Lines and wrinkles can be improved and sometimes corrected non-surgically with highly effective injectable products that can help you look years younger. There are a variety of injectables, however, and each one has different properties and applications.
Many people are unfamiliar with the differences between dermal fillers and Botox® Cosmetic. Botox® works on lines and wrinkles that are caused by muscle activity. They are most effective on crow’s feet, horizontal forehead wrinkles, and the “11” frown lines between the eyebrows that can make you look tired and angry, even when your face is at rest.
Dermal fillers, on the other hand, work on lines and wrinkles that are caused by lost volume. As we age, our skin loses the “plump” look of youth. Fillers replace that volume in strategic areas, and they can also be used to create fuller lips. They can even improve the structure of the skin and serve as a subtle non-surgical facelift. While fillers are primarily used on the face, they can add volume to the neck and hands as well. (For fine surface lines that are usually caused by sun damage, we recommend Laser Skin Rejuvenation.)
Injectables are not permanent, but some dermal filler results can last several years. After an examination and consultation with Dr. Clinton or Dr. Pearce, they can advise if your signs of aging will respond to injectables and which one(s) will be best for you. In cases of significant sagging skin and wrinkles, cosmetic surgery may be preferable.
Dr. Clinton and Dr. Pearce are expert injectors who have a great deal of experience with most every injectable product. They are also empathetic listeners who give all of their patients’ one-on-one attention. Most importantly, they have the certification, training, and experience to evaluate your face carefully and determine the best locations and dosage for your chosen injectables.
What is Botox®?
Botox® is made of a purified protein called Botulinum toxin. The word toxin does not mean that it is a harmful substance. They have been used safely for many years to treat muscle spasms and hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). Now, Botox® is also being used to treat migraine headaches.
Types of Dermal Fillers
This smooth gel contains hyaluronic acid, a natural substance that helps to correct moderate wrinkles in the cheeks, including nasolabial folds (the wrinkles that extend from the nose to the mouth). It is also an effective filler for lip augmentation. Juvéderm® injections last 6-12 months, depending on the patient.
Another Juvéderm® product, Voluma also contains hyaluronic acid but is specifically designed to recontour the cheeks. In some patients, it has lasted as long as 2 years.
This gel consists of microspheres of calcium hydroxylapatite, which is a synthetic form of calcium. It supports the skin’s structure and counteracts sagging. It adds volume to deep wrinkles and folds, including hollowed cheeks and temples, and it can help to lift downturned corners of the mouth. In some patients, it can last up to a year.
Consisting of poly-L-lactic acid, Sculptra® is a biocompatible synthetic material that works on significant signs of aging, such as sunken cheeks, deep folds, sagging jowls, and hollowed areas. Three sessions over a period of months are usually required, but the results can then last up to two years.
Restylane®, Restylane® Lift, and Restylane® Silk
Like Juvéderm®, these fillers are made of hyaluronic acid. Restylane® works on fine to moderate lines and wrinkles, such as smile lines and marionette lines. It is also effective for lip augmentation. Restylane® Lift (previously known as Perlane®) has larger gel particles that can be injected into a deeper layer of skin to lift sagging tissue and fill moderate to severe lines and wrinkles. Restylane® Silk consists of the smallest gel particles, and works best for the finest lines around the mouth. These products last 4-6 months, but after a second treatment, they can last 12-18 months.
What Happens During an Injectable Treatment?
An injectable is a non-surgical anti-aging treatment that usually takes no more than a few minutes in our office. We can apply a topical anesthetic prior to your injections, which are administered using a tiny needle. Dermal filler formulas include Lidocaine to further numb the skin. We may apply an ice pack for a few minutes after your injections.
What Can I Expect During Recovery from Injectables?
Injectables require no recovery period. You can return to work or any other activities immediately.
With Botox®, you should see a relaxation of the muscle within a couple of days of your treatment, and within a week or two, the wrinkle should become smoother.
Dermal filler results vary depending upon the one that has been used. Positive results are usually seen at the time of treatment, and those that stimulate your body’s natural production of collagen will provide continued improvement over a period of months. Dr. Clinton or Dr. Pearce will help you select the filler that best suits your needs and expectations.
Some patients experience mild swelling and bruising after injectables, but these effects rarely last more than a few days. After certain fillers have been injected, we may ask you to massage the treated areas. Of course, if you have questions after your treatment, you are encouraged to call our office at any time.
The effects of Botox® last 4-6 months, while dermal filler results vary from a few months up to two years (see information about each dermal filler for specifics).