There are a number of injectable implant treatments available on the market today. Injectable implants are often used to soften or eliminate the appearance of wrinkles and to enjance the size of the lips. There are many injectable products available on the market that can perform these function, such as:
* Botox® Cosmetic
While many of these treatments perform essentially the same function, the main difference is the method in which they perform the function and the length of time the treatment will last. For instance, Restylane™ lasts between 3 and 6 months while Radiance™ lasts between 3 and 6 years. This is a huge difference if you merely want to see what you would look like with bigger lips.
One of the most popular injectable treatments for reducing wrinkles is Botox® Cosmetic. Since Botox® Cosmetic is a toxin, it reduces wrinkles in the face by disabling the muscles in the face that crease the skin and cause wrinkles. Botox® Cosmetic, once injected, typically lasts around 3 to 6 months.
Although it is a toxin, Botox® Cosmetic has been used safely by ophthalmologists for over 10 years. It has been used for wrinkle therapy since the early 1990’s with no serious side effects documented. Recently, Botox® Cosmetic has also been proven and used to effectively releive headaches, treat eye uncontrolled eye twitching and crossed eyes, muscle spasms and excessive underarm sweating by relaxing the muscles that promote them.
Botox® Cosmetic injections relax the muscles that create wrinkles thereby lessening the appearance of frown lines, laugh lines and crow’s feet. After a Botox® Cosmetic injection, for example, you are no longer able to frown so the lines created by frowning are eliminated.
A small amount of Botox® Cosmetic is injected right into the muscles that are responsible for creating wrinkles. Botox® Cosmetic effectively inactivates the muscles that produce wrinkles, thereby causing lines to disappear or diminish dramatically.
A Botox® Cosmetic treatment is quick, and results usually last three to six months. After that, you may return for a follow-up injection. Some doctors report that after several treatments, the effect of Botox® Cosmetic appears to last longer, often up to several months while some reports prove quite the opposite.
The most common complication is a slight, temporary drooping of the eyelid. Botox® Cosmetic is used in extremely small amounts and does not spread throughout the body, so you can return to full activity immediately.
Patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding or who have a neurologic disease should not use Botox® Cosmetic.
Collagen Replacement Therapy
Collagen can also be used to reduce wrinkles. Collagen, when injected, replenishes the support layer of collagen that occurs naturally in the skin and last about the same amount of time as Botox® Cosmetic (3 to 6 months). Collagen may also be used to augment (increase) the lips. A collagen injection into the lips will create more volume resulting in fuller lips. Currently, the downside of a collagen injection is that testing is required prior to treatment, so injections are not performed on the same day as a consultation. New synthetic collagen injectable is in production that will eliminate the need for testing prior to collagen treatment in the future.
Facial lines and wrinkles are caused by the wearing down of the natural collagen support layer that lies just beneath your skin. Creams can moisturize or exfoliate the surface of your skin but they cannot diminish the lines or wrinkles that are caused by the wearing away of the underlying support layer. Collagen Replacement Therapy is a safe, non-surgical treatment that smoothes out facial lines, wrinkles and scars by replenishing the natural collagen support layer beneath your skin. The results may be seen immediately.
What is collagen?
Just beneath the outer layer, or epidermis, of your skin is the dermis, which is composed primarily of the protein collagen. Collagen forms a network of fibers that provides a framework for the growth of cells and blood vessels. As the primary component of the dermis, collagen acts as the support structure for your skin.
When your skin is young, the collagen framework is intact, keeping your skin elastic. Over time, the collagen framework weakens and your skin loses elasticity. Older skin is less resilient, so the facial lines that appear with a smile or frown do not disappear when you stop smiling or frowning.
Are creams containing collagen enough to smooth out lines?
While creams may temporarily diminish the harshness of facial lines or wrinkles, they only work on the surface. They cannot penetrate the skin to remedy the underlying cause of lines or wrinkles, the depleted collagen support layer. Creams can, however, help you to keep your skin supple by slowing the rate of water loss from the surface of the skin.
How does Collagen Replacement Therapy work?
Collagen replacement therapy replenishes the skin’s natural collagen support layer, smoothing facial lines and most types of scars. Collagen implants are injected just beneath the skin’s surface, where the body commonly accepts them as its own. Collagen replacement therapy produces an immediately visible difference in the appearance of your skin.
What can I expect with Collagen Replacement Therapy?
Collagen replacement therapy is a proven, non-surgical treatment simple enough to be completed during your lunch hour. Our doctors will review with you your medical history, the risks and benefits of treatment and the specific areas you want treated. collagen replacement therapy may not be appropriate for certain lines and scars, or in the presence of certain medical conditions. For most people, it is a safe, convenient and immediate way to treat lines and wrinkles.
Just like natural collagen, injectable collagen loses its form and wears down. Ongoing treatments are required to maintain the improvements achieved with collagen replacement therapy.
What are the risks of Collagen Replacement Therapy?
Collagen replacement therapy is not for everyone. Since all collagen currently available is of bovine origin it may cause allergic reactions in some patients. We require that all patients receiving collagen injections undergo a collagen test six weeks prior to injection. New synthetic collagen is being developed that promises all of the advantages of collagen without the risk of allergic reaction.
A fat transfer, also called autologous fat transfer or micro-lipoinjection, fills facial features with the patient’s own fat. Unlike collagen, since the fat is harvested from the patients own body, they cannot develop an allergic reaction to it. The results of a fat transfer usually last a few months with one treatment but can be come permanent with multiple treatments.
Injectable fat taken from your own body is the most frequently used material for filling facial wrinkles and frown lines.
While collagen is popular as an injectable filler, it is not for everyone. Some people are allergic to collagen or may develop an allergic reaction. Everyone must have a skin test prior to receiving collagen injections.
Fat transfer, also called autologous fat transfer or micro-lipoinjection, fills facial features with the patient’s own fat. Because the fat comes from your own body, you cannot develop an allergic reaction. Fat transfer to the face is a safe procedure designed to re-contour the face and provide definition to cheeks, chin, lips and eyes.
The fat used for fat transfer is removed either with a syringe or via liposuction from one part of your body, like the abdomen or thighs, and injected into another area that requires plumping.
Injected fat lasts longer in larger areas of non-movement, so it is successful for the correction of grooves under the eyes and sunken cheeks. Fat grafting can also correct atrophic, aging of the hands.
Fat grafting is performed in our office on an outpatient basis. Both the area from which the fat is taken and the treatment site are anesthetized with a local anesthetic. Using a small needle attached to a syringe, fat is removed from a donor site where the fat is most tightly packed, such as the abdomen.
Once removed, the fat is processed to remove excess fluid and then reinjected using another needle, which is placed just under the skin beneath the wrinkle. This process may be repeated until the desired correction has been achieved.
Swelling is expected after fat injection and discomfort following the procedure can be easily controlled with medication. There may also be some bruising. Over the first few months your body will absorb about 65% of the fat. The remaining 35% will usually stay in place. For longer lasting results, patients usually receive three or four treatments over six months.
Radiance is a relatively new synthetic product on the market that has successfully been used to augment the lips. Radiance™ is a composite of material found in teeth and bone, and the effects of a Radiance™ injection can last from 3 to 6 years. A common side effect of Radiance™ is the development of calcium deposits. These deposits occasionally show up as lumps in the injected area. The doctor will administer a steroid injection to breakdown the calcium deposit.
Radiance™, a new injectable implant that was recently made available in the U.S. There are tremendous differences between Radiance™ and other injectables such as collagen and Botox™.
Radiance™, like collagen, can be used to augment the lips but, unlike collagen, which has a 3 to 4 percent allergy reaction, Radiance™ has a zero allergy reaction. Radiance™ can also be used as a “filler” for wrinkles, but unlike its counterpart Botox,™ the muscles are not relaxed; therefore, the face retains its expressiveness.
How Long Does It Last?
One primary difference between collagen and Radiance™ is the length of time that the injected substance is retained by the body. Collagen has a “life-span” of about 6 months, which is not bad if you are just trying out the “look” of it. However, if you want a more permanent solution, Radiance™ will last up to 3 years.
Is It Dangerous?
Since Radiance™ is an injectable, there is no surgery and only a small amount of local anesthetic required. Radiance™ is made from well-known biocompatible substances found in teeth and bone, which will be absorbed by the body over a period of about 3 years. As with any injectable, the procedure should only be performed by a trained medical professional.
Another new product on the market is Restylane™. Restylane™ is a completely natural alternative to reduce wrinkles and augment the lips. Restylane™ does not require testing like collagen, does not disable muscles like Botox® Cosmetic, does not require harvesting like a fat transfer and does not have the occasional side effects or the lengthy effect of Radiance™. The effects of Restylane™ last between 3 and 6 months.
What if we told you that there was a new method for smoothing wrinkles and enhancing lips that was completely natural with no risk of allergic reaction? What if we also told you that the effects would last for 4 to 8 months (unlike Radiance™ which can last up to 6 years) and then dissolve into water and depart your body without leaving a trace? Well, it’s all true and it’s called Restylane™ by Q-Med Laboratories®. Restylane™ is a non-animal based product derived from hyaluronic acid (present in all living organisms) in the form of a clear gel. Once Restylane™ is injected into the skin it works with the body’s own hyaluronic acid to create volume. Unlike Botox™, Restylane™ does not relax the facial muscles therefore the face does not lose any of its ability to form expressions. Best of all, a Restylane™ treatment is relatively painless and takes an average of about 30 minutes to perform.
Below is a cross section of skin before a Restylane™ injection. As we grow older our skin loses its elasticity and lines form . These lines turn to wrinkles and the wrinkles turn to folds in the skin.
A Restylane™ treatment will actually fill the depressions in the skin and smooth out the skins surface appearance resulting in a more youthful complexion.
Restylane™ can be used on any area of the face such as: worry lines, nasolabial folds (vertical lines extending from nose to chin), oral commissures (lines at the corner of the mouth), glabellar lines (frown lines), periorbital lines (crows feet), perioral lines (smokers lines) and smile lines. (see figure below)