Given the relatively large number of available injectable fillers, it’s not surprising that the best choice of filler largely depends on what exactly you’re trying to accomplish. Fillers can be used to fill in lines and wrinkles, they can add volume to areas that appear sunken, enhance lips, and they can also assist in firming up loose or sagging skin. The major fillers are described below, together with their primary usages.
Restylane Product Family
Restylane is the trade name of a family of injectable fillers, all containing hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body; it plays important roles in making body cartilage resilient, and lubricating the movement of muscle tissue, but it’s also a major skin component, contributing to the healthy appearance of skin and accelerating the repair of damaged tissue.
The various members of the Restylane family can be used individually or in combination. They combat age effects and wrinkles by restoring volume to the skin, but each contains different particle sizes and therefore addresses different problems. Restylane Silk’s fine particles are designed to control fine wrinkles, Restylane’s medium particles are used to combat moderate to severe wrinkles and skin folds, while Restylane Lyft’s larger particles can be used to fight severe wrinkles, and fill larger depressed areas.
Restylane products are typically used under the eyes, in the folds of the nose, around the mouth and lips, in the jowl area, as well as helping to create fuller lips. Restylane Lyft is also FDA-approved for restoring lost volume on the hands.
The Restylane Refyne and Restylane Defyne products are specially adapted for use on areas of the face that are dynamic, where their added elasticity results in more natural facial expressions.
Because hyaluronic acid is naturally present in the body, it dissolves naturally over time. The benefits of Restylane treatments typically last between six and nine months, while a series of injections can last for up to 18 months.
Restylane Lyft used to be known as “Perlane”; it was rebranded when it received FDA approval for use in adding volume to sunken cheeks.
Juvederm Product Family
Several hyaluronic acid-based injectable gel products are marketed under the Juvederm family name. They perform similar functions to the Restylane product family, with the main characteristics summarized below.
Juvederm Voluma (also known as just “Voluma”) allows the contours of the face to be enhanced and is also FDA-approved for adding volume to hollowed-out cheeks. The hyaluronic acid used in Juvederm Voluma is modified to create a more resilient filler; this allows the product to also provide a degree of lift to sagging areas, and results in benefits lasting over six months, sometimes up to two years.
Juvederm Ultra is used to treat moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, and creates a very smooth effect, resulting in a very natural look. This product has a softer consistency and is ideally suited to augmenting the lips. It’s also adapted for use on areas with especially thin skin, such as around the lips and eyes. Benefits last for at least four to six months, and sometimes up to a year.
Juvederm Ultra Plus is used to treat deeper lines and folds in the skin. Its benefits last a few months longer than the Juvederm Ultra product.
Sculptra contains a synthetic substance (poly-L-lactic acid, or PLLA) that stimulates collagen production. It’s used to treat deep lines, creases, and folds, but is particularly effective at filling the hollowness caused by loss of fat beneath the skin. It can take up to three months for the benefits of a treatment to become fully apparent, but this also makes these improvements appear more natural. A Sculptra treatment can last up to two years, although one treatment a year is normally recommended to maintain the benefits.
Hopefully, this summary has answered more questions than it poses. Your Laser Skin Care happy to schedule a consultation, during which we’ll fully explain all the issues that surround the use of these fillers. Bear in mind that while all fillers are injections, not every injection is a filler. Some fillers (particularly Restylane) can be combined with Botox injections to prolong their benefits. Several of the Restylane and Juvederm products are also available in versions that incorporate a local anesthetic, for use on sensitive areas of the face.