.Botox vs. Fillers: What’s the difference?

A fabulous #dermdiva recently emailed me and asked the golden question: What is the difference between #botox and #fillers ? I cannot tell you how many times a day I am asked this question.  I love my job (and all things botox and fillers) so it excites me when people want to learn more!

Botox is a drug name; so is Dysport and Xeomin.  They are all #neuromodulators that have proteins made from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. These products are used relax the muscles that cause frown lines (“11’s”), wrinkled foreheads, and lines around our eyes (crows feet).

Botox is distributed from a company called Allergan.

Dysport is distributed from a company called Galderma.

Xeomin is distributed from a company called Merz. 

Think of it like this: we have Coca Cola and we have Pepsi. They both make “soda” but there is a difference, right? Same thing with these neuromodulators. Without getting into too much detail there are medical reasons (like packaging, reconstitutions and units) which differentiate between the three. Patients often come in asking for #botox because they’ve heard about it from friends or simply because it has been around the longest and people don’t know about the other two. Bottom line: patient preference and sometimes budget (not all the time) are how we can target which is right for you.

I have put together “TheDermDiva Q&A” from the most common questions my patients ask:

Q: Where do you inject botox/dysport/xeomin? Where can I have the injected?

Neuromodulators are injected directly into the muscle. The most common areas treated are:

Forehead (FRONTALIS)

Frontalis muscle*patient has consented to photo publicity

Glabella (Corrugator and Procerus)

Corrugator/Procerus *patient has consented to photo publicity

Crows Feet (Orbicularis Oculi)

Orbicularis Oculi *patient has consented to photo publicity

Q: How much product will I need? How much will this cost me? How long does it last?

A consultation is required in order to assess every patient as no treatment plan is the same.  During your appointment we will take photos of you smiling, not smiling and also at a few different facial angles. It is hard to say without an assessment how many “units” you will need to get the perfect outcome. Pricing depends on the “units” we will use or sometimes how many “areas” (think: forehead, etc.) we are treating. On average treatment lasts around 3 months.  This is why #prevention and #maintenance is key! Keep reading to find out why!

Q: Ok, but I am scared. Will I look “frozen?” I don’t want to look frozen! Will I look worse once it wears off?

I love this meme because it is SO TRUE!

A very common question.  My response – do not be scared!I personally feel people are more afraid of their friends, husbands or wives finding out than they are about the actual procedure. My patients appreciate when we discuss what bothers them the most, and together we come up with a treatment plan. If you don’t want to look “frozen” than you will not look frozen! You want the perfect eyebrow lift? No problem. Lets put this misconception to rest already – you will not look worse after the treatment wears off.  Your lines however will not be as pronounced, which is why maintenance is KEY! Make sure you keep up with your treatments every three or so months for best results.

Q: I am only in my 20s/30s. Am I too young to start?

PREVENTION. PREVENTION. PREVENTION. In your 20s if you are starting to notice those annoying 11’s starting or some mild lines in your forehead this is the best time to start an anti-aging regimen. If you start in your 20s/30s you will not need as many “units” to achieve the perfect outcome.  Also, you may notice only needing treatment once or twice a year.  The price isn’t so bad either because you aren’t requiring so much product.  If neurotoxin treatment isn’t for you that is fine. Make sure to wear SPF daily and invest in good medical grade skin care! (Hmm..I think I just found my next post!)

Q: What about fillers? How are they different?

Restylane and its family of injectables is distributed by Galderma

Juvéderm and its collection of fillers is distributed by Allergan

More commonly people know and will ask about #juvéderm and #restylane. There are other filler types, but for the sake of this post (and time) I will only mention these two. They are both made by two different companies just as discussed with Botox, Dysport and Xeomin. These fillers are #hyaluronicacid fillers.  These fillers give patients volume in areas where they may have lost it from the aging process.  Common areas for volume loss are the cheeks, lower face, around our mouths and even our lips.

Q: You mentioned volume loss. How do these fillers restore volume?

Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in our skin. As we age we lose collagen in our skin therefore losing volume.  HA fillers such as Juvéderm Ultra, Juvéderm UltraPlus and the Restylane family (just to name a few) are able to create a smooth, wrinkle free look.  I love treating patients with filler because the correction is immediate.  Talk about instant gratification!

Q: How will I know which filler is right for me? How much will I need.

The best way to determine which filler is right for you is by coming in for a consultation.  There we will discuss what bothers you and what you are trying to achieve. We will also take pictures and during the assessment decide how many syringes of product you will need. Everyone is different and every treatment area may require a different number of syringes. It also depends on the patients volume deficit and of course I try to keep budget in mind. If budget is a factor but multiple syringes are needed I always advise patients they will not achieve 100% correction.  I do this to to set proper treatment expectations.

Q: Where are the more common areas that fillers are used?

Most patients start to notice their smiles lines (lines around mouth)  first which prompts them to come see me. Others complain that they no longer have an upper lip or that they hate their jowls. Maybe you just want a little lip plumping. No problem!  It is my job to educate the patient on WHY this happens and HOW we can correct it.  Many are surprised on how simple it really is to correct their lips or lines, and they are immediately happy.

Happy Patients = Happy DermDiva!



Q: What about side effects for both treatments?

Patients can expect some redness, bruising and swelling at the injection site. These results are normal, temporary and will last from a few hours (redness, swelling) to a few days (bruising.)  Avoid alcohol, ibuprofen and aspirin at least 5 days prior to your procedure to decrease the chances of bruising. If you have some swelling icing every 15 minutes for the remainder of the day will help.  Minor discomfort is to be expected during the treatment despite having numbing cream applied prior to the procedure. Most fillers contain lidocaine which helps reduce the discomfort. If you have Botox, Dysport or Xeomin I advise patients not to lie down 4-6 hours post treatment, and avoid any physical activities for the remainder of the day. Mild headaches can also occur. Proper injection technique decreases the chances of ptosis; the dreaded “eyelid droop.” Unfortunately a true lid ptosis can happen in 1-2% of patients. Making sure your injector is properly trained will decrease that very small percentage even more. Again neuromodulators are not permanent so if that were to ever happen the effects will wear off within 3 months.

Intrigued yet? Thought so! Hopefully you all have learned a thing or two about these treatments.

I truly love what I do. It is so rewarding to not only educate you but to read all of your amazing emails and comments. Remember: I am here to make you LOOK and FEEL your best- always!

Questions or comments? Leave me some love below!



.Shop: Skin Care Must Haves.

Hi DermDivas!

Today I will be comparing my favorite must have skin care products.  These products can be purchased by clicking the links below or just click here to shop my Instagram looks!

You don’t need to leave the house and they will be sent directly to you! Can you say score?

Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Control Foam Wash • Cetaphil • $13.99  SIMPLE. NON-DRYING. OIL CONTROL. I recommend this facial cleanser to ALL of my acne patients! I can’t lie – I LOVE this product and use during the week.  It makes my skin feel SO CLEAN! Thanks #galderma for an awesome product!

SkinMedica Facial Cleanser • Skinmedica • $38  SAFE FOR ALL SKIN TYPES. Oily skin? Dry skin? No problem! Works to rid dirt, oils and makeup. Perfect to use twice a day as part of your daily regimen.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizing Gel • Neutrogena • $17.99  LIGHTWEIGHT. HYDRATING. NON-GREASY. Awesome moisturizer to use daily before you put your makeup on or before going to sleep. Does not make your skin feel sticky. Perfect OTC product if you are new to the skin care world, and looking for something easy to use everyday. Won’t break the bank (WBTB) either!

HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator • Skinmedica • $178  A TRUE HYALURONIC ACID. Did you know #hyaluronicacid is naturally found in our skin? By 50 we can lose up to 40% of natural HA. This product leaves you skin feeling supple, plump and rejuvinated. Perfect for that #dermdiva who is looking for an anti-aging product to help stimulate new HA production.

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic • Skinceuticals • $163  VITAMINS C, E AND FERULIC ACID. Trifecta of antioxidants which prevent anti-aging. Helps reduct pigmentation from sun damage. Comes in a cute bottle with a fancy dropper. Rich, hydrating and perfect for nighttime use.

Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum • Skinmedica • $154  THE “NO HYDROQUINONE” PRODUCT. I have used Lytera in the past , but SkinMedica has recently launched Lytera 2.0. This pigment corrector is safe to use on all skin types.  I noticed results in as little as 2 weeks! Perfect for any #dermdiva who is not into serums. Use twice a day (before makeup in the AM, after washing face in the PM) for best results.

Clinique Limited-Edition Jumbo All About Eyes Rich • Clinique • $53  PERFECT NON-MEDICAL GRADE EYE CREAM. Moisturizing, super rich product. Great for first time eye cream users. May not be for that #dermdiva with extra puffiness after a long night out. Overall a great first step in the anti-aging eye cream world. Another WBTB score!

SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair® • Skinmedica • $102  ANTI-AGING. HA. VITAMINS A, C AND E. Anti-aging eye cream in ONE bottle. Best of the best. Fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles be gone! A must have for any #dermdiva who wants to increase collagen, elasticity and reduce signs of aging. #tgfskinmedica

These last four products are ones that patients have tried and loved or skincare tools for everyday use. No comparison to other products; just ones that are needed in your medicine cabinet!

SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum® • Skinmedica • $281  PRICEY – BUT WORTH IT. For that #dermdiva who has already tried OTC products that just aren’t cutting it. Eye cream, day cream and night time in one bottle. The fine line and wrinkle fighter. Another #tgfskinmedica product.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion • Mario Badescu • $17  BLEMISH BE GONE! Salicylic Acid + calming calamine creates the perfect combination to get rid of that pimple fast. Many of my patients swear by this product! Personally, I like our SDG Clear Clinic “Vanished” because I can throw it in my bag, there is an easy to use applicator, and I know it works!

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 • Skinceuticals • $125 WINTER DRY SKIN CURE. Omg – have you ever put your foundation on (shop my favorite foundation here) and your face looks super dry and flaky? I have been experiencing that all winter until I started using this amazing product. Rich and EXTRA moisturizing, but does not clog pores! A winter must have!

Clarisonic Smart Profile(TM) Set • clarisonic • $199 ON SALE! 33% OFF! BUY NOW! Have you been wanting to try a #clarisonicproduct but not sure which one? Look no further. This Smart Profile set by Clarisonic is perfect! It will remove dirt, oils and your makeup without stripping your skin of natural oils. Even better this product is ON SALE! CLICK FAST — you don’t want to wait too long and miss out!

Thanks for checking out my favorite skin care products! Throughout the year I change my regimens because my skin becomes more dry or more oily from the weather. I will be sure to share those tips throughout the next few months with you all!



PS. If you are interested in chatting more about skin care or how to fight anti-aging comment below! If you live in the NY-Long Island area you can always make an appointment with me in my Smithtown office! I’d love to meet you and chat about all things beauty+dermatology!

.Shop: My Makeup Must-Haves.

I am so excited to share with all my #dermdivas my makeup MUST HAVES! I use these products every day before heading out to the office.

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Santa Fe. I LOVE this foundation because it makes my skin feel like I have NOTHING on!

Beautyblender is a total must have. Just wet the sponge, squeeze out excess water,and apply makeup. It’s that easy. I have tried others, but there is no comparison. Spend the $20 because it is so worth it!

Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly is my go to eye shadow primer. I have been using this primer for over ten years. The perfect shade of nude that can be used with any eye shadow color. #macloverforever

All That Glitters eye shadow is another oldie but goodie. This is the best eye shadow that can be paired with a day or night time look. Such a perfect shade with just the right amount of shimmer!

Too Faced Better Than Sex MascaraClick here to find out why I love this mascara!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Soft Brown for the perfect brows. Pick your shade according to your hair color for the best match.

Tarte PRO Glow Highlight & Contour Palette comes with a cream and a powder bronzer for the perfect chiseled cheek. There are also four different highlight options to pick from to achieve glowing skin. Can we say #contouredcheeksplease

Nars Blush in Orgasm creates the perfect combination for a soft daytime look or a more dramatic night on the town. A subtle pink with a touch of shimmer makes this my absolute favorite blush.


.Get rid of Acne FAST: All about Acne Light Therapy Treatments.

Today’s post will be featuring the latest acne treatment options that can help reduce breakouts STAT! Who has time for a stubborn pimple anyway? From a work event to a first date I can get rid of that blemish ASAP!

Acne light therapy treatment AKA “red/blue light” is used in my practice to speed up the acne treatment process. There is barely any down time and it’s virtually painless! I will take you step by step through what this treatment is, why we use it, and how it can benefit your skin!

Red/Blue light is a LED therapy that benefits patients who have acne prone skin (think: oily skin, inflamed pimples, etc.) The treatment is broken down into two – 15 minute sessions. The first 15 minutes is a blue light that helps kill the Propioni­bacterium acnes, (P. acnes) bacteria found in our oil glands that cause pimples. The last 15 minutes is a bright red light (infrared) that minimally heats the skin, decreases the size of our oil glands, and eliminates inflammation (bye bye redness!) For best results the treatment should be performed at least twice a week.   This acne light therapy is safe to use with any topical or oral acne treatment regimen.  In fact, I even recommend this to my isotretinoin (accutane) patients! I love this treatment because it can be done during a lunch break or before/after school.

Our Red/Blue light machine

Prior to starting the area being treated is cleansed with alcohol. The patient is then given goggles to wear during the half hour procedure for eye protection.  The LED panel is then placed approximately 1-2 centimeters over the body treatment area (such as face, back and chest.)  The settings are set and the patient is ready to go! So easy, right?

LED panel

We can also use the blue light by itself for a procedure called Photodynatic Therapy.  PDT is used with a medication called levulan ( 5-aminolevulinic Acid.) This is a very effective treatment for patients who have moderate to severe acne.  Typically patients will need a series of treatments for optimal results.

First, the area is cleansed with acetone at least 2 times to remove any dirt or oils. Next, the photosensitive agent levulan is applied to the area affected with acne for an incubation period.  The incubation period ranges from as little as 15 minutes to as long as 45 minutes depending on skin type and number of treatment sessions.  After the incubation period patients are given goggles to wear, and are then placed under the blue light for 15 minutes. Post procedure it is VERY important to stay out of the sun for at least three days.  It is also important to wear SPF (I love EltaMD UV Clear) stop all topical acne treatments, and wash your skin with gentle cleansers twice a day. Patients should expect redness, dryness, and peeling of the skin post procedure.

Companies such as Neutrogena have come out with #athome light therapy treatments.  The question is always asked – what’s the difference? Naturally in-office treatments have stronger LED capabilities and depth. What’s the cost of #redbluelight treatment you might ask? It will vary from office to office as it is not covered by insurance. In my Smithtown office I charge my patients $150.00 per session.

If you are someone who has a lot of redness on the face, cysts that are painful and won’t go away or even just one or two white heads THIS TREATMENT IS FOR YOU!

Wishing all of my #dermdivas a great Monday!



PS. Acne light therapy is in People Magazine ! Take a look at this article that features Dr. Schweiger!


In honor of Valentine’s Day yesterday I am posting about every girls desire. Better Than Sex Mascara.

If you are like me and have been searching for the perfect mascara keep reading this post. I have finally found it.  Made by Too Faced this product is EVERYTHING.  I am sure you heard of this mascara before because the rave is already out there.  I asked myself WHY I’ve waited this long to try it.  After just two coats this #dermdiva had thick, dramatic lashes and was ready for a night on the town. Finally the search is over!

As I was leaving the store this weekend after buying new nail polish Ulta had a display of different types of mascara.  As females we don’t need any more beauty confusion by trying to figure out which is the *best*mascara to buy.  More definition. More fullness. Thicker lashes. Ahhh – aren’t they supposed to do the same thing? I glanced to the right and saw the #betterthansexmascara next to another mascara I recently purchased.  Priced at only $23 I figured I would try it out. I have spend hundreds of dollars on other eyelash products so what’s another $23?

Fast forward to that night.  I could not wait to get ready for dinner with the hubby.  I sat at my chic vanity and started applying my makeup.  WELL….this #dermdiva was blown away by the results. One coat had me intrigued…two coats had me hooked…three coats and I was obsessed!

Not only does it promise on the results but the mascara packaging itself is so cute!  It comes in a pink tube, and the applicator has a sleek “hour glass” shape. The shape of the wand is important because it allows the mascara to get closer to the eyelid margin for increased volume! Va Va VOOM!

I took a few before and after photos to share with you all. Look below!

Before mascara. Eyeshadow and eyeliner only.

Comparing with/without mascara. No clumping was noticed upon applying the first coat (I hate clumpy mascara!) The second coat added more fullness to the lashes.

After two coats of #betterthansexmascara – crazy length!

I was an eyelash extension lover at one point. The problem with the eyelash extensions is that I couldn’t wear any eyeshadow or eyeliner.  The price tag didn’t help either as I was spending $100 every month on fill ins!

TheDermDiva verdict: A+ 

If you can get to #ulta or #sephora today go buy it.  Believe me – you want this mascara!

Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your loved ones!