Collagen Injections & Fillers
Originally used for filling in lines and reducing wrinkles, injectables and fillers have now become a huge market in creating a youthful face without having surgery. From Nasal reshaping to creating cheeks, jaw lines and creating overall volume, injectables and fillers are the new go-to procedure that it seems everyone is checking out. More injectable procedures are being done because of cost, less down time, and quicker, instant results.
Before deciding to have any kind of injectable done to your face, always consult with your doctor first. Make sure that they are fully trained and do a lot of the procedure that you are thinking about having done.
Here is a quick breakdown of the most commonly used injectables for the face, or as I like to call them liquid miracles...including what they are made of and where they can be used.
Botox: A protein that temporarily reduces muscle activity. No allergy test required. It usually lasts 3-6 months; it is the first of its kind approved by the FDA for cosmetic use. It has been used in other areas of the body for over 20 years.
Where can it be used:
- Raising up the eyebrows for a temporary brow lift
- Crows feet around the eyes
- Bunny Lines around nose
- Upper lip vertical lines
- Chin for the orange peel or dimpled look (minimizes large pores)
- Neck for platysmal bands that are weak
- Underarms and hands for sweating
- Lifts corners of the mouth
Dysport: The same type of muscle relaxant as Botox, and can be used in all the same areas in the face as Botox, although it starts to work quicker. (1-2 days)
Xeomin: The newest muscle relaxer…FDA approved for cosmetic glabellar use. It is a pure form of the protein, which promises a quick onset.
Juvederm: It is made out of Hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance our body makes to help with hydration, joint lubrication and joint cushioning. No allergy test is needed. Results are immediate. Can be used anywhere in the face, but more commonly used in lips, nasolabial folds, marionette lines, under the hollows of the eyes, the jaw line, and the temples.
Restylane: It is also Hyaluronic acid, like Juvederm. It can also be used anywhere on the face, but mostly in the lips, under the hollows of the eyes, and the nasolabial folds.
Perlane: Also Hyaluronic acid, but a bigger molecule. This one is used in the lips and also for deeper lines in the face.
Radiesse: This is a calcium based product that works well in deeper lines and for volume in the cheeks. It creates volume by stimulating collagen production and tissue regeneration. It is not as forgiving if injected improperly...so I don’t advise this one for use in the lips or fine lines. This one is great for rejuvenating hands and for nasal augmentation, as well as jowls and marionette lines.
Artefill: (Artecoll) the first non-reabsorbable dermal filler approved by the FDA. The results are immediate and can be long term. There is an allergy test that must be done first. It is made of PMMA (polymethylmethacrylate) suspended in bovine (cow) collagen. The collagen eventually gets reabsorbed by your body, and the micro-spheres stay and stimulate new collagen and tissue growth. Good for deep lines and the jaw line. Not used as much for fine lines or around the eyes. Results are immediate, and final results are seen in about 6 months after the procedure.
Sculptra: A volumizer and acts as a replacement for lost collagen. It is made out of Poly-L-lactic acid, a safe substance that promotes collagen production. It is injected and the results begin to appear 3 months later, restoring volume to the face. It is injected in a total of 3-4 sessions about 3-4 weeks apart. It works well in cheeks and nasolabial folds, and for people who have lost a lot of fat in their face.
Silicone: This is not FDA approved, and a few doctors use it off-label in the lips. Many people advise against it as it can look great at first, but problems such as necrosis, migration, inflammation, and granuloma can occur.
Collagen: This was one of the first fillers around. It is made of bovine or cow collagen, and a skin test is needed for allergy testing. It lasts about 3 months and can be used anywhere on the face but mostly the lips, nasolabial folds, and marionette lines. Because there are so many newer products out, this one isn’t used as much as it was in the 80’s and 90’s.
What’s coming up in the future?
Belotero Balance Dermal Filler: Also a Hyaluronic acid, but it will have the ability to be injected superficially, or closer to the upper layers of the skin such as around the eyes.
Prevelle: A thicker form of Hyaluronic acid that can be injected deeper and directly on to the bone, for people who want lifting or fullness but want to stay with Hyaluronic acid and not do something permanent.
Tips on how to get a great result:
Decide with yourself what area it is that you want treated and do your homework. Go online and read as much as you can. Find a qualified professional who has received the proper training and does injectables on a routine basis. Going to someone who is not properly trained can result in lumps, bumps, droops, discoloration, bruising, swelling, and sometimes disfigurement.
Be sure that you check with your doctor and find out which product is best for you. I always advise patients to start out with non-permanent filler first, so you can see if you like the result. Another tip is…if you like the result, don’t wait until the product is gone before you do it again. Make an appointment with your doctor and have a touch-up done so that you have a base of the product and don’t have to start all over again. With everything, start out conservatively because you can always add more.
Follow the instructions given to you by your doctor for your pre and post treatment care to ensure that you have optimal results.