Changing something about your face is a major decision. This is the face your family, friends, and community will always see and you want to present the best you. The best results come from matching the right procedure to the right need.
Dr. Larry Fan has performed hundreds of facial rejuvenation treatments and procedures, and one question often asked is if Botox is a better option than a facelift. The answer to this question depends on each case and the results you are after.
In this article, we'll compare these two procedures and give you some information on who would make a great candidate for either Botox or a facelift.
Two More Quick Questions
Facelift vs. Botox: Which is Better?
You want to be sure you're making the right choices when it comes to something as visible as your face. After reading this information, we recommend consulting your doctor to discuss the results that you desire and what treatments will deliver those results.
When Is Botox Better Than a Facelift?
Each of these procedures is very different. Botox is not an alternative to getting a facelift and vise versa. Whether or not you'd be a good candidate for one or the other is based on the results you desire and the corrections you'd like to have made.
A facelift is a surgical procedure that requires the use of anesthesia, whether general or local. The doctor then makes an incision, tightens deep tissue and trims or lifts excess skin.
Botox is a quick, injectable treatment done in the office. The doctor identifies the areas where Botox would be most beneficial and applies the treatment there.
Facelift: When You Need It
So, how do you know if a facelift is right for you?
A facelift actually lifts the facial tissue and muscles, and can remove sagging skin, which is something Botox cannot do. You may be a candidate for a facelift if you've noticed significant skin laxity. If you have loose skin or fat around your chin or jaw, or there is sagging tissue or deep folds around your cheeks, nose, and mouth, a facelift may be the best option for you.
The goals of a facelift are:
- Excellent cheek volume
- Smooth, angular jawline with no jowls
- Neck without excess fat or muscle laxity
- Complete absence of an "operated on" look
Keep in mind that facelifts are more expensive than Botox injections. It's more invasive and requires significantly more time to perform and recover from than Botox. However, for some patients, a facelift may be the procedure to deliver the results they want.
Botox: When You Need It
Maybe you're not after such extreme results or have only a few small wrinkles you could live without.
Botox is great for treating facial wrinkles caused by consistent muscle action over time. Throughout your life, you probably squint or frown a countless number of times. This eventually produces permanent lines and wrinkles in the surface of your skin. The main areas where these lines appear are around the eyes and forehead.
The most common areas for these wrinkles are the:
- Glabellar region - lines between and above the brows
- Periorbital region – i.e. crow’s feet, horizontal lines near the eyes
- Forehead – horizontal lines traveling across the forehead skin
- Perioral Region – smile lines around the mouth
You may be a good candidate for this treatment if you've checked a few of those "boxes." Botox is less costly than a facelift and requires less time for treatments and recovery. However, the results are temporary, and patients will need to continue injections over time to maintain a wrinkle-free countenance.
For longer-lasting results, a Facelift is a better choice. Botox is not an option for correcting skin laxity or significant sagging. Patients can leave an office looking "frozen" if Botox is overused to attempt to accomplish something it's not intended to. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the specific results you are after and choose the option that will provide the most natural looking outcome.
Choosing the Best Procedure For You
In some cases, a facelift is the only procedure that can deliver the results you desire. However, for many patients, a simple Botox injection can smooth wrinkles and give a noticeably younger look in less time and without spending quite as much.
It's important to note that dermatologists, "cosmetic doctors" at medical spas, and even nurses can administer Botox. However, plastic surgeons often operate on the underlying muscles and, due to that knowledge and experience, they have a better idea of where injections can have the most effect. They will also be able to recommend alternative treatments when there may be better options than a Botox injection.