Many of the facial manifestations of aging are due to the combined effects of progressive bone resorption, decreased tissue elasticity, and redistribution of subcutaneous tissue due to gravity. The most common problem we encounter in patients is volume loss in the face resulting in lines, folds, and sagging. Even lips are prone to loss of volume and definition. Dermal fillers are one way we can replace lost volume and help restore younger-looking, firmer skin and appearance.
In the 1800’s, shortly after the invention of the syringe, chemical agents were used to replace lost volume in the face – with pretty unpleasant results. Paraffin was the first injectable filling agent to be used, but was discontinued due to severe complications and side effects. In 1981, bovine collagen became the first FDA approved agent for cosmetic injection. Since then, dozens of injectable agents have been approved for use as cosmetic dermal fillers. However, there are important differences worth noting. Let’s discuss the three most commonly used types of dermal fillers:
Calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse)
Calcium-based fillers use calcium hydroxylapatite, a compound found naturally in human bones, which has been added to an aqueous solution for injection. Calcium hydroxylapatite is bioproduced so it is not actually a human product (and no animals were injured to make it!). Radiesse is the most common type of calcium-based filler. It is an excellent product for replacing volume loss since it stimulates collagen production. There is, however, an important downside to its use. Radiesse cannot be dissolved if a patient does not like the results or, more importantly, in a situation where a small amount of the filler enters or compresses a blood vessel. The blockage of blood flow is an emergency situation. It can result in tissue necrosis if not treated by removing the product which may require surgery.
Polylactic acid (Sculptra)
This synthetic dermal filler also stimulates your body’s own production of collagen. This process occurs slowly over a month and typically requires more than one treatment. As with calcium-based fillers, Sculptra cannot be dissolved once it has been injected.
Hyaluronic Acid Fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Belotero, Versa)
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is produced naturally in our bodies and is the main precursor of collagen. HA dermal fillers are gel-based formulas that can replace volume loss in the cheeks and improve deep lines that run from the nose to the mouth (nasolabial folds) or from the mouth to the chin (marionette lines). HA fillers can also be used to define the lip border or add subtle volume to the lips.
As with any dermal filler, there are risks of bruising and swelling after injection with HA fillers. These are temporary. The particular advantage of HA fillers is that they can be dissolved quickly with an enzyme (hyaluronidase). This is important if a patient does not like the result or, more urgently, in the unlikely event of a vascular blockage. Watch here to see a demonstration about how different types of dermal fillers disolve.
Adverse events associated with dermal filler injections can occur even in experienced hands. Having a skilled injector and using a product that allows for correction is the safest approach when using dermal fillers. Patient safety is our primary concern at Medical Day Spa of Chapel Hill, so we use only HA fillers.
If you live in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Apex, Morrisville, Hillsborough or anywhere in the Triangle area of North Carolina come on in and experience our new 5 Star HydraFacial Exfoliation Treatment today!
Enjoy The Experience. Delight In The Results!