Nearly everyone has heard of Botox by this point, but the classic wrinkle treatment is by no means the only option for quick and effective anti-aging injections. Though Botox was by far the most popular non-invasive treatment of 2013, dermal fillers are growing quickly in popularity. These fillers work differently than botulinum toxin like Botox, and they each have slightly different properties. Let’s take a look at how fillers differ from Botox and at some of the different filler types available to patients.
Botulinum Toxin vs. Dermal Fillers
Botulinum toxin injections (such as Botox and Dysport) and dermal fillers (such as Juvederm and Restylane) are both injectable wrinkle treatments, but they work in very different ways.
Botulinum toxin injections are typically used for “dynamic” wrinkles, or wrinkles that appear over time due to repetitive movements. These wrinkles intensify when the facial muscles are moved, but may also appear when the face is at rest after a while. Botulinum toxin limits facial muscle movement, which helps ease the appearance of dynamic wrinkles. These injections typically last three to four months.
Dermal fillers, on the other hand, are used for “static” wrinkles, which are caused by loss of skin elasticity and facial volume over time. As collagen and facial fat loss cause the skin to sag and stretch, static wrinkles appear, and then remain when the facial muscles are at rest. Dermal fillers actually fill in these wrinkles, improving their appearance for four to 12 months, depending on the filler. Fillers can also be used to compensate for lost volume and augment areas of the face, such as the lips, for a more pleasing contour.
Types of Fillers
The number of different fillers available is growing all the time, and now patients have a wide array of products to choose from. Here are some of the most popular injectable fillers on the market today.
Restylane Lyft, Restylane and Juvederm
Made from hyaluronic acid, a natural compound, these non-animal based gels are best used for instant wrinkle improvement to static wrinkles. Restylane and Juvederm can also be used in lip augmentation or to improve dark circles under the eyes. These injections typically last around six to nine months, but can continue to work for up to 12 months.
Juvederm Voluma XC
An exciting new filler introduced in 2013, Juvederm Voluma is the only filler specifically formulated to lift and fill in the cheek area. Facial fat loss can quickly age the face, and replacing some of that lost volume with this innovative filler is a great way to rejuvenate the area. Like the original Juvederm, Voluma is a hyaluronic acid gel, with long-lasting effects. Rejuvenation from Voluma can last up to two years, the longest-lasting results of all popular hyaluronic fillers.
Sculptra is made of a different compound than many other types of filler: poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), a synthetic material that can help restore facial volume loss for a more youthful appearance. Sculptra is used to help replace collagen, which naturally occurs in the skin to give it elasticity, volume, and radiance. After injection, results appear gradually, producing subtle results over time for a natural appearance. Usually 2-4 treatment sessions spaced 4-6 weeks apart are necessary for complete correction. Sculptra treatments last about 2-5 years.
Made of calcium hydroxyapatite, a substance found in teeth and bones, Radiesse is a long-lasting wrinkle treatment used for deep facial lines. Although the molecule is found in bone, when used in soft tissue it is soft and compliant. While most fillers last between six and 12 months, Radiesse has the benefit of remaining effective for up to 18 months following treatment.
Another hyaluronic acid filler, Belotero provides patients with natural-looking results. The hyaluronic acid helps to fill in wrinkles and lost volume while hydrating the skin, resulting in a subtle, rejuvenated appearance. Belotero’s results typically last about six months.
The Treatment Process
The surgeon uses a fine needle or a blunt cannula, depending on the facial location, to administer facial fillers in the desired area. Facial fillers are quick treatments to administer (usually under an hour), and require almost no downtime, allowing patients to return to normal activities at once. Sometimes, a topical anesthetic is used for the patient’s comfort. Patients usually develop mild bruising in areas where a more superficial needle injection is used such as around the mouth, but lower eyelid and cheek injections are performed with a blunt cannula and usually no bruising occurs. Other mild side effects such as tenderness, redness, slight firmness of the area can occur as well.
Which Filler Is Right for You?
The best filler for you depends on the results you are looking for, the area of the face to be treated, and your previous history of wrinkle treatments. Sometimes, more than one type of injection is appropriate for reaching your goals, and your doctor will advise you on which injections address specific problems.
Only a board certified plastic surgeon can advise you on which fillers are the best options for you and your unique needs. The number of options currently available necessitates a professional knowledge and ability to assess candidacy for each patient. Though fillers do not require surgery, they do require skill to administer, in order to help ensure aesthetically pleasing, long-lasting results. For dermal filler treatments in Austin, Texas, come to Buckingham Center and meet with esteemed facial plastic surgeon Dr. Edward Buckingham. Dr. Buckingham can help you smooth your wrinkles with the filler that’s right for you. Call Buckingham Center at 512-401-2500 today to schedule your consultation.