One of the most popular forms of treatment for reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and create smoother, younger skin is injections. In an office-based procedure, the physician uses fine needles to insert a filler into the skin to add volume, replace collagen and/or stimulate natural collagen and new skin cell growth. A host of different types of fillers are available. You will need to talk to your doctor about the advantages and disadvantages of each for your desired results, the area being treated and how deeply the problem occurs in the layers of the skin.
Types of Fillers
New discoveries continue to surface for different types of fillers. The most commonly used categories and products are summarized below.
Botulinum Toxins are derived from the bacteria that causes botulism.
These products work by immobilizing the muscles that cause lines and wrinkles.
Type A products include Botox® and Dysport®. They require injections 2
to 4 times a year. Type B products, such as Myobloc®, tend to be longer lasting.
Some people are naturally resistant to botulinum toxins and cannot use these products.
Bovine Collagen is just what it sounds like: collagen derived from cows.
Specifically, it is made from skin, bone and cartilage extracted from cow tissue.
Zyderm® and Zyplast® are commonly used bovine collagen fillers. Generally,
these products are injected beneath wrinkles, such as crow's feet, frown lines
and facial folds, to replace the natural collagen. Bovine collagen treatments
are temporary, lasting generally between 3 and 12 months. In some cases, individuals
may be allergic to these products.
Calcium Hydroxylapatite is a newer substance derived from human bones
and teeth. It is made into an injectable paste that is frequently used to fill
lips and larger wrinkles and folds. Radiance® is the most recognized product
in this category. Because it is a human substance, there is no rejection and results
may last between 2 and 5 years.
Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally occurring part of substance of the body
that helps cushion and lubricate the skin. Products in this category - including
Restylane®, Hylaform® and Sculptra® - plump and smooth the skin. They
generally last between 3 and 12 months.
Human Collagen is one of the safest fillers and comes in different forms.
Autologen is collagen that is removed from the patient in a different part of
the body and then injected into the desired site. Collagen derived from the replicated
cells of infants is the formulation for CosmoDerm® and CosmoPlast®, fillers
used for deep lines and wrinkles. Human Tissue Matrix and Dermalogen are fillers
created from collagen derived from deceased humans. All these products offer the
advantage of being natural to humans, so there is no possibility of an allergic
reaction. However, human collagen products are absorbed into the body, which generally
makes them shorter lasting than other fillers or treatments.
Fat is another natural human substance used as a filler and injected
into skin to fill out wrinkles. However, fat injections are slightly more invasive
since both a donor and treatment site are involved. However, fat injections are
still conducted on an outpatient basis with either a topical or light local anesthetic.
Using a needle, the physician removes fat from another part of the body, most
commonly the abdomen or buttocks. The fat is cleaned and prepared and then injected
into the desired site on the face. Patient may experience some swelling or bruising
following the procedure, which dissipates in days. In some cases, the injected
fat may not settle evenly, which could cause some lumpiness.
Synthetic fillers use man-made materials to plump the skin and/or stimulate
the growth of new skin cells and collagen. Artecoll® was one of the first
fillers used for cosmetic injections. It is made up of tiny synthetic beads floating
in collagen. Once the collagen is absorbed by the body, the synthetic beads signal
the body to produce more collagen and new skin cells naturally. However, because
it is synthetic, some individuals experience a rejection or allergic reaction
to the substance.