, easier to use and more accessible to the patient. The number of products also allows physicians to treat a broad scope of problems in various ways, leading to much greater flexibility in treatment and optimum results.

The temporary fillers include collagen, hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite and poly-L-lactic acid. With all fillers, short-term redness, swelling and tenderness at the injection sites can occur.

  • Collagen has been used for over twenty years as a filler and is the gold standard that all other fillers are compared to. Collagen can be obtained from cow hide or from manufactured human skin. A skin test with the cow derived collagen is required prior to the treatment to determine whether the patient is allergic to the implant. The effect of collagen usually lasts two to four months and can be used to treat lines and wrinkles in the lower half of the face as well as lip enhancement.
  • Hyaluronic acid is also available from an animal (rooster comb) or a non-animal source. Allergy testing is not required prior to using the animal derived product but there may be a low incidence of allergic reactions. HA is often used for lip enhancement but can also be used for filling facial lines and contouring. The animal derived HA usually lasts between three and six months and the other slightly longer.
  • Calcium hydroxylapatite not only replaces volume to folds and wrinkles but also stimulates the body to produce new collagen. As a result, this product can last more than a year. Poly-L-lactic acid is used primarily to sculpt or repair facial defects and is not recommended for lip augmentation or treatment of superficial lines and/or wrinkles. Skin testing is not required for either calcium hydroxylapatite or poly-L-lactic acid.

Semi-permanent to permanent implants such as fat injections, and physical implants can be effective for deeper lines, furrows and folds as well as lip and cheek enhancement. Placement of these can be more complex and time consuming but relatively safe.

Filler technology is rapidly expanding and there are many more cosmetic options on the horizon. This is an exciting time in the field of cosmetic rejuvenation!