Injectables and Skin Fillers – From A to Z
Injectable skin fillers have added new dimensions to the field of cosmetic dermatology, allowing new forms of facial rejuvenation and wrinkle treatment without surgery. Injectable skin and wrinkle fillers are used to increase tissue volume (as with lip augmentation), reduce wrinkles, and improve skin’s overall contour.
Artefill®, known as Artecoll® outside the United States, is an injectable skin filler that promises long-lasting wrinkle treatment thanks to its unique composition. Artefill® is a combination of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) microspheres suspended in bovine collagen. The microspheres act as a near-permanent support structure for the skin because, unlike most other wrinkle fillers, they are not naturally absorbed by the body over time.
BOTOX® Cosmetic temporarily diminishes or eliminates lines and wrinkles on the face, and it has become a popular wrinkle treatment among patients who want to address moderate signs of aging. BOTOX® Cosmetic works by relaxing the facial muscles that contract and cause lines and wrinkles to form. The treatment is usually quick, taking about 10 minutes in most cases. Because the results of a BOTOX® treatment last an average of three to six months, touchup treatments are usually necessary.
In recent years, many exciting new products have been introduced for use in cosmetic dermatology. Captique™ is a new wrinkle filler made of non-animal hyaluronic acid. Captique™ provides outstanding aesthetic enhancement by filling facial wrinkles and smoothing skin, and it has a lower incidence of adverse side effects than animal-based hyaluronic acid fillers, which may cause allergic reactions in some people. Even when minor redness or swelling around the injection site of a Captique™ wrinkle treatment does occur, in most cases it dissipates in a matter of hours.
Collagen has been used since 1976 as a wrinkle filler to treat hundreds of thousands of patients. Collagen is natural protein in the human body that supports the joints, bones, ligaments, and skin. Because injectable collagen is often derived from cows, a small percentage of people are allergic to the treatment. A doctor who provides collagen treatments should perform a skin test prior to treatment to determine if a patient will have an adverse reaction. There are also newer types of collagen wrinkle treatment which make use of human collagen, such as Cosmoderm™ and Cosmoplast™, which reduce the potential for allergic reaction.
Cosmoderm™ and Cosmoplast™
Cosmoderm™ and Cosmoplast™ are the first FDA-approved human collagen skin fillers, and they offer patients the benefits of collagen without the risk of allergic reaction that is associated with bovine-derived collagen. Cosmoderm™ is used to treat finer facial wrinkles; Cosmoplast™ is used to treat deeper wrinkles and creases. Both injectable wrinkle fillers contain a small amount of lidocaine, an anesthetic, so patients feel minimal pain during the procedure.
Fascian™ is a long-lasting injectable wrinkle filler that some studies indicate may actually stimulate the production of natural collagen in the body. It is made from fascia, a connective tissue composed of collagen, and found naturally in human bodies. As with other injectable fillers, Fascian™ is injected under the skin, in the area of the winkle. Because it is thicker than normal collagen, Fascian™ is absorbed more slowly into the body and results are longer lasting.
Fat Transfer (Microlipoinjection)
Autologous fat transfer, also called microlipoinjection, is one of the safest wrinkle treatment methods available because it uses the patients own fat. In the procedure, the doctor draws a small amount of fat from the thigh or buttocks with low-power liposuction. The doctor then injects the fat into the targeted facial areas. The procedure can provide very long-lasting results. While a large amount of the fat may be reabsorbed by the body within several months of the procedure, as much as a third of the total injected volume can remain in the body for years.
Hylaform® is an injectable skin filler made of highly purified avian hyaluronic acid that mimics the effects of the natural hyaluronic acid found in the body. Hyaluronic acid is a natural moisturizer that attracts and binds water, helping to support and lubricate the skin. Over time, hyaluronic acid in the skin diminishes, leaving the skin loose and less elastic. Hylaform® replenishes your body's natural hyaluronic acid to help restore a more youthful appearance to your skin.
Hyaluronic acid has become accepted—and even preferred—for use in wrinkle treatment. However, some people have allergic reactions to hyaluronic acid products synthesized from bovine or avian tissue. JUVÉDERM® is made of biosynthesized, non-animal hyaluronic acid, so it is free of allergens that may cause adverse reactions in some patients. Juvéderm® offers the same cosmetic benefits provided by animal-based hyaluronic acid skin fillers, but without the risk of allergic reaction. JUVÉDERM® comes in several concentrations for treatment of different types of wrinkles and creases.
Perlane® is another of the hyaluronic acid–based injectable fillers that provide an excellent way to reduce or eliminate the lines and wrinkles that accompany aging. Unlike some skin fillers, however, Perlane also provides exceptional lip enhancement for fuller, more sensual lips.
RADIESSE® (Formerly Radiance™)
RADIESSE® is an injectable skin filler that contains microspheres comprised mainly of calcium and phosphate ions, which occur naturally in the human body. After RADIESSE® is injected, thin tissue forms around the microspheres, filling wrinkles and creating a semi-permanent support structure for the skin. Results may last up to two years or more, though touchup procedures may be needed.
Made from biodegradable hyaluronic acid, Restylane® is very similar to Perlane, but is used more for facial wrinkles and contouring than for lip augmentation. The effects of Restylane® can be expected to last about six months. Thanks to its safety and the potential longevity of its effects, Restylane® has become one of the most popular non-surgical treatments in the world of cosmetic surgery today.
Sculptra® is the brand name of Poly-L-Lactic Acid (PLLA). It is a skin filler that is diluted in sterile water and injected beneath the skin. A very effective wrinkle treatment, Sculptra® works unlike most other skin fillers. After Sculptra® is injected into the body, it stimulates the formation of new collagen, which increases skin volume and fills wrinkles. Sculptra® is often used in cosmetic dermatology for patients suffering from facial lipoatrophy, the loss of facial fat. Sculptra® treatment has been described as a “liquid face lift” for this reason.
Two of the most time-tested injectable skin fillers in the world of cosmetic dermatology, Zyderm® and Zyplast® have been used since 1981 and 1985, respectively. More than 1.5 million people have been treated with Zyderm® and Zyplast® since their introduction to the market.
Find a Physician in Your City
DocShop is an online resource designed to help you find doctors in your area who offer facial enhancement and wrinkle treatment with injectable skin fillers. Locate a cosmetic dermatologist near you to find out which skin filler will best help you achieve your individual goals and to learn more about the cost of skin fillers.