Please note: Collagen has now been replaced with Injectable fillers
Injectable fillers are natural or man-made substances that your doctor in Philadelphia uses to erase creases, wrinkles, and other facial lines. Using these products, you can regain the facial fullness you enjoyed earlier in life, increase the plumpness of your lips, and soften facial wrinkles and creases that naturally appear as you age.
The use of fillers is sometimes called “liquid facelifts”because of the potential facelift-like results they produce. Fillers are an excellent non-surgical way to rejuvenate your face, but are not a replacement for a facelift.
Your skin consists of two layers, the dermis and epidermis. The outer layer, the epidermis, monitors water loss from your cells and tissue. Just beneath the epidermis lies the dermis, the second layer. It contains components such as blood vessels, hair follicles and nerves and is largely held together by collagen. Underneath the dermis lies subcutaneous fat. Injectable fillers can be used in any and all of these layers depending on your particular aging process.
Other Injectable Fillers
A wide variety of synthetic dermal fillers are available for your doctor’s use. Advances in this market have produced specialized fillers designed to treat very discrete and specific parts of the body.
Drs. Heffelfinger and Krein of Jefferson Facial Plastics in Philadelphia prefer the following fillers:
Juvederm, along with Restalyne, contains hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring carbohydrate found in human tissue. Hyaluronic acid-based fillers excel in treating frown lines, nasolabial folds, crow’s feet, and lips.
Synthetic poly-L-lactic acid, also known as Sculptra, is a synthetic, though biocompatible, material, obtained from natural sources. Sculptra is different from other fillers in that results are not immediate, but rather take time to see. Sculptra works well to treat skin folds, indented chin, hollowed cheeks, and sunken eyes. Results are long-lasting, sometimes up to two years.
Initially, you may require several treatments to obtain a fully satisfactory outcome. You must then follow up with maintenance treatments in order to continue to enjoy these results.
Radiesse (formerly Radiance) is a biocompatible, non-toxic, non-allergenic filler that reduces the appearance of wrinkles and skin folds around the mouth and nose, and fills certain scars. Popular for its long-lasting results, Radiesse benefits should be evident for two years or more.
Restylane is one of the earlier fillers on the market and has been in use for more than ten years. It provides one of the most natural looks and should in no way impede your facial movements or expressions. Since it contains the naturally occurring ingredient, hyaluronic acid, allergic reactions are rare. It is also biodegradable and will be completely absorbed by your body within six months of injection.
Injectable Fillers Procedure
Before beginning, your surgeon will make marks on your face to guide him in making the injections in the appropriate areas. He will then clean the area with an antibacterial agent.
Depending on the area to be treated, your doctor may give you a small local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. However, some of the fillers contain an anesthetic themselves and require no further anesthetics. Drs. Heffelfinger and Krein want to make sure that you are comfortable during the procedure, and will take every measure to make sure this is the case.
The injections are sufficiently painless that some patients receive treatment during their lunch break. They will take just a few minutes to administer. In some areas, you might experience some redness, tenderness or puffiness.
After the injections, he will wash away the marks and may give you an ice pack to cope with any discomfort the injections might have caused. All patients are given anti-bruising medications.
Some Final Thoughts
Before beginning filler treatments, it is important to talk with your doctor about your expectations. He will be able to tell you which areas are most responsive to fillers. He will also inform you about the kinds of results you should expect, how many treatments you might need, and costs.
Although injectable fillers produce wonderful results, you must remember these results are not permanent. Just like the natural collagen they replace, they too will break down in time, requiring replenishment treatments. Nevertheless, they are a terrific non-surgical way to rejuvenate the face.