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What You Should Know About Wrinkle Fillers

Synthetic Wrinkle Fillers

This smaller category of wrinkle fillers includes lab-made substances that are not related to anything found naturally in the skin.  

All the fillers in this group have similar side effects. Redness, swelling, or bruising at the site of the injection is one of the most common. Other possible side effects include  nodules or bumps under the skin that can be seen and felt and that, in rare instances, may require surgical removal.

The benefits of this category include a longer-lasting effect. And at least one filler offers permanent filling of lines and creases. Products with longer-lasting effects are more likely to cause side effects. When not used correctly, however, synthetic wrinkle fillers may cause permanent disfigurement.

Synthetic wrinkle fillers include:

Wrinkle Filler: Radiesse
Ingredient: Calcium hydroxylapatite suspended in gel
Effects: Typically one year; some research shows that the body begins producing collagen around the micro-spheres, which might lead to longer lasting effects over time.
FDA approved for: Long-lasting fill of deep lines, including folds around the nose
FYI: The filler can clump when injected into the lips. There is also a risk of allergy.

Wrinkle Filler: Sculptra
Main Ingredient: Synthetic poly-L-lactic acid
Effects: Typically up to one year
FDA approved for: Volumizing for HIV patients suffering from loss of facial structure
FYI: The ingredients in this filler are made for deep injections below the muscles and not for injecting into fine lines.

Collagen Wrinkle Fillers

One of the first wrinkle fillers developed was made from a purified form of collagen extracted mostly from cows. Although it worked well and offered a natural looking line and crease fill, the results didn't last long. Most collagen injections began to break down as soon as one month after treatment. Because these wrinkle fillers were made from an animal source, they also had a higher rate of allergic reaction and required allergy testing before treatment.

New ways of processing the collagen have helped reduce risks. In addition, new forms of synthetic collagens are making these injections safer and more useful for a wider range of people. Although the results are generally shorter lived than other wrinkle fillers, many believe the results are better and look more natural.

Side effects of collagen injections include some risk of allergic reaction (mostly for those still using bovine sources) as well as bruising and redness at the site of the injection.

Collagen injections include:

Wrinkle Filler: Cosmoplast/Cosmoderm
Ingredient: Collagen made from purified human tissue grown in a lab. Does not require a skin test.
Effects: Up to six months depending on the area that is treated 
FDA approved for:
 Frown lines, crow's feet, forehead lines, vertical lip lines (also called bleeding lipstick lines), nose-to-mouth lines, lip border, scar filling. Cosmoplast is used for deeper, more pronounced wrinkles.
FYI: One of the few fillers that is recommended for treating fine lines around the eyes

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