Injectable wrinkle fillers can give you a more youthful look for a fraction of what a traditional face lift costs. Most will fill lines and wrinkles in less than 30 minutes with results that can last from four months to more than a year.
Injectable wrinkle fillers, unlike Botox injections that relax the muscle under a wrinkle, fill the line or crease with one of several different substances. As a result, the line or crease seems to have nearly disappeared.
Wrinkle fillers can also be used as "volumizers," plumping and lifting cheeks, filling out thin lips, and plumping sagging hands.
The treatment is fast and easy. But all wrinkle fillers have a downside, including the risk of allergic reaction and the formation of tiny bumps under the skin. In some cases, those bumps may be permanent. A bluish skin discoloration known as the Tyndall effect is also possible. The color change can last for several months, but there are treatments available. In very rare cases, skin cells may die if the wrinkle fillers are not used properly. Typically, the wrinkle fillers with longer-lasting effects are the ones more likely to cause side effects.
Not every wrinkle is right for every type of wrinkle filler. The least risks and best results come from using the right wrinkle filler correctly. That's one reason why you should only have wrinkle fillers injected by a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
To help you discuss your options with your doctor, here is a breakdown of the wrinkle fillers currently available. It includes their basic ingredients, how they work, their risks and benefits, and the best areas for treatment. Your doctor can help you choose the right one for you.
Hyaluronic Acid Wrinkle Fillers
The most popular category of wrinkle fillers is hyaluronic acid. Each type of hyaluronic acid wrinkle filler works in a slightly different way with varying results.
Side effects are rare, but they can include redness, swelling, and bruising at the injection site. The filler may also be seen beneath the skin as tiny bumps. This is a problem that often improves over time.
How long the results last varies from several months to over a year. Some research shows that repeated injections may help stimulate the body's own natural production of collagen. That will help reduce the number of lines and wrinkles. There is also some evidence that less filler is needed over time to achieve the same look.
Hyaluronic wrinkle fillers include:
Wrinkle Filler: Juvederm Ultra/Juvederm Ultra Plus
Ingredient: Gel made of hyaluronic acid
Effects: Up to one year
FDA Approved for: Moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds
FYI: Not recommended if you have severe allergies, particularly if you're allergic to bacterial proteins
Wrinkle Filler: Restylane/Perlane
Ingredient: Hyaluronic acid particles suspended in a gel
Effects: Six months or longer
FDA Approved for: Moderate to severe wrinkles and folds.
FYI: Not recommended if you have severe allergies.