Slow and Steady Wins the Race? continued...
"I have seen impressive results, but it does require a series of treatments and it takes time for results to be seen," he says.
Another filler coming down the pike is Artecoll. It is made from a mixture of small microspheres of a chemical called polymethymethacrylate, or PMMA, and collagen. It augments the tissue under the upper layers of skin, giving a smooth appearance to wrinkles. "It is actually approved in Canada," Katz says. "It is supposed to last three or four years, but a lot of colleagues have seen reactions." Reactions can include long-lasting granulomas, a solid group of inflammatory cells that sometimes form a visible lump under the skin.
"A lot of us feel it should not be approved until we know what is going on with it," Katz says.
Radiesse is another long-lasting injectable filler. It is made of tiny microspheres of calcium hydroxyappetite, the same mineral that make up bones and teeth.
It is approved for treating vocal chord paralysis, but it is also used as a wrinkle filler, he says. It can last anywhere from two to five years, research suggests.
Looking to the future of wrinkle fillers, Katz says that "the ideal filler is one that doesn't need skin testing and is long lasting, but not permanent," he says.
"You wouldn't want one that lasts longer than three to five years because as people age, our skin thins out and features change, so you would see lumps and bumps and mounds of tissues," he says.
"If someone has huge cheekbones and their face shrinks, they look distorted," Katz says. "Semi-permanent is the way to go."
Baumann adds that "these fillers work great alone, but the trend seems to be to use them in combination."