Skin rejuvenation has come a long way since its humble beginnings. The advancement in technology alone has provided the industry with a much broader range of non-surgical options. One of the most significant advances is in the use of “filler” substances. Filler substances are based on the principle of replacing or enhancing soft tissue with biologically similar components. Our soft tissues are made of substances that help your skin retain its soft and elastic qualities.
One of the first filler substance commercially available was bovine (derived from cow protein) collagen. Because of problems with allergic reactions, companies eventually began offering human based collagen (derived from donors). However, these collagen injections tend to be absorbed fairly quickly. More recently, porcine collagen (Evolence®) has been developed which lasts 6-12 months. Evolence® is superior in its ability to minimize swelling and bruising, while providing a very soft, natural result.
Hyaluronic acid is also a naturally occurring component of our skin. Utilizing modern technology, we can now create hyaluronic acid. Unlike collagen, which requires animal donor sources, hyaluronic acid is created through a fermentation process, thus there is no risk of transmission of viral particles or of an allergic reaction.
The most commonly used hyaluronic acid fillers include: Restylane, Juvederm and PerlaneEach of these is manufactured slightly differently, resulting in variations in side effects and in longevity. Based on our experience, the following guide is useful in distinguishing the differences among these substances:
Treatment Goals:Skin wrinkle treatments with injectable fillers can:
- reduce the appearance of laugh or smile lines
- smooth out facial creases or furrows
- “plump up” sunken areas of skin
- fill-in depressed scars
- The results of Restylane, Juvederm, and Perlane injections can be seen immediately after treatment. However, the effects of these treatments are not permanent and will need to be repeated from time to time to maintain their results. For severe wrinkle problems, a face lift may be recommended in place of non-surgical wrinkle treatments.
What Is The Procedure Like?Typically, a Novocain injection is given first. This will completely numb the area to be injected with filler. In this fashion, you will not feel any of the filler injection. The numbing wears off in about an hour. The injections are made with a very fine needle at various points in the wrinkled areas. Usually, there is no bruising, but, as with any injection, a bruise is possible. The injections take less than an hour and, in some cases, can be completed in just a few minutes.
What Can I Expect After The Procedure?
- You may return to work and resume all normal activities immediately.
- No bandages are required.
- You may experience some minor swelling for a few days after the procedure.
- There is a slight possibility of bruising – cold compresses can help avoid this.
- The effects last approximately six months, but vary from person to person.
- Over time, your body will gradually absorb the filler.
- Your skin will be more sensitive after the injection – protect yourself with sunscreen and lip moisturizers.
- Sculptra – a volumizing agent that adds bulk to sunken tissues
- Radiesse – a long lasting filler containing a gel of calcium particles
- Botox – a muscle paralytic that prevents wrinkling of the skin
- Fat Transfers – volumizing and enhancing treatments for the face and lips
Frequently Asked Questions
Because there are a wide variety of fillers available, we encourage you to schedule a consultation at the Maryland Plastic Surgery Center Medical Spa with Dr. Summers to discuss you desires and expectations. Dr. Summers will discuss the options and recommend the optimal treatment regimen for your particular situation.
Each of the above fillers may be used on patients of any age.
Swelling is common with the dense hydrophilic hyaluronic acid fillers (Restylane, Juvederm). The swelling should resolve within 48 hours. In rare cases, bruising will also be present. Visible lumps are very rare. However, in the event any lumps are present, they should dissipate within a few weeks – this process can be hastened by massaging the affected area.