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Getting Botox vs. Fillers In Alabama

Botox and dermal fillers are two of our most popular, minimally invasive treatments to rejuvenate aging, wrinkled skin.

It’s hard not to notice the effects of aging. A gray hair here, a mysterious pain there, and the wrinkles–don’t get us started on the wrinkles! Some people simply accept the march of time’s effect on their faces as an unfortunate fact of life. Others, like yourself, know that age is merely a number and a mindset. They want their outward-facing aura to mesh with how they feel on the inside. That’s where we at Alabama’s Core Plastic Surgery come in with our trusted botox and filler treatments

With all the information out there, it can be overwhelming trying to choose the right procedure, so we’re going to break down what each treatment entails so that you can make the decision that’s right for you

Once you’ve decided, please make your way to our contact page and book your next consultation with us.

What Is Botox?

Botox is a neuromodulator that relaxes the muscles. There are seven types of botulinum toxins labeled from A to G, but the main ones used commercially and medically are types A and B. Type B is used for various muscle-related conditions and diseases like cerebral palsy. Type A is what we employ in cosmetic procedures. 

Despite being sometimes called a toxin, botox is considered safe and effective in small doses when used correctly. They offer convenient, efficient, and well-accepted treatment for improving wrinkles.[1] Please note that Botox does not respond to wrinkles caused by sun damage or gravity. Do not take Botox if you are allergic to any of the ingredients or are pregnant or breastfeeding. 

How Does Botox Work?

For muscles to contract, our nerves release a chemical called acetylcholine, which attaches to the muscle cell receptors, causing them to contract. 

Botox works because it targets the nervous system and blocks the release of acetylcholine, stopping the muscles from shortening or contracting, making them less stiff, more relaxed, and reducing wrinkles’ appearance.

Most Common Injection Areas

  • Between the eyebrows.
    • Treats frown lines and elevens, aka glabellar lines.
  • Around the eyes.
    • Treats crow’s feet.
  • Lines on the corners of the mouth.
  • Horizontal lines on the forehead.
  • “Cobblestone” chin (when the chin appears knobby and lumpy via changes in facial expression).

The Procedure

After first consulting with your doctor, he or she will determine whether you are the right candidate for Botox treatments. Botox can be dangerous, so find a doctor, like our own Dr. Grady Core, who specializes in administering it. Before your procedure, avoid taking any blood-thinning medications for several days to reduce the risk of bleeding and bruising. 

As this isn’t a complicated procedure, the process usually takes place in the doctor’s office. After numbing the area with topical anesthesia, the clinician dilutes the Botox powder in saline before injecting it into the neuromuscular tissue. The procedure usually takes up to 30 minutes. Depending on the extent of the treatment area, there could be multiple injections.

After The Procedure

The effects of Botox usually take up to 24 to 72 hours to show fully. Depending on the type of treatment, the results of Botox can last up to 3 to 12 months. Do not massage, rub, or otherwise interfere with the injection area for 24 hours. Afterward, you may resume your daily routine and activities. Follow up injections must be arranged later on to maintain the Botox’s effects.

Potential Risks

Botox can cause some unwanted side effects depending on the reasons for injections and the patient’s response. Some of these side effects include:

  • Numbness
  • Upset stomach
  • Headaches
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart attack
  • Temporary drooping of the eyelid
  • Temporary weakness in muscles
  • Dry eyes
  • Breathing or swallowing difficulties

If you think Botox is right for you, schedule your next appointment with us now or give us a call at (205) 397-2100.

What Are Fillers?

A filler, also known as a dermal filler or a soft-tissue filler, is an injectable gel used to help “fill” in wrinkles, smooth out the skin, and provide contour and volume to the face. 

As we age, we lose some of the subcutaneous fat that holds up our skin, causing it to sag. Aging also causes us to lose collagen, which also causes the skin to look depleted and saggy. Fillers help lift and support the aging skin, provide moisture, increase collagen, and soften the wrinkles overall.

Unlike Botox, patients usually see the effects of fillers before they even leave the office. Fillers are also a great way to achieve natural-looking smooth skin without the risk of it affecting facial expressions.

Since fillers are not permanent and eventually get absorbed into the body, follow up injections will have to be arranged to maintain the effects. 

Please note that fillers are not FDA-approved for body contouring procedures like butt and breast augmentations.

Types Of Fillers

There are five different categories of filler that are differentiated by the materials from which they’re made.

  • Hyaluronic Acid
    • The most popular and common of all the filler types, hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule that is naturally produced in our bodies and found in our skin and cartilage. Commonly found in moisturizers and lotions, it helps the skin retain moisture by regulating its water balance. Effects generally last around 6 to 12 months. Juvéderm is one of the more popular brands of HA fillers that we provide at our facility.
  • Collagen-Based
    • Collagen is the fundamental structural protein found in the body’s interconnected tissues. Generally lasts up to 4 months. Bellafill is one of the more prominent brands of collagen-based fillers that we administer.
  • Calcium Hydroxylapatite
    •  Calcium Hydroxylapatite is a mineral produced by our bones that can last up to 18 months when used as a filler.
  • Poly-L-Lactic Acid
    • Poly-l-lactic acid is a biodegradable artificially fabricated material often used in the manufacturing of dissolvable stitches and can last up to 2 years.
  • Polymethylmethacrylate Beads
    • Polymethylmethacrylate beads are the only filler on the list that is permanent since they cannot be absorbed into the body and are only used around the mouth area.

To achieve the most natural look, you may want to undergo multiple different injections. There are also many filler brands out there with various uses and functions, so talk to your doctor beforehand. They can help you decide which treatment plan is right for you specifically. 

If you live in the Alabama area, we recommend you book a consultation with us as soon as possible.

Most Common Treatment Areas

  • Lips – To add volume and shape.
  • Nose to Mouth Lines – Known as the nasolabial folds.
  • Between the Eyebrows – Known as the glabella lines.

Before The Procedure

Although filler treatments are offered at medical spas, you should seek a correctly trained and licensed specialist for any type of injection treatment. Consult with Dr. Core and his compassionate staff about your goals and how they can help you. From there, they will help formulate a treatment plan that’s right for you. You will also want to avoid scheduling any dental appointments after your procedure because it might put unwanted stretching and pressure on your face and cause the fillers to become misplaced.

During The Procedure

The process itself only takes a few moments per injection site. Your physician will proceed to inject, massage, and examine the treated area. You may feel a brief prick from the needle, but it’s an otherwise painless action. Additional fillers might be added to supplement initial injections. Overall, the process can take up to 15 minutes to an hour.

After The Procedure

Once the procedure is completed, your physician will clean up any leftover markings. Your physician may introduce an ice pack to help reduce any resultant swelling. Your face may be sore for a day or two, but it does not require any medication

Recovery time varies from person to person, depending on their treatment level, but generally speaking, you can continue with your daily routine immediately after your procedure. To minimize swelling and bruising, you’ll want to avoid any strenuous physical activity for the next day or two. You will also want to maintain healthy and firm skin through the proper use of lotions, sunscreen, and other approved skin treatments and products.

Potential Risks Involved

Risks range depending on the type of filler that is used. All dermal injections have the potential to cause difficulties.[2] Serious risks are not common, but if a patient were to experience any side effects, they would most likely be:

  • Redness
  • Rashes
  • Allergic reaction
  • Acne-like skin
  • Under or over-corrected wrinkles
  • Infection at the injection site
  • Swelling
  • Asymmetrical face
  • Palpability under the skin
  • Death of skin cells from lack of blood flow

To avoid these potential risks, we highly advise you to seek a board-certified specialist like Dr. Core and his staff who have received specialized training for these treatments. It’s your face, so be sure to find somebody who will treat it right. 

Key Differences

Botox – Stops creases and wrinkles by “relaxing” the muscles. Usually treats the areas around the forehead and eyes.

Fillers – Uses a special gel to “fill in” and round out areas lacking smoothness and volume. Usually treats the areas around the mouth, lips, and cheeks, but fillers can also be used to treat the areas around the forehead and scar tissue.

Both procedures are minimally invasive

If you are further interested in what we do at Core Plastic Surgery, please take a look at our blog, where you’ll find beauty tips, industry news, and other fascinating content.


  1. Frampton, J.E., Easthope, S.E. Botulinum Toxin A (Botox® Cosmetic). Am J Clin Dermatol 4, 709–725 (2003). https://doi.org/10.2165/00128071-200304100-00005 https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00128071-200304100-00005#citeas
  2. Funt, D., & Pavicic, T. (2013). Dermal fillers in aesthetics: an overview of adverse events and treatment approaches. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 6, 295–316. https://doi.org/10.2147/CCID.S50546https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3865975/citedby

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3595 Grandview Parkway, #150, Birmingham, AL 35243

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