People still sometimes get confused about the difference between Botox and fillers. Botox works through muscle paralysis to decrease facial motion and help eliminate fine lines. Fillers represent a wide range of products used to enhance facial volume.
What is Botox?
Botox, like Dysport and Xeomin, are neurotoxins, which means they are injected in order to weaken the muscle contracting. The most common place they are used is the glabellar area which is the area between the eyebrows – the famous “11’s”. The next most common area is the crow’s feet, which is the area lateral (to the side of) of the eyes. The third most common site is the forehead. This has the risk/benefit of altering the eyebrow position – either raising or lowering them or not changing them, depending on how much is injected and where. Less common areas to inject these are the chin and upper lip. They are also injected into the axillary region (armpits) to stop sweating (often lasts 6 months in this area). These agents take 4-10 days to work and last about 4 months, when used in the face.
How much does Botox cost?
There is some variation in the prices for Botox to be injected. Everyone is using the same Botox (or Dysport or Xeomin), with just 3 companies controlling the entire market. It is much more expensive for physicians to buy these from the company that makes them than people realize. Some places will charge by the area (eg injecting the glabellar area) but most places charge by the unit.
Factors that may affect the price:
- Who is doing the injecting and what is their experience doing this? Is it a plastic surgeon? A doctor – family doctor or other doctor? A nurse? An Esthetician? A Medispa?
I personally do all of my own injections and I always have. I presently charge $12 per unit. You certainly can find it for slightly less but if you pay less, you almost certainly will not be getting a board certified plastic surgeon doing your injection himself. The highest I have come across in the Northern Va area is $19/unit. The average cost seems to be about $15/unit.
- Geographic area: You will almost certainly pay more in certain areas such as Bethesda, McLean or Tysons Corner than you will pay in Sterling, Virginia (where my office is location). This is just a function of the rents being higher in those areas.
- Groupon and other deal websites: If you get your Botox through Groupon, you may be able to pay less. However, be wary since you have no control over who is injecting you. Frequently, the places offering Groupon for Botox are not making any money on their Botox, after they pay off Groupon.
How much do fillers cost?
The same discussion above also pertains to fillers. We are all getting our fillers from the same major companies. They are ready to inject straight out of the box. No one can make the fillers, last a longer or shorter time. Depending on the filler, they will last in general from 1-2 years with the more dense fillers lasting longer (eg Voluma – closer to 2 years) and the thinner fillers (as used in the lips or under the eyes – eg Volbella) lasting more like 1 year.
There is skill in how they are placed by the injector -both the location and the comfort. The same concerns I expressed above – who is injecting your Botox, also applies to your fillers.
The cost of the fillers are going to depend on 4 things:
- Which filler is being used?
Some fillers cost more for us to buy and this is being passed on to the patient
- The size of the syringe:
Is it 0.5cc or 1.0cc or 2.0cc. Of course, the more filler being injected into you, the more it will cost.
- Who is injecting? Is is a plastic surgeon or dermatologist or personnel at a medispa or traditional spa? As with Botox, I do own injections! Once again, this is very uncommon for a plastic surgeon to do his own injections.
- Geographic area:
Once again, you are going to pay more in Bethesda, McLean or Tyson’s Corner.
Pricing will vary as per above but for most 1 cc fillers, you should expect to pay between $600-900 per cc. Volbella, which comes as 0.55 cc will be about $375-550.
Have questions about Botox or facial fillers? Please call my office at 703-406-2444 to schedule a complimentary, private consultation.