While aging is a natural part of life, signs of it show up earlier for some people than for others. In particular, the skin quickly shows many signs of aging, such as lines and wrinkles, especially in those with very fair, thin, or fragile skin. Although there is no way to stop the aging process, there are some things that you can do now to enjoy the best confidence in your skin that is possible even as you get through middle age and enter your senior years.
Facial fillers are one of the best options available today for combating some moderate signs of skin aging. This type of minimally-invasive treatment is the next step beyond Botox®, but it is nowhere near as invasive as a facelift. If you are unhappy with how your skin has been looking as you have aged or if you simply want a little better tone to your skin or want to fill out certain areas of your face, facial fillers may be right for you.
There are several major types of facial fillers currently on the market. Collagen wrinkle fillers were among the first developed options. They use collagen, which is naturally found in the skin. While they were once mainly made from animal sources, today they are often available from synthetic sources and come in a variety of brands, including the following:
You may also hear about autologous wrinkle fillers, which are made from your own tissues. This is a multi-step procedure because your practitioner will first need to harvest fat from one area of your body before purifying it and injecting it elsewhere in your body. Practitioners often use fat from the belly or buttocks for this. Because the fat comes from your own body, you do not have to worry about having an allergic reaction. However, usually only a portion of this fat is successfully taken up by your body while the rest dies and is reabsorbed.
A more popular category of facial fillers these days is synthetic wrinkle fillers. These fillers are made in a lab and do not have any natural tissue properties. Most of these fillers last for a long time, but they may cause side effects in some. Some of the most commonly known synthetic fillers include the following:
However, the most popular category of wrinkle fillers by far is hyaluronic acid fillers. Many of these products have been FDA-approved and have been on the market for years, and they are used by tens of thousands of individuals every year. Hyaluronic acid is a substance naturally found in the underlying tissues of your skin. It helps to bring moisture to your skin, which in turn gives your skin a healthy, full appearance. Although the effects of hyaluronic acid fillers may not last as long as synthetic fillers do, they typically come with fewer side effects and are easier to reverse if you are not happy with your results.
Hyaluronic acid fillers work in two primary ways. First, the gel-like substance injected beneath your skin provides an initial look of fullness as soon as your procedure is completed. Second, the hyaluronic acid found in the injection will continue to draw moisture from your body to the area over the next few days to weeks, further plumping up your skin. Plus, this natural substance actually stimulates your skin to start producing more collagen itself. Therefore, many people require lower amounts of these fillers over time as their bodies start taking over more of the filling with natural collagen sources.
Although Belotero Balance® and Prevelle Silk® are two types of hyaluronic acid fillers, the most common filler brands in this category by far are Restylane® and JUVÉDERM®. These two brands may seem quite similar, but they do differ in several significant ways. Therefore, it is important that you learn as much about them before your treatment begins and that you discuss which option is best with our practitioner before beginning. Our practitioner will probably be able to recommend the best option for you based on the appearance of your skin and your ultimate anti-aging skin goals.
What Is Restylane®?
Restylane® is the trade name for the first type of hyaluronic acid filler approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. It is produced by Q-Med for injection into the face, lips and hands. However, it is primarily used to treat deep lines and wrinkles throughout the face that cannot be treated with Botox®. It is particularly helpful for treating nasolabial folds between your mouth and nose. It is also commonly used on smile lines, marionette lines and the corners of the mouth. One type of Restylane® is used for creating plumper and more dramatic lips.
Restylane® comes in several different varieties based on the area you wish to treat and the effects that you wish to experience. Plain Restylane® is made from a clear gel. Restylane-L® has lidocaine added to help with any discomfort during administration. The other types of Restylane® include the following:
- Restylane Silk®
Silk® was the first FDA-approved filler for the lips. It can only be used in those who are 21 years of age or older. Not only can it increase the size of the lips, helping them appear smoother, but also it can smooth away small wrinkles around the mouth. The gel-like particles in this product are smaller than are those in the original Restylane filler.
- Restylane Lyft®
Lyft® can be used in the cheeks, between the nose and mouth and on the backs of the hands to add in the volume that has been lost with age. In fact, you can have it injected into both your face and your hands during the same appointment. Lyft® can also give you the look of a nose job with no incisions necessary.
- Restylane Refyne®
Refyne® is designed particularly for nasolabial folds and marionette lines, which are found around the edges of your nose and mouth. Refyne® can help you appear more natural when you laugh or smile. This product uses XpresHAn Technology, which is uniquely designed to give you the most natural look possible no matter what facial expression you are making.
- Restylane Defyne®
Defyne® is similar to Refyne® except that it is used to treat the most severe wrinkles that even Refyne® cannot combat.
Restylane® is a long-lasting treatment. You should be able to enjoy great results for at least four to six months, and most products last far longer than that. Restylane® lasts for 12 months on the face but only six months in the backs of the hands. Refyne® and Defyne® generally last 12 months on average. Silk®, however, lasts only six months on average. You will want to come in for regular treatments so that you can keep up your good results. By having regular appointments for filler injections, you may notice that you can eventually wait longer between appointments as you notice longer-lasting results.
What Is JUVÉDERM®?
JUVÉDERM® is incredibly similar to Restylane®. In fact, many people consider them to be nearly the same. They are both FDA-approved and are both used by premier cosmetic practitioners. In addition, they are both made with hyaluronic acid and are used mainly on moderate to severe wrinkles and folds on the face.
However, not only is JUVÉDERM® made by a completely different brand than Restylane® is, but also it has several different qualities. Restylane® is a firmer gel with a more granular feeling. Therefore, it may not have the smooth texture that you could get from JUVÉDERM®. While Restylane® is good for large, deep lines, JUVÉDERM® is best for smaller lines and wrinkles and may produce a more natural appearance in certain areas. In addition, while Restylane® has some cross-linked hyaluronic acid in it, JUVÉDERM® boasts more, which helps it last longer following injection for most people.
Today, all types of JUVÉDERM® products are offered as XC options, which include lidocaine. This added lidocaine helps to instantly numb the injection area, providing relief from any discomfort that could be felt during the treatment. Because the lidocaine is already included in the injection, you will not have to undergo a separate injection to remain comfortable during your appointment.
Just like Restylane®, JUVÉDERM® is offered in several different varieties depending on your particular needs and on where you need the product injected.
This primary product is used mainly for smoothing the lines around your nose and mouth.
- JUVÉDERM Vollure® lasts longer than JUVÉDERM® and not only smooths the area but also adds extra volume.
- JUVÉDERM Ultra®
Ultra® is used on the lips to correct thinning or to provide extra plumpness.
- JUVÉDERM Volbella®
Volbella® is also used on the lips. However, while it also adds volume, it can smooth away vertical lip lines at the same time.
- JUVÉDERM Voluma®
Voluma® is a unique solution to add volume to hollowed-out cheeks. This helps create a more youthful appearance as fat is often naturally lost in this area as you age. Many individuals who have received Voluma® state that they appear looking five years younger after treatment.
JUVÉDERM® often lasts longer than Restylane® products do. However, you will still need to come in regularly for recurring treatments to keep up your good results. Voluma® can last up to two years, and you may need even less product at subsequent injection times. JUVÉDERM® and JUVÉDERM Vollure® last from 12 to 18 months on average. Fillers for the lips tend to last the least amount of time with most patients needing follow-up injections within one year.
What Are the Benefits of Facial Fillers?
Facial fillers, including Restylane® and JUVÉDERM®, can be incredibly beneficial for you if you are currently not altogether happy with the look of your face or skin. This treatment provides you with a great way to reduce moderate to severe lines and wrinkles without having to resort to surgeries, such as facelifts or neck lifts. This can also reduce your need for anesthesia, reduce your risk for infection and keep you from the scarring that would come with a surgery. In addition, you will enjoy the following benefits with your treatments.
- No downtime
Unlike surgeries, facial fillers are done as quick injections. You will not have to be asleep, and you will not have to stay after your appointment for a recovery period. In fact, you will immediately be able to get back to the usual activities of your day without any activity limitations.
- Minimal to no side effects
Although you may have a bit of redness at the injection site, very few patients complain of any side effects, and any side effects that do occur usually pass away quite quickly without hampering your daily life.
- Immediate results
The clear gel in these fillers immediately plumps up your skin as soon as it is injected. You will notice a difference in your looks as soon as your appointment is complete. In addition, you will notice continuing positive results over the next few days to weeks as the hyaluronic acid draws additional moisture into the area.
- Long-lasting results
These facial fillers usually last six months at minimum, and many last even longer than that, giving you results for up to one to two years. While you will have to return for follow-up injections, you will not have to worry about frequent appointments or constant checkups.
- Improved skin health
These fillers actually help your body increase its own natural collagen supplies. Over time, you should need less filler because your body will be doing more of the work.
- A completely natural look
You do not have to worry about looking unnatural after your filler injections. We will give you the smallest amount possible to provide you with the results that you want. You can expect to have younger-looking, smoother skin with a bit more volume and great facial proportions.
- Improved youthfulness and confidence
Not only will you look better after your injections, but also you will feel better. When you look younger, you can feel more confident in your own skin wherever you go. You may notice that you are excited to be involved in social events and that you are more confident at work.
Are you thinking that facial fillers may be the right choice for you? If so, you should know whether or not you are a good candidate for them. Facial fillers are generally designed for moderate to severe facial lines and wrinkles that remain in the skin even when your face is at rest. Unlike dynamic lines that appear only when you are making facial expressions, these static lines cannot be treated with Botox®. Instead, they require something to fill in the empty spaces. They can also be used to fill in hollowed-out areas in your mid-face region.
You should be generally healthy and without chronic diseases at your appointment. You should also not have skin concerns, such as rashes, over the desired treatment area. If you smoke, you should try to give up this habit because smoking can prematurely age the skin.
In addition, you should be prepared to keep up with your follow-up injection appointments if you want to maintain your results. While facial fillers are certainly long-lasting, they are not permanent and do not last nearly as long as a facelift would. If you stop your injections, your lines and wrinkles will come back, and you will lose the volume that you had gained.
Finally, you should have realistic expectations for what facial fillers can do for you. While they can certainly help you look better and may even be able to help you feel better about your looks, you should not depend on them to change your life. By establishing realistic goals for what fillers will do for you, you will likely be pleased with your results.
In addition, you will want some tips about receiving fillers before you have your first treatment completed. Tell our practitioner about any medications that you are on before your first appointment. You may not be able to take certain medications, such as blood thinners or natural supplements, before your injection. You should also not use certain products, such as bleach or wax, on the area for a few days prior to your treatment. Be sure to also discuss your goals with our practitioner. Tell them what areas you are unhappy with and where you would like more volume. Finally, you should not use dermal fillers if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Our practitioner will have the best information for you about what treatments could be right for your needs, how you should prepare for your appointment and what you can expect once your injections are done. By caring for your face now, you can age more gracefully, feel more confident wherever you go and erase unwanted lines and wrinkles from your skin. Feel free to visit Peachtree Dermatology in Atlanta to learn more. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!