Radiesse® is a calcium-based dermal filler used on the face and hands to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. A new version of its formula, premixed with lidocaine anaesthetic, was approved by Health Canada in 2015. It is called Radiesse® Plus. However, the original formula has been used in 57 countries around the world for years. It was approved by Health Canada in 2005, and by the FDA in the United States since 2006. The makers of Radiesse®, Merz Pharma Canada, are also the ones behind the Xeomin™ wrinkle-relaxer.
While Radiesse® has excellent satisfaction rates and studies to back its quality, it is one of many dermal fillers that can be used at our Surrey skincare clinic, to combat the appearance of wrinkles. In truth, sometimes it is a mix of anti-aging solutions that can work best for your unique case.
Our recommendation is that you come in for a consultation, so we can learn about your goals, assess your condition, and provide our expert opinion on a treatment plan we think will benefit you the most.
What is there to love about Radiesse® skin volumizer?
Radiesse® is a volumizer filler. That means that, instead of merely correcting wrinkles by smoothing them out, it provides substance and form to the lower layers of your skin. In this way, it can behave as a non-invasive face lift procedure. It is not permanent, but it can last up to a year. In some people, it can last even longer.
The Radiesse® formula has a lot of ‘bounce’ to it, making it look and feel natural. It doesn’t spread easily if pressed upon, so it stays in place the way it is intended by the physician who injects it. That said, achieving the anti-wrinkle effects of Radiesse® requires only a small amount of its gel formula – less than would be the case with other, popular dermal fillers. Weeks after the injection, it starts to lift the skin even more.
Radiesse® continues working after its initial injection because, apart from only behaving as a dermal filler in your skin, it also activates your body’s natural collagen production. This adds to the youthful appearance and ‘glow’ on your skin.
Radiesse® is a safe injectable made with a calcium and water-based gel. When it begins to break down, it turns into calcium and phosphate ions. Your body then ‘knows’ what to do with these familiar minerals. Eventually, it naturally gets rid of them through metabolization.
Nowadays, Radiesse® comes with the lidocaine local anaesthetic in its formula. This greatly reduces the sensation of pain during the injection procedure, for a more tolerable beauty treatment.
Radiesse® has a very high satisfaction rate, which you can read about here. Over 5 million of its syringes have been sold worldwide. It has also been clinically studied over 150 times for its safety and effectiveness.
What types of wrinkles can Radiesse® be used for?
Much like other dermal fillers, Radiesse® can be used for wrinkles in both men and women. Specifically, it targets the following conditions in the lower half of the face, plus the hands, that some consider to be beauty dilemmas:
- Sagging cheeks
- Temple ‘dips’
- Marionette lines and laugh lines
- Nasolabial folds (lines from the corners of the nose to the mouth)
- Lines around the corners of the mouth
- Chin wrinkles
- Jowl contours
- Wrinkles on the back of hands
- Nose bumps (for a non-surgical nose job)
The function of Radiesse®, when getting rid of wrinkles, is to act as a volumizer and contouring agent. In other words, it is the ‘lift’ that gives the more youthful appearance. Other injectables focus on ‘freezing’ skin muscles or nerves to smooth wrinkles, or on deep moisturization. Each of these anti-aging cosmetic solutions have their place and usefulness. An experienced doctor can make a recommendation for which one would address your concerns best. Sometimes, this may involve a ‘soft lift’ procedure, using multiple, injectable wrinkle reducers.
Radiesse® should not be used around the eyes, or on the lips.
How does Radiesse® work for wrinkle reduction on the hands and face?
The main ingredient in the Radiesse® ‘secret sauce’ is calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA), in the form of microspheres. It is a similar mineral compound found in human bones and teeth. While it is synthetic, it also considered biocompatible and non-toxic.
The other component of Radiesse® is its gel carrier, which is water-based. This helps transfer the CaHA microspheres into your dermal layers during an injection. The composition of the formula is roughly 30% CaHA and 70% gel.
Immediately after being injected, patients will notice a lift to their skin. The gel helps to provide this structure, like a platform on which the dermal layers can hold their strength against. Soon after injection, the body’s macrophages start to dissolve the gel portion of the formula. Fibroblasts also get activated during the dissolving phase, which then kicks in the body’s natural collagen production.
Since collagen forms tissue in ‘strands’, these ‘strands’ enwrap the the CaHA microspheres, for a foundation on which to ‘hang on’ to. This ‘mix’ of collagen tissue and CaHA microspheres stays in place until the body eventually begins to break down the microspheres, returning your skin back to its normal state. The process can take a year or longer, in some cases.
While Radiesse® works similarly to Sculptra®, the main difference (apart from their core ingredients) is that Radiesse® gives the skin an initial ‘boost,’ due to its thick gel carrier.
To work properly, Radiesse® must be injected deep into the dermis – right near the fat layer, and into subcutaneous tissue. In fact, it is the loss of subcutaneous tissue that causes the aged look on the back of hands, when tendons and veins begin to show. This is what Radiesse® aims to ‘plump’ up, and it does so with a more natural look than a fat transplant.
The Radiesse® treatment process does not require additional anaesthetic procedures except lidocaine, which can come pre-mixed in its vials, or added by the doctor at the clinic. Multiple insertions into the skin are required, using a thin needle around the treatment area. This counts as a single ‘injection.’ The entire treatment takes roughly 45 minutes, depending on the size and severity of the condition, and how many vials are needed to produce desired results.
After the injection, the doctor may massage the treatment area, to help form the look you want. You should not try to do this yourself, especially not after leaving the clinic.
How many Radiesse® treatments does it take to see results?
While Radiesse® lasts much longer than some dermal fillers, it is not a permanent solution to wrinkles, sagging skin or folds in the skin. One injection, at one injection site, can last between 12 to 18 months. When you see its effects begin to diminish, another treatment will be needed to maintain the look you want.
Is there downtime after Radiesse® injections? What about side effects?
If you pick a reputable, experienced injector for your dermal filler treatment, you shouldn’t experience very much downtime. Most of the time, patients who undergo a Radiesse® beauty treatment only experience swelling, redness or bruising at the injection site. This normally clears itself up within a week. However, all normal activity can be resumed.
To avoid bruising, it is best to avoid taking blood thinners before and after the treatment session. This includes over-the-counter medication (like Advil), supplements or alcohol. You should also avoid UV rays and extreme exercise until you are fully healed.
If you get itchy, it’s best not to touch or rub the area. Let our physician take a look and help you with that.
While there is the possibility of more serious side effects with Radiesse®, such as lumps, these are rare. Severe side effects can also be due to allergies, or the application process, rather than the product itself. You should always work with a trained doctor when opting for any injectable filler. Each of these products come with their own training requirements, preparation procedures and even angles for injecting into the right spot. So, they are not all created equal – even if their base ingredients are the same. The injector should know these details.
Before you are injected with any dermal filler at our skincare clinic in Surrey, you’ll be asked about your entire medical history. It is important to be as transparent as possible during your initial consultation session. We’ll also let you know more detail about the risks and complications that can occur with Radiesse®, if you choose to undergo a treatment with it.
Minors, and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not receive a Radiesse® filler treatment.
What is the cost of Radiesse® injections at your skin clinic?
The cost of Radiesse® treatments are determined by an estimate after an in-person consultation at our clinic. This is because each person’s unique genetic features, or stage of aging, can affect how much of the gel is needed to achieve results. The size and number of areas you want treated can also affect the cost.
We can say that Radiesse® injections start at $900 each, and go up from there.
While there is a fee for the initial, required consultation at our clinic, this cost can then be credited towards the actual treatment session, or other services we offer.
During the consultation process, we’ll also be able to recommend the right treatment for you, if we think Radiesse®, or Radiesse® alone will not solve your concerns. We can also discuss package-rate pricing for a series of treatments, if you choose to go that route.
Note: Procedure results may vary from patient to patient.