That's NOT Botox.Another strong misunderstanding a lot of people have around the Boston Area is what products go where Botox does not. If it’s caused by gravity: THAT’S NOT BOTOX!
HYALURONIC ACID (HA) FILLERS (TEMPORARY)
Hyaluronic acid fillers are synthetic sugars that attract water molecules. They are placed in actual wrinkles or other areas that need volume and offer instant results. They fill in marionette lines, lift up jowls or plump up volume along the jaw line where definition has been lost.
Restylane, Perlane and Juvéderm (www.juvederm.com) are the most commonly used hyaluronic acid fillers, with Juvéderm being the leading product (I refer to Restylane as ‘old school’). There is no need for allergy testing, as these products are sugars your body naturally makes. There is little pain with injection, as the new products come with lidocaine added as a powder to the product. Expect a topical numbing agent (topical lidocaine) to be applied prior to injection. This should be left on for AT LEAST 20 minutes. The actual procedure only takes about 15 minutes. Swelling and bruising are possible and you should probably not do a filler if you have an important event within a week from treatment. ICE ICE ICE! I also recommend arnica montana cream which can be purchased at GNC or Whole Foods. You can expect results to last from six months to a year, depending on the brand and where it is placed (Juvéderm lasts the longest).
I have Juvéderm filler in my lips. It feels and looks natural. It was the first injectable I tried, and I’m very happy with it. 😉 I mostly just use HA’s in the lips and very deep frown lines between the brows. Reason being, HA’s are injected into the superficial dermis and do not give as good of a fill for the cost for deep lines and folds. I like other products more for those very deep lines.
Calcium Hydroxylapitate (SEMI-PERMANENT)
Radiesse (www.radiesse.com) is an example of a semi-permanent filler and it is made from calcium molecules suspended in a gel which stimulates your collagen. The microspheres in it create “scaffolding” that your own collagen will grow around, but is eventually broken down by the body. Radiesse can be used to fill the nasolabial folds and marionette lines, as well as define the contours of the face. It goes deep in the dermal layer of skin, and should NEVER go in the lips!
Lidocaine topical should be applied 20 minutes prior to injection. Lidocaine is added to the product immediately prior to injection.
I recently had a little lift put in my cheeks (as described in a prior blog). I had zero pain or discomfort. The lidocaine eventually traveled down my nerve from my cheek to my lips. It felt a little funny! It looks and feels completely natural.
COLLAGEN STIMULATORS (aka collagen builders or stimulating fillers)
Collagen stimulators contain particles that signal the skin to produce more collagen. Instead of just filling in select lines and wrinkles, these are used on larger areas like the cheeks. They can be used in areas where synthetic fillers look somewhat unnatural (like the lower face under the cheek area). Results are not immediate; it takes about 6 weeks to see the result of the collagen stimulation; however, the product lasts two years. Most women prefer the gradual change in their facial contour.
Sculptra (www.sculptraaesthetic.com) is an example of a collagen stimulator. It is approved by the FDA for restoration and/or correction of the signs of facial fat loss (lipoatrophy) in people with human immunodeficiency virus (as is Radiesse). Most patients require an average of two to three treatments six weeks apart for optimal results.
I had Sculptra injected into my temples. Zero pain. My patients are in LOVE with this product. It costs about as much as other fillers when you take into consideration how long it lasts. It also looks COMPLETELY natural due to the fact it’s ALL your own collagen produced. I foresee this product being my number one injectable within the next year! Move over Botox!!!
Although collagen fillers changed the face of beauty when they entered the marketplace in the 1980s, they quickly fell out of favor when longer-lasting hyaluronic acid was introduced. However, many doctors still use collagen, especially for plumping the lips and filling in “smoker’s lines” around the mouth. Although overfilling is necessary to achieve the desired result, the excess fluid is absorbed over the first few hours after treatment, and minor redness and swelling subside in a few days. Results last from two to three months… also known as a waste of money when there are so many better products!