As we age, our skin becomes more susceptible to wrinkles and sagging. Sun exposure and years of muscle movement (i.e., smiling, chewing, and squinting) also contribute to tissue breakdown of the skin. Fortunately, there are innovative cosmetic procedures to help ease this aging process and sustain one’s youth.
Facial fillers, which are also known as “dermal fillers” and “injectables,” are temporary to long-lasting solutions administered through a few tiny injections on specific areas of the face. Various types of facial fillers are available in the United States; each is designed with one or several purposes, such as wrinkle reduction and lip augmentation. A qualified doctor or dermatologist can work with you to determine which facial filler will provide you with optimal and rejuvenating results.
Some of the most common facial fillers available in the United States include:
ArteColl ®/ ArteFill ®: This is the first injectable to provide a permanent support solution to fill wrinkles and prevent further wrinkling. (In the United States, ArteColl ® is approved strictly for correction of nasolabial folds.)
Juvederm ™:Made of a hyaluronic acid gel, Juvederm ™ is a naturally-occurring substance in the skin that contributes to volume and hydration. Juvederm ™ is designed to temporarily correct moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds.
BOTOX Cosmetic ®: This injectable does not “fill in” the lines, wrinkles, and creases from a person’s face. As a derivative of Botulinum toxin type A, Botox ® is famous for reducing the appearance of unwanted signs of aging in upper regions of the face by temporarily blocking muscle movement (FDA approved for use in the glabellar region).
Restylane ®: A non-animal, biodegradable gel composed of hyaluronic acid, Restylane ® is a soft tissue filler that adds volume to the skin through tiny injections; smoothing facial folds and wrinkles in areas around the mouth and eyes.
Fat: This injectable is harvested from the patient’s own body. Autologous fat transfer involves taking fat from one part of the patient’s body, such as the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks, and re-injecting it beneath the facial skin.
Collagen (Zyplast/ Zyderm): A soft-tissue filler made from purified cow skin used to fill wrinkles, lines, and scars on the face. Collagen is a naturally-occurring protein that supports various parts of the body, including skin, tendons, and ligaments; it will eventually absorb into the body.
Sculptra ®:An injectable made of synthetic polylactic acid contained in microspheres, Sculptra ® is the first FDA-approved injectable for the restoration of lost facial volume (correction of lipoatrophy) in people with HIV infection.
Captique ®: Utilized for filling moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds around the nose and mouth, Captique ® is a soft tissue filler that adds volume to certain areas of the face; derived from non-animal-based hyaluronic acid.
Hylaform ®: Fills moderate to severe wrinkles around the nose and mouth, Hylaform ® is a dermal filler that has been chemically modified from hyaluronic acid; designed to temporarily smooth the surface the skin.
Radiesse ® (formerly known as Radiance): This is a synthetic dermal filler made of calcium hydroxyapatite is utilized for the correction of moderate to severe wrinkles and folds. This injectable is a longer-lasting filler because the body forms collagen around the microspheres; adding bulk to the injected areas.
* Data primarily stemmed from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
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About 10 to 20 minutes per session, depending on the individual and the amount of areas being treated.
Before receiving treatment, patients may need to undergo a skin test. This can help to prevent complications; however, some of the most common side effects include: allergic reaction, bruising at injection site, numbness, and temporary redness, swelling, pain/tenderness, or discoloration.
Injectables require very minimal downtime, allowing patients to return to work and their normal activities directly following treatment. Yet for the first 24 hours, individuals may be instructed to refrain from strenuous activities and excessive sun or heat exposure.
Lumps (granulomas/nodules) are a potential risks associated with Radiesse ®, Sculptra ®, Juvederm ®, and ArteColl®.
In general, the results from most injectables are temporary; commonly lasting from a few months to about a year. (ArteColl ® and Sculptra ® are considered longer-lasting.) This depends on the type of facial or filler or injectable used. For optimal results, additional treatment sessions are encouraged.
A facial filler or injectable treatment entails a series of tiny injections under the skin’s surface – at the subdermal-dermal levels. The amount administered depends on the depth and size of the skin defect or wrinkle. During your consultation with a qualified surgeon, you will learn if a skin test is required before receiving your treatment of choice.