There are always questions around cosmetic injectables, especially if it’s your first time. Here are some of the most common ones answered.

What is the difference between neuromodulators and dermal fillers?

The natural aging process, sun damage, and even weight loss can cause wrinkles and volume loss to the face. Neuromodulators and dermal fillers are used to improve facial wrinkles and lines as well as enhance some facial features. Though both are considered cosmetic injectables, they are totally different in the way they work. 

Neuromodulators temporarily reduce the activity of muscles in the face that can cause fine lines and wrinkles from facial expressions. Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeuveau (newest to the market) are examples of this cosmetic injectable. It usually takes approximately two weeks for these products to peak and give full results. Neuromodulator results usually last 2–4 months and require regular touch-ups to maintain results. 

Dermal fillers, such as Juvederm, Restylane, Sculptra, and many others, can be used to help rejuvenate and lift certain areas of the face. Unlike neuromodulators, these products vary in consistency or thickness, so one product is usually not useful in addressing all areas of the face. Dermal filler effects usually last longer than neuromodulators, with results ranging from six months to two years, but getting periodic touch-ups will help sustain the desired level of correction.

What is the downtime for dermal filler treatment?

Most filler treatments require little to no downtime, though this can vary for each patient and for each type of filler injected. There are some pre- and post-treatment recommendations that will help reduce swelling and bruising:
-Avoid heavy aerobic exercise for 24–48 hours after treatment.
-Avoid NSAIDS like Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and aspirin products pre- and post-treatment.
-Many patients find arnica gel helpful in improving bruising.
-Sleeping with your head slightly elevated also helps decrease swelling.
-Avoid tanning and direct sunlight until the swelling has subsided.

What is Kybella and how does it work?

Kybella is used to reduce fat below the chin for what’s commonly called a double chin. This injectable became available in 2015. It offers a non-surgical option in permanently destroying fat—yes permanently! The active ingredient in Kybella is deoxycholic acid, which is a molecule naturally found in the body that helps break down fat. When injected into the treatment area, it breaks down fat cells, which the body gradually excretes over a period of time. 

Kybella usually requires an average of 3–4 treatments at six-week intervals, though this can vary depending on the desired goal. Though Kybella is FDA approved only for chin fat, it has been found to be helpful and is commonly used in reducing stubborn fat in areas like the love handle and back. 

If treating the chin area, I advise clients to get this treatment done before a lazy weekend or a vacation from work due to the swelling that will occur. The swelling usually starts to subside after a few days as the body gradually excretes the destroyed fat cells. Numbness, redness, and hardness to the treatment area are common side effects. 

Sharonda Dobbins, ANP-BC is a Nurse Practitioner and Owner of Royalty Wellness Spa. For information call 901.779.2385 or visit