As we age, fine lines and wrinkles begin to develop on our faces. Aging also causes unwanted thinning of the upper and lower lips, general loss of youthful facial fat, downturn of the corners of the mouth, deepening of the nasolabial folds, and the development of marionette lines from mouth to chin.
There are a variety of injectable fillers to help plump up these lines and creases and add volume where needed. The safest and most popular, such as Restylane and Juvederm, are made from hyaluronic acid, which is a natural substance that exists in the human body. Because we all have hyaluronic acid in our bodies, there is no risk of allergy or sensitivity to these producst. Hyaluronic acid works as a lubricant in our joints, while in the skin, it binds with water to give it volume. As we age, the amount of hyaluronic acid in our skin decreases. This contributes to our skin losing some of its volume and elasticity, resulting in the formation of lines and wrinkles.
Restylane or Juvederm can help restore volume and fullness to the skin, fill in unwanted fine lines and creases, and create plump, younger looking lips. Another very popular HA filler is Perlane, which is thicker than the Restylane. It is used for deeper lines such as the nasolabial fold, and to add volume to the cheek. These fillers last anywhere from 6-12 months.
There are two very new HA fillers which have been approved in the last year. Belotero is an HA filler specifically used to fill in the crease of the lower eyelid, called the tear trough. The tear trough can deepen with age, and makes you look like you have deep dark circles under the eyes. By filling in the tear trough, you smooth the transition from the cheek to the lower eyelid, and the added volume helps to decrease the appearance of the dark circle.
The other new filler is Voluma. Voluma is meant for deeper facial sculpting. As we age our cheeks tend to lose fat and will appear flat. Our overall facial shape then changes from a triangle to more of a rectangle, with a heavier lower face. Voluma can be used to fill in over the cheek bone, and is placed deeply, adjacent to the bone. By building up the cheek, the face will have a more youthful triangular appearance, and the nasolabial fold will appear less deep. Studies have shown that Voluma can last for over a year and a half.
Because we all have hyaluronic acid in our bodies, there is no risk of allergy or sensitivity to either Restylane or Juvederm. Studies have shown that the average treatment results last six months or longer.
Radiesse: Radiesse generally lasts longer than the hyaluronic fillers. It is made from calcium hydroxylapitite, and promotes the synthesis of new collagen after injection. It is used for deeper lines, and is an excellent way to help elevate the cheeks, or fill in a jawline. Its effect usually lasts about 18 months.
Sculptra: Sculptra is used as more of a global filler for the whole face. It works as a scaffolding for new collagen growth in the dermis. It is injected diffusely throughout the face, and over a few months, new collagen growth will help plump up the face. It is great for people with thin faces who need some volume replacement. Usually 2-3 injection sessions are needed about 6 weeks apart. The effect should last about 18 months.