If the cause of wrinkles is the loss of facial volume, wouldn’t the best treatment be to stimulate the body to produce more volume? This is the rationale behind Sculptra treatments. Sculptra is an FDA-approved, biocompatible, biodegradable material that has been used in many medical applications, including dissolvable stitches. For cosmetic applications, Sculptra (poly-L-Lactic acid) is injected into the skin, where it stimulates the body to produce more collagen. Although it can give great results, it usually takes more than one treatment before any significant results are seen, maybe 2-3 months. Exactly how much your body will respond to Sculptra is also unpredictable, so the treatment may require significant adjustment before you get the results you desire. Results from Sculptra are natural-looking and long-lasting with many patients seeing improvements beyond 24 months.
The goal of all dermal filler treatments is to correct facial wrinkles and fill hollows that occur as a result of aging, weight loss, scarring, or injury. Composite fillers are one attempt to solve a major shortcoming of dermal fillers: short-lived results. Most dermal fillers last about 4-6 months, roughly the same length as BOTOX treatments. In an attempt to increase the length of results, composite fillers combine a smooth carrier gel with tiny spheres of a durable material that is designed to increase the life of results.
After injection, the gel is absorbed by the body, leaving the microspheres. As it absorbs the gel, the body fills in around the spheres with collagen, maintaining results as long as the spheres are in place. These fillers are good for nasolabial folds and deep hollows. Sometimes they are used for facial reshaping. Radiesse treatments for increasing the prominence of cheekbones are popular. They are not recommended for lip augmentation. Currently, there are two composite fillers approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Dermal fillers are commonly used for:
- Facial folds and wrinkles: Dermal fillers are an excellent complement to BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport injections because they correct a different type of wrinkle. Combine the two treatments with laser skin resurfacing, and virtually all your wrinkles can be erased.
- Restoring facial volume: As we age, our face naturally loses volume and what fat we have is often displaced by gravity. This gives the face a wan, tired appearance. Dermal fillers can be used to fill in areas that have lost volume, restoring a youthful fullness to your face.
- Lip augmentation: The lips also tend to lose volume as we age, which is especially important to women. Thin lips can create an older, sterner appearance. Dermal fillers are great treatment for restoring volume to lips.
- Facial reshaping: Some people do not have the facial shape they desire, and in many cases this can be at least partly corrected with dermal fillers which can give the appearance of higher cheekbones or a stronger chin.
What Is the Difference between RADIESSE®, ArteFill®, Sculptra® Aesthetic?
RADIESSE is a combination of methylcellulose gel and calcium hydroxylapatite spheres. Methylcellulose is commonly used as a food thickener and calcium hydroxylapatite (CHA) has a long history of use as a bone filler, so both ingredients are very safe. The CHA in Radiesse is durable in the body, but it is slowly absorbed. Studies indicate that about 80% of people who get Radiesse injections see results that last for over 1 year.
ArteFill is an attempt to create a permanent filler. It uses a collagen carrier gel with medical-grade polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) microspheres. In addition to ArteFill, PMMA is used in dental appliances and prostheses, replacement lenses used in cataract surgery, and bone cement, and it has a history of safe use dating back to the 1930s. In theory, the PMMA will not be absorbed by the body and results will be permanent. In studies, the average length of results was about 5.4 years, and some patients report results lasting 10 years or more
Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery holds a Platinum rating with Allergan the makers of JUVÉDERM XC, is part of the Platinum Club with Restylane/Perlane and Expert Physician with RADIESSE. Doctors at Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery participated in phase III FDA trials for the approval of Botox for cosmetic use, and our practice has been selected as a national training center for physician instruction in Botox Cosmetic treatment, as well as advanced Restylane injection technique. Dr. Tina Alster is on the advisory board of Medicis, the company that distributes Restylane, Perlane and DYSPORT, as well as Allergan, the manufacturer of Botox Cosmetic, JUVÉDERM XC, and LATISSE .
Deciding which dermal filler is best for your face and your cosmetic goals is a complicated decision. The information here is a good starting place, but to make a final decision, you need to discuss your options with a dermatologist. Please schedule a consultation with our cosmetic dermatologists today. We participate in Brilliant Distinctions and other customer loyalty programs. Be sure to ask about special promotions when you schedule your consultation!