Juvederm vs. Radiesse
Facial skin Fillers
- Lips – enlargement
- Lips – smoker’s lines
Types of skin fillers
Before the mid-90s, only collagen was available to fill in indentations of the face. Although we have plenty of collagen in us as a major structural protein of the skin, the type used for injections was derived from cow collagen. There was a 20% rate of sensitivity or allergy once it was injected into some patients. You needed an allergy test done first to see if you could be injected. Though an easy material, the small syringes did not have enough volume and multiple injections were necessary. It also only lasted three months!
Another component of our skin started being used in the late 1990s. This material is a glycosaminoglycan (a complex sugar molecule with a nitrogen atom on it). Last year, over 1 million injections of hyaluronic acid were performed. Hyaluronic acid has several advantages over collagen:
- It retains 10 times its volume in water, so you need less of it
- It is non-allergenic, so no skin test is needed
- It can be made in a a lab without the need for animal proteins
- It lasts longer than collagen—up to nine months with no other additions
There are a number of other hyaluronic acids available, though they are not as popular as the ones discussed here. These include Macrolane (common in Europe but not in the US) and Perlane (which comes in three different varieties depending on the deepness of the lines).