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Home >> Getting Informed >> Injectable Fillers - Overview
Injectable Fillers - Overview

When it comes to injectable fillers, what's in a brand name? If you've just begun looking into facial treatment, the options may seem overwhelming and confusing. There are many brand names with several ingredients, which have different, but perhaps overlapping, uses.
This article will help clarify which ingredients are in which brand names for injectable fillers. You'll learn about their primary uses, as well as other uses for which some practices may be using injectables.
Human-based collagen is used under brand names such as CosmoDerm, CosmoPlast, Cymetra, Autologen, and Fascian to build volume in facial areas including the lip area (such as for lip augmentation), above and below the eyes, crow's feet, the nasolabial fold area (the grooves from your nose to your mouth), and frown lines.
Human-based collagen fillers are biocompatible and produce results that may last for four or more months. But as collagen treatments continue over time, more and more of the collagen remains, and results may last longer, in some cases forever. It is important to note that the treatment area is typically overfilled initially, because up to 40% of the collagen dissipates within a short time.

Bovine-Based Collagen Fillers

The brand names of bovine-based collagen fillers include Zyderm and Zyplast. This form of collagen is derived from cows and may be used to add volume to facial areas such as the lip area, above and below the eye, crow's feet, the nasolabial fold area, and frown lines. Because some people are allergic to bovine-based collagen, your doctor will perform an allergy test.
Results may last for four or more months, but as with human-based collagen, if you continue to have treatments over time, some of the collagen will remain, and results may last a lifetime. Also, ArteFill (described below) uses a bovine collagen product to suspend polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA, a type of plastic) microspheres that lodge into the treatment area after the collagen dissipates, with the goal of providing a more permanent benefit. Since up to 40% of bovine-based collagen soon dissipates, the treatment area is typically overfilled at first.
Both human-based and bovine-based collagen are FDA-approved for cosmetic uses.

Fat Transfer

In a fat transfer procedure, your doctor may extract fat cells from a discreet area of your body, prepare the cells, and then transfer them through an injection to the lip area, above or below the eyes, crow's feet, nasolabial fold areas, and/or frown lines.
Surgeons use various techniques to prepare the fat cells, and the technique used may impact the longevity of the results. Fat transfer results can be unpredictable, but in many cases last longer than those achieved through the use of traditional fillers.
Fat fillers do not require FDA approval for cosmetic use.

Calcium Hydroxylapatite (Radiesse)

Under the brand name Radiesse, each syringe contains CaHA particles that are suspended in a water-based solution (available in (0.3, 1, or 1.3 ml) to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and skin folds around the mouth and nose as well as fill certain scars. The filler is biocompatible, non-toxic, and non-allergenic; results last for up to six months or more.
Radiesse is FDA-approved for medical purposes and is used off-label for cosmetic treatment. It is not recommended around the lips because of its larger particle size.

Hyaluronic Acid-Based Fillers (Restylane, Juvederm,
Hylaform, Perlane, and Dermalive)

Brand names containing hyaluronic acid include Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm, Belotero and Hylaform. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring polysaccharide (carbohydrate) that exists in human tissue. Hyaluronic acid-based fillers treat nasolabial folds, frown lines, crow's feet, and lips.
Hyaluronic acid fillers are said to offer longer lasting results than collagen-based fillers. Restylane and Juvederm are FDA-approved for certain cosmetic purposes and used off-label for others.

Synthetic Poly-L-Lactic Acid (Sculptra)

Synthetic poly-L-lactic acid, also known under the brand name of Sculptra, is a synthetic but biocompatible material derived from natural sources. Sculptra treats skin folds, indented chin, hollowed cheeks, and sunken eyes. Results last up to two years. People usually require multiple initial treatments to obtain a fully satisfactory outcome and then receive maintenance treatments in order to continue to see results.

Synthetic Polymethylmethacrylate Microspheres (PMMA) in Bovine-Based Collagen (ArteFill)

Under the brand name ArteFill, synthetic PMMA microspheres suspended in bovine-based collagen can improve skin folds such as nasolabial folds. Results are immediate and continue to build over the course of time, lasting for up to five years. ArteFill was FDA-approved (October 2006) for treatment of nasolabial folds or smile lines.

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