Get The Lowdown on Botox & Fillers

A new report released by RealSelf, revealed 2018 trends related to consumer interest in minimally invasive treatments. Injectables continue to be a top trend and were some of the most researched treatments in 2018, with three out of the top 10 most researched minimally invasive procedures being injectables: Botox (No. 1), Juvederm (No. 3), and Restylane (No. 9). Botox takes the top spot on this list for the second year in a row and interest increased 11 percent compared to 2017. Popular among both men and women, Botox takes the No. 3 spot on the top 10 treatment list for women and the No. 10 spot for men.

The line between Botox vs fillers can sometimes seem a bit blurred and, if you’re thinking about getting injectables, it’s probably all a bit confusing.

Both treatments are injectables, and both are generally used to treat age-related lines on the face. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Botox® and facial fillers work in very different ways, targeting specific types of wrinkles.

We sit down with Dr Calvin Chan, Medical Director of Calvin Chan Aesthetic & Laser Clinic to tell us everything we need to know, how they differ and the important questions to ask before considering treatment:


What is Botox?

Botox is actually one of the brands of botulinum toxins. There are other brands in the market such as Dysport, and more recently Xeomin, the new kid on the block. Botulinum toxin is a natural, purified protein that is used to temporarily relax facial muscles and prevents contraction. This reduces the appearance of existing wrinkles and prevents new ones from forming. It can also be used to treat medical conditions such as hyperhidrosis (the medical name for excessive sweating).

At my practice, I use a lot of Botox, as it’s the best-known brand name, with extensive research conducted and most importantly it delivers the results and it is safe.

What are the common areas to inject?

Botulinum Toxin treatments are more commonly used for crow’s feet, frown lines (Glabellar), brow lift, forehead wrinkles and tear troughs.

We also do see patients who come to us to treat medical conditions such as hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and large calf muscles.

How long does it lasts and does it hurt?

The effects last typically between 4 to 6 months and it’s generally a painless treatment. Your clinician may use ice probes or apply a local anaesthetic to numb the treated area.

Does Botox have side effects?

While there is no real downtime associated with this treatment, it is important to note that you may encounter some slight bruising and swelling directly after treatment, due to the needle. This can easily be masked by make-up.

There are no long-term side effects of having wrinkle injections, meaning patients can resume their usual activities straight away, and can also fly post-treatment.

What are the results of Botox?

The treatment is used to soften the lines caused by facial expression and can be adjusted to ensure natural results. The duration of results is variable in between individuals but ranges from three to six months.

Typically, patients will come into the clinic and point to a specific line that they don’t like. I look beyond the line at how the face is as a whole (cos treating an individual line might end up making the face look unnatural). Understanding my patients’ needs is important and talking through their treatment options: a male patient may want a more masculine look or an actress will need to ensure she doesn’t look too stiff

Regardless of who you are consulting, always ask the following questions when considering a treatment.

  • What qualifications do you have?
  • Which brands of products do you use and why?
  • Has the product been extensively tested and researched?
  • How satisfied are your patients with the results? Do you have any examples of before and after pictures you could show me?
  • What are the potential side effects?
  • What after-care will I be given?

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Dermal Fillers

What are fillers?

As we age, the natural collagen and elastin in the skin diminishes, our cells lose their ability to produce more of their youthful component. The skin becomes dryer, thinner and less able to self-repair. In fact, when you were born, you would have had a high level of hyaluronic acid, which keeps your skin plump and smooth. Unfortunately, your body produces less and less hyaluronic acid over time. The amount of hyaluronic acid in skin diminishes with age, most significantly after age 40 and so lines and wrinkles develop. By lifting and smoothing targeted folds and wrinkles by adding subtle volume, dermal fillers can make a difference to a person’s appearance, giving them a fresher look.

There are a number of brands of fillers in the market such as Juvederm, Restylane, Boletero, Radiesse, Ellanse and Sculptra. At my practice, I highly recommend to use Juvederm as it has shown to deliver natural looking ways to replace lost volume.

What are the common areas to inject?

The Juvéderm range of fillers contains a variety of products, which can be used to treat different areas, from fine lines on more delicate parts of the face to deep skin depressions.

You can also treat your lips with lip fillers to add extra volume or even inject into your ear lobes to help stimulate collagen in the area, restoring a more youthful, less shrivelled lobe.

  • Adds volume and shape to cheek
  • Sharper, higher nose bridge
  • Diminishes nasolabial Folds (Laugh of Smile lines)
  • Fills and Smoothes out vertical upper lip lines
  • Plump upper and lower lips
  • Lessen shrivelled ear lobe

How long does it lasts and does it hurt?

The effects typically last between 9 – 18 months, and in some cases up to 24 months. The fillers that we use are biodegradable and temporary. They eventually break down and leave the body through natural processing. Your clinician may use ice probes or apply a local anaesthetic to numb the treated area. With any injectable treatment, there can be some slight bruising or swelling that accompanies it. This should not persist much longer than a day, and is easily coverable with make-up.

What are the results with fillers?

Sometimes the patient will say that people tell them they look sad, tired or grumpy when this isn’t really the case. In these instances, it’s usually not a single line that is causing this impression but multiple factors, hence one of our key USP is the Juvederm MD Codes where we look at our patients, and take into consideration 4 different messages: attractiveness, youthfulness, more contoured facial shape and feminine look and help them to achieve their desired look.

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