Are you starting to show your age–wrinkles, sagging skin, crow’s feet? You don’t need plastic surgery. Injectable dermal fillers and volumizers are safe and popular, far less expensive than a surgical facelift, and they work.
What’s the Difference Between Fillers and Volumizers?
Dermal fillers (Juvederm and Restylane) are materials that are used to replace and augment skin tissue. Over time skin tissue can be lost or atrophied because of sun exposure, smoking, heredity, weight loss and just normal aging. As this tissue is lost and there is less natural filler underneath, the skin becomes less firm, leaving wrinkles, folds, and sagging skin. Refilling these areas restores normal contours and rejuvenates the area and the face.
Volumizers (Sculptra and Artefill) are designed to add volume. They replace the lost collagen and provide structure to the face. Sculptra and Artefill both stimulate the body to produce its own collagen, while Artefill also adds bovine collagen to replace volume loss.
Both fillers and volumizers are injected into the skin with minimal discomfort. Topical anesthesia can be used to decrease discomfort, and side effects are minimal: temporary swelling, redness and bruising.
Fillers show immediate results, while volumizers require a series of injections over 3-5 months, with results usually seen after one month.
Volumizers and fillers can be combined for a “liquid facelift”, and when a dermal filler like Juvederm is used with Botox the entire procedure is known as a Softlift—a treatment that provides a soft and natural result without any downtime.
The Most Commonly Used Fillers and Volumizers
Botox is a purified substance made from bacteria, and is not a filler or volumizer, but a muscle relaxant. If someone has a crease that is apparent only when frowning or squinting, Botox is the treatment of choice; it’s most often used on the forehead, crow’s feet, and frown lines.
Juvederm and Restylane are two of the most popular dermal fillers and are both made of hyaluronic acid, a natural sugar present in the skin. After injection, the results are immediate and last approximately one year.
Both of these fillers are comonly used to treat the nasolabial folds, which are the “parentheses lines” that extend from the outer edge of the nostrils to the corners of the mouth. Other areas that can be effectively treated are marionette lines (below the corners of the mouth) and the cheeks.
Juvederm is the preferred treatment for adding volume to the lips, while Restylane works somewhat better for deeper lines and wrinkles.
Sculptra stimulates your body to produce its own collagen and thicken the skin, gradually resculpting facial features like sunken cheeks, hollow eyes, and other contour deficiencies.
Unlike the fillers outlined above, Sculptra takes time to gradually correct the depression in your skin and requires a series of monthly injections; most people will need roughly 3-5 treatments and will notice a gradual improvement with more volume and fullness to the face over the months.
Sculptra will last about 2 years with volume effects seen for up to 4 years.
Artefill is a volumizer that contains polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) particles and bovine collagen and is used to replace volume loss. These synthetic particles are permanent and not absorbed by the body, so they provide permanent support for wrinkle correction. Like Sculptra, Artefill stimulates your own natural production of collagen to reverse aging for 5-7 years or more.
How Do I Choose?
Only a qualified dermatologist can determine which filler or volumizer is best for you. The results you obtain have more to do with the skill and expertise of the person providing the treatment than the specific filler used. BC Laser and Skin Care Clinic is a platinum plus diamond account, which is the highest level account with the makers of Botox and Juvederm. If you’d like more information about dermal fillers, please contact us.