Nowadays, many people seek the kind of cosmetic improvement they can go on their lunch break to a medical office or spa and receive immediate gratification without signs of treatment. Injectibles fillers certainly fit the description and are composed of various biological or synthetic materials. Fillers vary from Collagen found in our bodies as the “glue” molecule that makes the soft tissues in our body more firm and youthful, Hyaluronic Acid (in fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm) found abundantly in the lubricant fluid that bathes our cartilages. Calcium Hydroxyapatite (the active ingredient of Radiesse) is a material that gives our bones their strength. All these are biological materials but synthetic materials have a much longer duration and the representative filler in the US, Artefill contains Polymethylmethacrylate which has been widely used in reconstructive surgery.
The reason to consider the use of fillers is when you start noticing deeper lines or folds on your face or body that were not there before but also in cases where deeper acne scars are noticeable or depressed scars could use some “volume”. Some people in fact just want more “volume” of tissues in their face like when the face becomes somewhat sunken because of age or disease and would like to return the fuller look (think of a baby’s full face as the rejuvenated extreme).
So which filler do you use? It all depends on how long you would like the material to last and how much you are willing to pay. The collagen fillers last the least amount of time averaging at 6-8 weeks. So if you’re not sure if you like th idea of fillers or not and would like to try something for the short term collagen is the less expensive less durable option. Hyaluronic acid fillers like Restylane and Juvederm last longer between four and eight months with Juvederm having a slight advantage in longevity due to its biological structure. When used to add volume to the lips (in people who have thin lips and desire a fuller more “luscious” lip), Juvederm has a slightly silkier feel.
Radiesse is the next level in duration of effect and will give volume or repair of lines and wrinkles for up to two years. It is almost a sliding scale in price when comparing longevity and price. Price increases with more durable fillers so keep that in mind.
Finally, the most durable filler is a synthetic filler that lasts up to ten years and that is Artefill.