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Collagen fillers and other injectable wrinkles fillers have a been main stay of cosmetic dermatology for over two decades. These cosmetic injectable fillers have been used to plump the skin, fill in wrinkles, and increase volume and ultimately collagen in the skin.  Dermal fillers evolved since patients were looking for a simple and efficient way to treat wrinkles without the huge expense and “down time” of plastic surgery facelifts.  Cosmetic injectable fillers have evolved over the years from simple collagen injections to more complex hyaluaronic acid fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane, and neuromodulators such as Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeaveau, or Newtox as it is being called.  Collagen injections were typically used for lip augmentation and other areas of the face such as facial wrinkles in the under eye area and nasolabial folds and expanded to other areas of the body like the buttocks and knees.

History of Collagen Injections

Collagen injections were the first FDA approved injectable fillers on the market.  Collagen is a key part of your own skin’s structure and framework.  Over time, as we age, we lose the collagen and elastin in our skin, which contributes to facial lines and wrinkles.  Collagen injections replace the skin’s own natural collagen and injecting collagen helps to smooth facial lines and scars.  The first types of collagen filler injections to be utilized were Cosmoderm, Zyderm, Evolence, and Zyplast. Collagen injections were manufactured from Bovine collagen and had to be skin tested to make sure that one did not have any risk of allergic reaction to the injection.   Since over 5% of patients had allergic reactions to even small amounts of collagen treatment and the results typically did not last more than three months, other cosmetic injectable fillers composed of hyaluronic acid soon replaced Collagen injections and became more popular.

Comparison to Hyaluronic Acid Fillers

Juvederm, Restylane, Juvederm Voluma, Volbella, Restylane Lyft, Vollure, and many other hyaluronic acid fillers came on the market.  Each of these dermal fillers can be used in various places in one’s face, hands, or other areas that need plumping.  Some of these fillers are thin and used for fine lines and wrinkles such as Restylane Silk and Juvederm Volbella while other fillers replace lost volume for larger areas such as the cheeks such as Juvderm Voluma and Restylane Lyft.   Hyaluronic acid is a substance that occurs normally in your body and gives your skin its volume and fullness.   Hyaluronic acid injectables fill the space in your skin, between the collagen and elastin fibers, and naturally replace your lost volume. Since hyaluronic acid binds water, this helps to maintain the skin’s fullness in the area where it is injected.  In addition, some of the newer hyaluronic acid fillers last even longer in the skin, such as Juvederm Vollure ,  which can be injected into the nasolabial fold and last up to 18 months.

In addition to Juvederm and Restylane, Botulinum toxin (Botox) and other neuromodulators have evolved in treating wrinkles.  They are not an actual injectable filler, but rather are injected into dynamically active wrinkles such as the forehead, glabella, and crow’s feet to smooth and immobilize these lines and wrinkles.  Similarly, injectable fillers such as Sculptra have been developed which is composed of Poly-L-Lactic acid.  This synthetic polymer has been used for many years and stimulates the body’s own collagen production.  The benefit of Sculptra is that it can last more than two years and that it can be used in areas of skin laxity and patients of all ages.  Bellafill is another category of injectable fillers composed of PMMA microspheres which are tiny smooth plastic particles.  Embedded in cow collagen are thousands of synthetic PMMA microspheres.  The PMMA is absorbed by your body and replaced by your own collagen.  One of the benefits of Bellafill, particularly in acne scars, is that it can last up to five years. However, it also has a higher percentage of patients who have allergic reactions to Bellafill similar to the original collagen injections.

Evolution of Cosmetic Injectable Fillers

Cosmetic injectable fillers have evolved significantly in the last 25 years and there are many choices of injectable fillers.  The main side effect of cosmetic injection is localized bruising or swelling at the site of injection.  These cosmetic injections need to be maintained every six to 18 months, depending on the type of filler used and the location injected since just like collagen, collagen replacement will eventually dissipate.

Wrinkle treatments are among the safest cosmetic procedures today and are preferred by most patients to plastic surgery. Don’t let price dictate your choice of injectable filler.  If an injectable is being offered at far less than the standard price, or from a place with no medical history, it’s likely that either the skill of the injector or the product itself may be compromised in some way.  Never risk your health in this way.  Wrinkle fillers should always be performed in a sterile medical office with a known product that has been FDA approved.

Find out how dermal fillers can work for you and why they are a preferred choice over collagen injections, Dr. Green can discuss the best options with you. To book an appointment, please contact our NYC based office or call 212 535 3088

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