Injectables or Fillers? Know the Difference for Beautiful Results
Not everyone ages the same. Some age prematurely while others continue to look great well into their fifties. But the years eventually take their toll on all of us and facial skin is where the effects are most evident. The main causes of facial aging are a breakdown of elastin and collagen, displacement or loss of underlying fat, and changes in bone density.
Many patients take a preventative approach through non-surgical cosmetic treatments. Although little can be done to correct bone density changes, aesthetic medicine can help with volume loss and a reduction of collagen and elastin production.
Today, dermatology has a better understanding of facial aging and can resolve many effects like facial lines and wrinkles, nasolabial folds and volume loss with non-surgical and minimally invasive treatments. The use of injectable solutions like neuromodulators, collagen stimulators, and hyaluronic acid fillers have great popularity and are a driving force in the cosmetic medical field.
Cosmetic injectables have seen the biggest advancements in non-surgical anti-aging treatments. Perhaps their greatest advantage is that anyone can benefit from an injectable at some point in their life to keep them looking young. Other benefits include quick results, easy treatments, and little to no downtime.
The injectable menu provides an assortment of products which treat both the visible effects of aging as well as the underlying causes. Dermal fillers are used to plump up wrinkles and refill volume loss while neuromodulators like BOTOX® will prevent muscle movement to reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Combining an assortment of injectables and fillers has been gaining popularity because of proven clinical results. Longer lasting results have been reported when fillers and neuromodulators are used in combination.
Brands to look for: BOTOX®, Dysport, and Xeomin®
Since 2002 BOTOX® has been a favorite cosmetic procedure for millions of patients worldwide. It is effective in the treatment of wrinkles and lines, specific to the forehead, brow, and the area around the eyes. Needless to say, BOTOX® has become a household name.
BOTOX®, Dysport, and Xeomin® are the currently approved injectables known as neuromodulators or neurotoxins which block nerve receptors on muscles temporarily. This effect helps prevent dynamic wrinkles and lines from forming. Neurotoxins can be used in many different areas to reverse the effects of aging like the appearance of crow’s feet around the eyes, fine lines at the eyebrow, and horizonal lines on the forehead and neck.
Brands to look for: Belotero Balance, Juvéderm®, Juvéderm® Voluma, and Restylane®
Hyaluronic Acid fillers are rapidly expanding as an approach to improve facial aging (like nasolabial folds) and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Dermal fillers may add structure and restore volume depending on the type of filler used and the injection depth. Hyaluronic acid fillers have some risks including temporary redness and bruising but are extremely safe.
With natural levels of hyaluronic acid declining with age, women fifty and over have half the hyaluronic acid they had in their teens. The key to this natural sugar is its ability to hold over 100 times its weight in water. This absorption not only allows for better skin hydration but also fills the space between elastin and collagen fibers which will improve the skin’s plumpness.
Because the product’s main ingredient is a natural component, the products look and feel natural. Results can last from months to years depending on the product and treatment area. If necessary, the treatment is reversible with hyaluronidase injections which can dissolve the filler.
Many Hyaluronic acid filler injectables contain lidocaine to make the procedure more comfortable. This additive eliminates the use of any anesthesia injection which may cause swelling and affect results.
Brand to look for: Sculptra® Aesthetic
Sculptra® is a long-lasting filler which stimulates the body’s own collagen production within the skin. This stimulation increases the skin structure which will help increase volume from within the skin. Sculptra®’s effects can last for years with most patients requiring an average of three treatments spaced about a month apart.
Brand to look for: Radiesse®
Radiesse® consists of calcium hydroxyapatite microspheres suspended in a sugar-based gel carrier. It can be injected into multiple areas to address different problems including chin wrinkles, jowls, the corners of the mouth, marionette lines and smile lines. It can also be effective in decreasing the aged appearance of the hands.
There are two phases which occur in the body with Radiesse®. First, there is a volume increase because of the product itself. Then a prolonged degradation leading to collagen formation which in general makes this filler a longer lasting filler than those discussed earlier, with results lasting up to a year or longer.