Skin Care and Med Spa

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Top 5 Nonsurgical Skin Treatments for Women 

Skin Treatment No. 3: Wrinkle Filler Injections

What It Is: In the No. 3 spot is what some call the medical equivalent of “spackle and putty” — the anti-aging solution known as “wrinkle injections.” Unlike Botox, which goes into the muscle, this treatment is actual wrinkle filler. It basically fills out the wrinkle with one of several synthetic substances that plump the skin and erase the line.

Injectable fillers, including collagen and other substances, they can give your facial skin a plumper, smoother appearance. With age the skin’s tone and elasticity suffers and facial lines appear. Injectable fillers help smooth these facial imperfections as well as most types of scars.

Several types of fillers can be used in these injections, including bovine-derived collagen, bioengineered human collagen, synthetic filler material, and your own collagen (from another part of your body). Most are only temporary fixes since the body absorbs it over time. You will need routine injections to maintain the smooth appearance. For longer effects, it is possible to have your own body fat (from thighs or abdomen) surgically implanted, which can achieve more permanent results.

“Wrinkle fillers are among the quickest and easiest ways to instantly take years off your face — with startling results in under 30 minutes,” says Bruce Katz, MD, a dermatologist and director of Juva Medi Spa in New York. Most often used on the lower portion of the face, Katz says fillers target nose-to-mouth lines, “marionette” lines around the mouth, and “smokers’ lines” on the upper lip, as well as being employed for lip plumping and cheek sculpting.

Types of Fillers: Several types of wrinkle filler injections are available. They include collagen (Zyplast, Zyderm), hyaluronic acid (Restalyne, Juvederm, Captique), beads of polylactic acid (Sculptura), calcium hydroxylapatite(Radiesse), and polymethylmethacrylate (ArteFill). The ASPS says hyaluronic acid injections are the most popular.

Procedure: You should expect to receive a small injection of local anesthesia to numb the area being treated. Your doctor will then inject the filler material. Depending on the substance injected and your goals for treatment, need additional procedures may be required.

Cost and Duration: Starting at around $500 per injection, all fillers produce an immediate result after a 10- to 30-minute treatment. Collagen and some early hyaluronic acid injections last about three months, while newer versions — Restalyne and Juvederm — can last 6-9 months or longer. ArteFill’s results are permanent.

Negatives: While Katz says the risk of side effects is small, one significant problem is lumping under the skin — a condition known as granuloma. When fillers are temporary, problems can be resolved via an injection that dissolves the compound. Granulomas that occur with permanent fillers require surgery to remove. Other problems can include tissue death, also requiring surgery to correct. The risk of allergic reaction is minimal, but the injections can cause a temporary redness and burning at the site.

Recovery: In most cases, the swelling, redness, or bruising will disappear in a few days to one week, depending on the site injected and the filler used. When fat injections are used, this can take longer.

Common Side Effects: There is a possibility of slight bruising, and you may experience puffiness, redness, and tenderness around the treated site.

Face and Skin