Bellafill is an FDA-approved injectable dermal filler for long term correction of distensible facial acne scars and the correction of nasolabial folds. Bellafill was FDA-approved in 2006 and is currently the longest lasting dermal filler on the market in the United States. One of the key benefits of Bellafill is its longevity in treating patients who suffer from acne scarring. Bellafill lasts much longer than other traditional hyaluronic acid injectable fillers, currently on the market for facial rejuvenation. Many patients suffer from depressed, atrophic acne scars and need to replace this lost volume. Bellafill offers these acne scar patients longer term correction than traditional hyaluronic acid fillers. Bellafill is indicated for the correction of moderate to severe acne scars in patients over 21 years of age. However, Bellafill is now being used in other areas of the face, such as the smile lines, and cheeks, to replace lost facial volume. Dr. Michele Green is an expert in NYC in treating acne scars and non-surgical facial rejuvenation, and was one of the first dermatologists in New York to utilize Bellafill for her patients with acne scars.
What is Bellafill?
Bellafill is an improved version of Artefill, which has been used in Europe for over ten years. Bellafill is manufactured by Suneva Medical and comes in the form of a gel, which is composed of synthetic microspheres of polymethylmethacrylate or PMMA, and is suspended in purified bovine (cow) collagen gel. The PMMA microspheres create a matrix which supports your body’s own collagen production.
How does Bellafill work?
Originally approved for nasolabial folds (smile lines) and indented acne scars, Bellafill can also be used for other facial areas, such as the cheeks. Bellafill is composed of 80% purified bovine collagen and 20% polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) microspheres, and it adds volume to the skin in order to plump up wrinkles and scars. This 20% are non-resorbable and acts as a bio-stimulant for your body to generate your own natural collagen. After Bellafill is injected into the treated area, new collagen is stimulated over time. Most patients will notice a difference after the first treatment. The full effect takes months, where in time, new collagen tissue have formed around the PMMA. Most patients require two treatments to have the best cosmetic results. Bellafill stimulates the body to produce its own collagen and replace volume loss which is due to acne scarring, or aging skin.
What is the process of Bellafill Treatment?
The process of Bellafill treatment is similar to other injections with dermal fillers for acne scarring. The first difference is that Bellafill requires a skin test to identify those patients who are allergic to bovine collagen or lidocaine. Consultation: Photos are taken of the treatment area and if Bellafill is the right treatment for you, a skin test with a small amount of the collagen gel is placed in your forearm. The skin test is performed to make sure that you are not allergic to Bellafill. It is advised to refrain from any blood thinners, aspirin, Aleve, Motrin, multivitamins, alcohol, herbal supplements like fish oil, for about one week before the injections, to minimize bruising. Second visit: Four weeks later, if there is no positive reaction to the skin test, you can have the first treatment of Bellafill injections. A topical numbing cream is applied one hour before the injections to make you feel more comfortable. For acne scars, Dr. Green combines Bellafill with subcision in order to effectively replace lost collagen and create the best environment for new collagen formation. After the injection, ice is applied to minimize any bruising and you can apply makeup afterwards. It is advised to refrain from intense exercise, hot tubs, saunas, and hot yoga, for several days after you injections, to minimize swelling and bruising. Following these guidelines will minimize any bruising or downtime from your Bellafill injections. Third visit: A follow-up is advised 4 to 6 weeks later to have a touch-up of Bellafill injections since two sessions may be needed to achieve full wrinkle correction.
Are there any side effects to Bellafill?
Potential side effects may include swelling, redness, pain, bruising, lumps,bumps, itching, and discoloration at the injection site. Some patients have experienced lumps or bumps within the first few weeks. Less common side effects include rash and itching more than 48 hours after treatment, persistent swelling or redness, lumps, bumps, acne, infection, and increased sensitivity at the treatment site. A skin test is required to make sure that you not allergic reaction to bovine collagen allergies or to lidocaine, since both are in Bellafill. An allergic reaction can last up to five years in duration, or for the length of time that the filler lasts. If you have a history of any bleeding disorders, allergy to bovine or lidocaine, or a history of severe allergies, or thick scar formation (keloids) and/or excessive scarring, you would not be a candidate for Bellafill injections. Despite skin testing, a small percentage of patients will develop this allergic reaction to Bellafill. A small number of patients also may develop granulomas. Since Bellafill cannot be dissolved like traditional hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Juvederm or Restylane. It is of the utmost importance to consult an experienced board certified dermatologist, like Dr. Green, or a plastic surgeon, who is adept at using Bellafill. If you are prone to hypertrophic scarring or keloid formation, Bellafill may not be the best choice of dermal fillers.
Frequently asked questions about Bellafill
The following are the most frequently asked questions about Bellafill to our office:
How much does a syringe of Bellafill cost?
Bellafill typically costs approximately $3,000, with a single syringe cosmetic syringe of Bellafill costing $1,500. Some patients need multiple syringes when treating acne scars or replacing lost volume. Since Bellafill lasts longer than traditional hyaluronic acid fillers, you will need fewer touch-up treatments.
Which skin types can have Bellafill injections?
All skin types, for both men and women, are candidates for Bellafill injections.
How long does Bellafill last?
Bellafill can last up to five years in duration, which is much longer than any current injectable filler currently on the market.
Is Bellafill safe?
Bellafill is safe and FDA approved, provided you have the required skin test to make sure that you are not allergic to the collagen gel. The other rare side effect of granuloma formation should be noted.
Is Bellafill permanent?
Bellafill is not a permanent filler, it is a long lasting injectable filler, which can last up to five years and sometimes longer.
Where can you inject Bellafill?
Bellafill can be injected into the following areas:
- Moderate to severe distensible facial acne scars
- Facial wrinkles such as smile lines in the nasolabial area
Can Bellafill be used as a lip filler?
Bellafill should not be injected into the lips. There are other dermal fillers and injectable fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane, which are perfect for lip augmentation.
How does Bellafill compare to Juvederm?
As with all injectable wrinkle fillers, both dermal fillers can cause bruising and some swelling after treatment. The main difference between the two is longevity and ability to dissolve the product if you are unhappy with the results. In clinical studies, Bellafill can last for up to five years and works in all skin types. In one clinical study, 87% of patients who had been treated with Bellafill for their smile lines, were still happy with their cosmetic improvement five years later. Bellafill is a bovine collagen based filler and needs to be skin tested before administering. Since Bellafill is composed of collagen and PMMA, there is no way to dissolve the product if you are unhappy with the results or have an allergic reaction to the product. With Juvederm, or any other hyaluronic dermal filler, if you are unhappy with the results or have an allergic reaction, you can have hyaluronidase injected into the treatment area to dissolve the product.
How much Bellafill do I need?
During your consultation, Dr. Green will determine how much Bellafill you will need for correction. For acne scars, it depends on the amount of scars and the depth of your acne scars.
What are the alternatives to Bellafill injections?
The alternatives to Bellafill are hyaluronic acid, dermal fillers, like Juvederm and Restylane. These more temporary fillers last between six and twelve months. Similarly, Sculptra and Radiesse are two dermal fillers which encourage your body to produce its own collagen.
Can Bellafill be combined with other cosmetic treatments like Botox?
Yes, many patients combine Bellafill wrinkle filler with other cosmetic treatments such as Botox, chemical peels, microneedling, subcision, TCA Cross, or laser treatments.
Does Bellafill really work?
Bellafill is the only FDA approved 5-year filler which stimulates your body’s own natural collagen production, and is safe and effective for facial rejuvenation. In clinical trials, patients noted visible improvement three months after treatment. Bellafill’s microsphere provide a framework for the body to produce its now natural collagen. Because of the body’s ability to remodel new collagen with Bellafill, patients notice continued improvement, even one year after Bellafill injection. Bellafill was a part of the world’s largest and longest dermal-filler study, performed in 2014, with over 1,000 subjects in 23 different sites. This clinical study proved its long-term safety through the 5 years duration of the study.
How do I get started with Bellafill injections?
The next step is to set up a consultation with Dr. Green to review your cosmetic concerns and different treatment options. Find out more about Bellafill and book an appointment with Dr. Michele Green today or call 212 535 3088. Dr. Green is a NYC based board certified dermatologist and highly trained in various cosmetic and medical dermatology procedures. Together we can discuss all options and see if Bellafill is the right option for you.