Your Top Cosmetic Injection Questions Answered by Dermatologist Dr. Samantha Schneider


With the holidays approaching, you start looking into outfit options, menus, grocery lists, and gift lists. Many women (and men) like to prepare for the holidays by treating themselves to a little TLC in the form of cosmetic injections. One of our local cosmetic dermatology experts from the Skin Cancer & Dermatology Institute answers your top questions about neurotoxin injections and fillers.


Q: Tell us a little about the difference between neurotoxin injections and fillers.

A: Facial fillers and neuromodulators are the two main types of cosmetic injection. Neurotoxins are injections that help to minimize wrinkles with movement by (safely) paralyzing the muscles. We think about using these on the forehead, in the eyebrow (to treat those “11” lines), and around the crow’s feet. 


Facial fillers are used to fill areas where volume has been lost. As we age, the skin on our face naturally falls from the triangle of youth to the inverted triangle (where the volume is now down around our jowls, and our cheeks have thinned). Facial fillers help revert this natural process by refilling volume in the upper face to restore the triangle of youth. Fillers can be used in other places like lips, marionette lines, and the chin to replace volume loss as well.


Q: What are the top neurotoxin brands, and do you have a favorite?

A: There are several neurotoxin brands, BOTOX® Cosmetic is the brand that I prefer to use when treating patients.


Q: Do some brand-name fillers work better for certain parts of the face?

A: Yes. Facial fillers are designed to be used in certain areas of the face. I think of different fillers as building a house. First, you want thicker, more substantial fillers for the foundation in areas like the cheeks, temples, or chin. These facial fillers tend to last the longest, and some can last up to two years. Then, you think about the furniture, which is the medium thickness fillers that are useful for the nasolabial folds or the marionette lines. These fillers can last up to a year and a half. Lastly, you think about the throw pillows and other accessories, which are the thinnest fillers for fine lines, tear troughs, and the lips. These fillers last about a year. That said, determining the specific filler depends on each patient. 


Q: What should I know before trying neurotoxins or fillers for the first time?

A: Facial fillers and neurotoxins are injections, so they do require needles for placement. Sometimes patients can have some bruising afterward, so it is a good idea to plan and pick a time that works with your social calendar. It is also recommended to avoid working out for a day following treatment and to avoid laying down immediately afterward so that everything stays right where it was placed.


Q: Are there any risks involved or common side effects? 

A: There can be some mild discomfort with the treatment itself – though I always do my best to minimize any discomfort. As these are injections, there is also a risk of bruising or bleeding. Neurotoxins can sometimes cause a heavy feeling in the forehead. With facial fillers, there are rare but more serious side effects. Always discuss side effects with your injector and be thorough with your medical history.


Q: How do I determine how much of a filler or neurotoxin to use?

A: The good news is that you don’t have to determine how much to use – that’s why you’re seeing a professional! Let your injector know what your cosmetic goals are to determine the appropriate treatment, together. 


Q: Is it possible to get both fillers and neurotoxin injections?

A: Absolutely!


Q: How soon can I see results and how long do they last?

A:  Neurotoxins take at least one week to take effect and last on average three months. Facial fillers, on the other hand, do work right away, but some people are slightly swollen immediately afterward. Fillers can last anywhere from one to two years depending on the brand and treated area.


Q: Do you recommend a consultation before starting treatment?

A: Absolutely, as it is important to discuss goals and treatment options. Oftentimes, we can even treat you on the same day as the consultation if you’re ready to take the plunge!


About Our Dermatology Providers

Dr. Schneider is a board-certified dermatologist and fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon specializing in Mohs micrographic surgery, facial reconstruction associated with skin cancer removal, and medical dermatology. Her expertise extends to pediatric dermatology and treating pigmentary disorders and cosmetic dermatology, including injectables such as neurotoxins and soft tissue fillers. Dr. Schneider sees patients at Skin Cancer & Dermatology Institute’s Carson location.


Get to know Skin Cancer & Dermatology Institute, and learn more about medical dermatology, Mohs surgery, and cosmetic surgery at Appointments may be made online or by calling 775.324.0699.