Rectifying Signs of Aging
Rectifying Signs of Aging
Dermal fillers treat wrinkles on the face. They’re primarily used to treat smile lines, though the fillers can also be used to plump up the lips or cheeks. Sometimes, they’re used for hand treatments or to reduce the appearance of scars. Dermal fillers aren’t approved for plumping up other areas of the body, though, such as the breasts.
Dermal fillers come in different forms, and like Botox, they’re injectable. Some are temporary and used primarily for soft tissues in the face along the smile lines. The U.S. Food and Drug AdministrationTrusted has approved the following options:
calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse), a temporary gel solution that lasts for 18 months
collagen, a temporary material that lasts for up to four months
hyaluronic acid, a temporary material that loses its effect after 6 to 12 months
poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra, Sculptra Aesthetic), a man-made material that lasts about two years
polymethylmethacrylate beads, the only permanent type of dermal filler available
The materials used in dermal fillers include:
Absorbable (temporary) materials
Hyaluronic acid: Hyaluronic acid is a type of sugar (polysaccharide) that is present in body tissues, such as in skin and cartilage. It is able to combine with water and swell when in gel form, causing a smoothing/filling effect. Sources of hyaluronic acid used in dermal fillers can be from bacteria or rooster combs (avian). In some cases, hyaluronic acid used in dermal fillers is chemically modified (crosslinked) to make it last longer in the body. The effects of this material last approximately 6 – 12 months.
Calcium hydroxylapatite: Calcium hydroxylapatite is a type of mineral that is commonly found in human teeth and bones. For wrinkle filling in the face or for the hand, calcium hydroxylapatite particles are suspended in a gel-like solution and then injected into the wrinkle in the face or under the skin in the back of the hand. The effects of this material last approximately 18 months. While in the body, calcium hydroxylapatite will be visible in x-rays and may obscure underlying features.
Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA): PLLA is a biodegradable, biocompatible man-made polymer. This material has wide uses in absorbable stitches and bone screws. PLLA is a long lasting filler material that is given in a series of injections over a period of several months. The effects of PLLA generally become increasingly apparent over time (over a period of several weeks) and its effects may last up to 2 years.
Non-absorbable (permanent) materials
Polymethylmethacrylate beads (PMMA microspheres): PMMA is a non-biodegradable, biocompatible, man-made polymer. This material is used in other medical devices, such as bone cement and intraocular lenses. PMMA beads are tiny, round, smooth particles that are not absorbed by the body. When used as a soft tissue filler, PMMA beads are suspended in a gel-like solution that contains cow (bovine) collagen and injected into the face. Collagen is a type of protein that is a major part of skin and other tissues in the body.
How Effective Are Dermal Fillers?
Dermal fillers are considered effective, and the results last longer than results from Botox overall. Still, results differ depending on the exact type of filler you choose. Like Botox, you’ll need maintenance treatments once the fillers wear off.