Most injectables fall into the category of “fillers” and are designed to fill in wrinkles and depressions in the face. You’re probably familiar with the filler product, Collagen, and there are dozens more available on the market today. Botox is slightly different from fillers in that it works by weakening facial muscles in order to lessen the appearance of wrinkles and frown lines. With the exception of one product, the recently FDA-approved Artefill, these injectables disappear after a period of time; Artefill is different in that it is considered “permanent”.
Patients often have facial filler and Botox injections done at the same time. When you meet with a board-certified dermatologist or a board-certified plastic surgeon, he or she will able to advise you as to which product or products will best help you achieve your desired result.
ARTEFILL: This is a non-resorbable filler that recently received FDA approval. We expect to see it available to patients early in 2007. Anyone who has used other fillers in the past may find Artefill to be a great choice. Artefill is made up of particles of polymehtymethacrylate (PMMA) that are carried in purified collagen gel, so a skin test prior to treatment is required. Artefill is injected in stages over a period of several weeks to months. It’s indicated use is for folds around the nose and upper lip (nasolabial folds).
BOTOX: A neurotoxin drug (Botulinum toxin) that acts by temporarily blocking nerve pulses in facial muscles. It tends to be most effective in muscles related to expression lines around the eyes, forehead and mouth. It is often effective in areas where fillers may not be. Botox is a very safe and effective injectable and therefore very popular among patients.
CAPTIQUE: A hyaluronic acid filler with a finer consistency than some and often is selected for areas closer to the surface of the skin to erase fine lines and wrinkles.
COLLAGEN: The new generation of Collagen, CosmoDerm and CosmoPlast, are based on human collagen so no pre-testing is required. Zyderm and Zyplast are Collagen products derived from cows and do require a pre-test. Collagen is a dermal filler and it is good for facial fine lines and furrows, especially for fine lines around the eyes.
JUVEDERM: This is a filler that works together with the body’s own hyaluronic acid to create volume. Just released to market in 2007, Juvederm is effective for the nasolabial folds, under the eyes, between eyebrows and for lip-plumping.
RADIESSE: Another “filler,” made of calcium hydroxiapatite (CaHA), which is a primary component of teeth and bones. No skin testing is required. This product has a thicker consistency and is best for deeper nasolabial folds and rebuilding hollow areas. The consistency of this product allows it to last longer than most fillers, up to a year or longer.
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RESTYLANE: Next to Botox, Restylane is the second most common injectable. It is a hyaluronic acid filler that plumps up creases under the skin. This filler is also used for nasolabial folds, under the eyes and between eyebrows, with results that can last up to six months. Restylane is the most popular product for creating fuller looking lips.
SCULPTRA: Another filler, Sculptra is composed of poly-L-lactic acid, a synthetic material and does not require a skin test. This product fills in wrinkles and depressions in facial areas such as the nasolabial folds. Sculptra is injected in small amounts so for certain areas multiple treatments are necessary but results can last a year or more.
Deciding which “incredible injectable” is right for you, considering all the variable of your own body as well as your goals and expectations, is something to discuss with a qualified, experienced, board-certified dermatologist or board-certified plastic surgeon. Only a trained, experienced physician can safely determine which, if any, injectable is suited to you, individually. While other “licensed health professionals” may legally inject dermal fillers, we recommend that you adhere to the