Injectables — a Crash Course
Because there are 22 FDA-approved fillers, choosing the right one to tackle your specific aging concern can feel overwhelming. The following are basics that can be helpful for you to know about fillers, including what is best suited for the aging issue that has you most concerned.
Fillers have been created to rejuvenate the face by enhancing the shape of different areas, restoring volume, and plumping wrinkles. There are six different formulations for fillers: hyaluronic acid (HA), collagen, hydroxylapatite, poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), fat, and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA).
Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
HA is naturally occurring in the body and, when it binds with water, it plumps up the skin. Sometimes these fillers are spiked with an anesthetic called lidocaine to help ease any pain. The effects of the HA filler are reversible. If you are not satisfied with the results, your doctor can inject an enzyme called hyaluronidase to dissolve the filler.
This is a protein that plays an important role in supporting the structure of the skin. Collagen fillers were the first type available, but the results didn’t last very long (about three to four months), so they became less popular than longer-lasting and newer choices.
This filler was made for moderate-to-severe wrinkles, like smile lines. Hydroxylapatite naturally occurs and is a mineral-like substance found in human bones. It is used in a gel-like solution for one type of filler, Radiesse, which was FDA-approved in 2006. This filler stimulates collagen production in the body and lasts for 12 to 18 months.
Poly-L-lactic Acid (PLLA)
This is used in the filler Sculptra. PLLA is a man made material. Sculptra was FDA-approved in 2009 and is used to bring volume back to the face and stimulate the production of collagen. It is now also used for butt lifts. The results are not immediate (it may take a few months) and you’ll need two injections over a six month period. Its results can last for 18 to 24 months!
These injections are permanent and the most invasive of all fillers. First, the doctor performs liposuction to get fat from another part of your body, like your stomach. The fat is then processed to get rid of any liquids and the rest of the pure fat is used for your injections. You’ll notice results right away, but you may have to rest because swelling and bruising in the injection site, and where the fat was removed, is very common. There is one downside you may want to consider — while the injected fat will adapt to its new place in the body, it will grow in its new spot if you gain weight.
This is another man-made filler. Tiny bits of shatter-resistant plastic are what make up PMMA. When they’re used as a filler, they’re suspended in a gel-like formula that contains collagen. You should expect gradual, but lasting results with these permanent fillers.
Do you think you are a candidate for injectables? Please, do not hesitate to schedule a consultation today and we can determine the greatest treatment options for your needs!