You can achieve a more youthful look for just a fraction of what a facelift costs when you turn to injectable wrinkle fillers. In most cases, these products can fill wrinkles and fine lines in just 30 minutes or less and can last from as little as four months to as much as more than a year.
These injectable fillers don’t work like Botox, which relaxes muscles under a wrinkle. Instead, they fill the crease, line or other area with a substance that nearly instantly corrects the trouble spot and makes it disappear.
The same products can be used to add volume to lips, cheeks, jaw lines and temples as well. Even sagging hands can be plumped out with wrinkle fillers.
When a practitioner has proper training (see how to offer dermal fillers in your business), treatment is quick and easy. But no matter the training and no matter the product, there are downsides of wrinkle fillers, most notably a risk of allergic reaction and the possible forming of small bumps under the skin, which may become permanent. In some cases, bluish discoloration called the Tyndall effect can also occur. This color change can remain for months, but treatments to lessen it are available.
In some rare cases, skin cells can even die when wrinkle fillers are used incorrectly. Even blindness and paralysis of nerves can result. It is usually the longest-lasting wrinkle fillers that have the greatest number and severity of side effects.
Note that not all wrinkle fillers are right for all wrinkles. That’s why its essential to only have wrinkle fillers injected by people with the right training and experience. The lowest risk results from using the right choice for the purpose.
Here is some information about the available wrinkle fillers, including their basic ingredients, how they work and the pros and cons of each type. Remember that your doctor will assist you in making the right choices.
Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Fillers
The most popular of all, hyaluronic acid fillers rarely have side effects, and any that do occur are usually mild. These include redness and swelling at the injection site and possible bruising. Tiny lumps can also form under the skin in some cases, but this side effect often lessens over time.
The length of time that the results last varies from a few months to more than year. The latest research indicates that repeated injections may also stimulate your body to produce more natural collagen and improve results. Fewer wrinkles and other lines will therefore develop and less filler is needed in the future to get similar results.
Hyaluronic wrinkle fillers include the following product brands:
- Belotero Balance
- Prevelle Silk
- And others.
Synthetic Dermal Fillers
A relatively small category of wrinkle filler products, these lab-made substances are not like anything that’s found naturally in skin. They have side effects similar to natural fillers plus other effects that can include nodules under the skin that are visible and can be felt. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove these lumps.
But benefits are dramatic and long-lasting, sometimes offering permanent filling of wrinkles and lines into which the material is injected. While there is a slight risk of permanent disfigurement from side effects, positive results can also be permanent.
Synthetic dermal filler products include the following brands:
Collagen Dermal Fillers
Originally made from purified collagen from cows and refined in a lab, collagen wrinkle fillers now last longer than those original products and work better. Original collagen injections started to break down in as little as a month after an injection, and since they came from animal sources allergy testing was required in advance because of a risk of allergic reaction.
But better ways of processing collagen have resulted in lower risks. And new synthetic collagens are safer and work well for a wider range of people. Results still don’t last as long as with other fillers, but some people think the results are more natural in appearance.
Collagen injection side effects in addition to allergic reaction when cow-derived products are used include bruising and redness at the site of the injection.
Collagen injection products have the following brand names:
Autologous Dermal Fillers
In this category, fat is the most commonly used source of the filler. In general, fat from your own body is removed from your stomach, butt, thighs or other locations, then treated and injected as filler. This means you have to have both a removal procedure and an injection procedure, but both can be done in a single visit. There are significant costs involved for the fat purification steps done in the lab, and this takes time. Results are often semi-permanent, but you may need a series of injections performed on separate visits over time.
So called “vampire lifts” involve the injection of platelet-rich plasma and are also a type of autologous wrinkle volumizer. In this case, blood is taken from the arm and injected into the face, generating results that can last up to 18 months.
Risks are similar to other dermal fillers and are usually limited to redness, bruising and swelling. And since the material comes from your own body, FDA approval is not required.
Minimizing Risk, Maximizing Outcomes
Wrinkle fillers are safe in general, but there are some things you can do to make sure your treatment is as safe as possible:
Don’t buy based on price. If a wrinkle treatment you’re offered is available for significantly less than standard pricing, some compromises are surely being made. This means either the practitioner doesn’t have adequate training or the product is of inferior quality. It doesn’t make sense to try to get a bargain when dealing with your face.
Make sure the setting and instruments are right. All dermal fillers should be injected in a medical environment using sterile instruments. Don’t allow treatments to be performed at home, in a hotel, at a spa or anywhere else that standard protocols may not be followed.
Don’t get filler products from anyone but the source. Know what a doctor is injecting into you, and ask if the product is FDA-approved and being purchased directly from the company that makes it. Everything from industrial-grade silicon to baby oil has been injected into the faces of unsuspecting and unquestioning patients.
Use sunscreen at all time. After having dermal filler injected, using sunscreen can help preserve the product and protect against inflammatory pigment changes and other side effects. Plus, it’s always a good idea anyway.
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