Botox Vs. Fillers in Santa Monica

Both Botox and dermal fillers are fast and nearly painless ways to eliminate wrinkles and achieve firm, youthful skin. These proven and popular procedures can be performed in about half an hour. The injections are a life-changing alternative to traditional surgeries, and their applications are ever-expanding.  

Dr. Michael Zarrabi is committed to keeping Santa Monicans gorgeous, and has extensive experience performing cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. In fact, Dr. Zarrabi has been administering Botox injections successfully for over 16 years. Schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Michael Zarrabi to learn more. You may call his office in Santa Monica at (310) 584-9990 or use this convenient form. You have only one life. Why not live it looking your best?

Botox and Dermal Fillers

Botox has wrecked wrinkles for decades. After advances in dermal fillers in the early 2000’s, this treatment quickly became another favorite of doctors and patients alike. In fact, in 2018, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported Botox as the #1 most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure. In that year alone, 1,801,033 recorded injections of Botox were performed. Fillers came in 2nd place, with 810,240 recorded procedures being performed. (1)

Botox Vs. Fillers in Santa Monica

If you’re debating which injections are right for you, it’s important to understand how each of these treatments work, and what they can do for you

You already know that botox and dermal fillers alike treat wrinkles on the face, and that both treatments are delivered via injection.  But to know which treatment best meets your needs, understanding what Botox and dermal fillers each do is a must. The success of these treatments largely depends on the type and severity of the area being treated. Some areas will respond better to one treatment, and some to the other. Both Botox and dermal fillers can be enormously beneficial in improving the quality of your skin and your self confidence. Once you understand the abilities these powerful treatments have, you may choose to use them both. 

Botox and dermal fillers can be used together, and to compliment other treatments.  

Before and After Photos

Botox Basics

Botox is a potent aid in turning back the aging process, but it also has life-changing non-cosmetic applications.  Botox is FDA approved as a treatment for migraines, and has proven extremely effective in alleviating the excruciating pain that this condition inflicts. 

Botox injections can also help treat primary axillary hyperhidrosis- or profuse sweating of the palms of the hands, the feet, armpits, groin, or other parts of the body. Dr. Zarrabi has effectively treated many sufferers of hyperhidrosis with Botox injections. Botox eliminates excess sweating by interrupting the chemical that triggers the sweat glands and cutting the process of perspiration off at the source. 

As a fellowship trained Hand and Microsurgeon, Dr. Zarrabi is particularly qualified in treating sweaty palms.

Dr. Zarrabi is trained in performing a special nerve block which makes injections of Botox into the hands virtually pain-free. After a painless administration of local anesthetic into the wrist, the palms of the hand are numb and pain from the Botox injections is minimal.  To learn more about how Botox can help with your embarrassing hyperhidrosis, schedule your consultation with Dr. Zarrabi. 

In cosmetic applications, Botox essentially works against your muscles, keeping them from fully contracting, and otherwise advertising your lines and wrinkles.

Botox is an effective solution for:

  • “Bunny” lines – wrinkles on either side of and across the bridge of the nose 
  • Crow’s feet that crinkle when squinting or smiling
  • Forehead lines that deepen with raised eyebrows
  • Glabellar wrinkles between the eyebrows, also known as “the 11’s”
  • “Smokers’ lines” around the mouth

Besides reducing wrinkles, Botox is also an exciting way to sculpt and define features. Strategically placed Botox injections can:

  • Give the appearance of a fuller upper lip 
  • Smooth out dimpling in the surface of the chin
  • Soften the jawline, and reduce the appearance of masseter hypertrophy, or over-developed jaw muscles 
  • Tighten and smooth the skin of the neck

Facts About Fillers

Botox Vs. Fillers in Santa Monica

Dermal fillers volumize depleted skin, unlike Botox, which keeps your muscles from contracting. There are several different kinds of dermal fillers currently available. Depending on the type, fillers work by stimulating the production of collagen, restoring hyaluronic acid, or introducing a synthetic material that cushions and volumizes underneath the skin. As the name suggests, dermal fillers “fill” in wrinkles from below the surface of the skin. The traditional surgical facelift only repositions the facial skin. It doesn’t restore plump, youthful volume to the face.(2)  Dermal fillers can restore sunken cheeks, or be used in lip augmentation for fuller, more voluptuous lips. Dermal fillers also have the advantage of being minimally invasive and require no recovery time. While our face is often the first thing people see, our hands are also a tell-tale sign of our age. 

Dr. Zarrabi has pioneered a hand rejuvenation procedure that uses a filler to take years off the appearance of the hands. 

Dermal fillers address these common cosmetic concerns:

Personal Consultation

Dr. Zarrabi and his staff are committed to helping patients feel relaxed and confident from the first phone call through every office visit and beyond. We spend at least an hour for all new patient consultations. During this time Dr. Zarrabi spends time listening to your concerns, understanding your goal, and your expectations. After a thorough examination Dr. Zarrabi will discuss Botox and dermal filler treatment options. He will help you to understand the advantages and disadvantages, and detail a customized plan to give you the most beautiful and natural results. Dr. Zarrabi will sincerely tell you if he thinks you are a good candidate for injections, or if another procedure might be more successful in helping you achieve your aesthetic goals.

We invite you to learn more about us and to schedule your consultation with Dr. Michael Zarrabi here, in beautiful Santa Monica.

Before Your Injections in Santa Monica

There are a few things you’ll need to do before you begin your rejuvenation treatments, whether you’re having Botox or dermal filler injections.

  •  Discontinue blood thinners two weeks before your procedure. 
  • Avoid alcohol the day before and after your injections to reduce the risk of excessive bleeding. 
  • Most importantly, Botox is not safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women.  The toxins can harm your fetus or breastfeeding child. The safety of dermal fillers is unknown for use in pregnant or breastfeeding women or in patients under 18 years of age. Talk to Dr. Zarrabi if you think you are, or might become pregnant.

Instant Results

You’ll notice results right away whether you’ve opted for Botox, fillers, or both.

And, over the course of a week, you’ll see continued improvement. However, Botox and dermal fillers do differ in longevity. Fillers can last anywhere from six months to five years. The effects of Botox wear off after three to six months. Dr. Zarrabi will advise the patient as to the treatment option and regimen that will meet their goals.

During your consultation, Dr. Zarrabi will discuss your medical history with you to prevent any adverse effects from your injections. Side effects are minor, and usually clear up on their own.  

Botox Vs. Fillers in Santa Monica

Adverse reactions after Botox injections are minimal and uncommon, especially when injections do not exceed that recommended dose. Dr. Zarrabi and Nurse Practitioner Sherri Sanvictores make it a point to use the least amount of Botox possible to ensure natural-looking results, so you can be assured that you are in good hands. Botox reactions include headache, nausea, dry mouth, and temporary muscle paralysis(3)

The most common side effects from dermal fillers include bruising, redness, swelling, mild pain, and itching. Most side effects occur shortly after injection and go away within two weeks.(4) 


Dr. Zarrabi is pleased to provide you with multiple financing options for your procedures.

Because of the extensive array and varied applications of dermal fillers, the cost of dermal filler treatment varies. Similarly, the cost of Botox procedures will depend on the sites addressed and the amount of Botox used. During your consultation Dr. Zarrabi will discuss the best options for your facial structure, problem areas, and preferred outcome. All of these factors will help dictate the actual cost of the customized procedure.


What’s better, Botox or fillers?

These treatments have different strengths and different uses.
Botox eliminates wrinkles by keeping muscles from contracting and displaying wrinkles. Dermal fillers create volume underneath the skin, and can “fill” deep lines.

Can I get Botox to refresh my face if I just had a baby?

The FDA has ruled that Botox and dermal fillers are not safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. But, if you’re not breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant again soon, treat yourself!

Can I get Botox and a filler at the same time?

Botox and fillers can be used together safely. Each treatment has advantages that can address issues that the other does not.


  1. American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Cosmetic (Aesthetic) Surgery National Data Bank.; 2018. Accessed January 22, 2021.
  2. Fagien, Steven M.D.; Klein, Arnold W. M.D. A Brief Overview and History of Temporary Fillers: Evolution, Advantages, and Limitations, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: November 2007 – Volume 120 – Issue 6S – p 8S-16S doi: 10.1097/01.prs.0000248788.97350.18
  3. Shilpa PS, Kaul R, Sultana N, Bhat S. Botulinum toxin: the midas touch. J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2014;5(1):8-14. doi:10.4103/0976-9668.127274 
  4. Office of the Commissioner. Filling in Wrinkles Safely. Food and Drug Administration. Published online November 18, 2020. Accessed January 22, 2021.
  • Share: