Botox, Artecoll, Juvaderm, Restylane – the list goes on an on. We’ve all heard of them but many people considering a cosmetic procedure don’t fully understand the basics of these products. In recent years, minimally invasive procedures have become increasingly popular within the fields of cosmetic surgery and cosmetic medicine. Most popular amongst these non-surgical treatments are cosmetic facial injectables.
Cosmetic injectables can be classified as filling agents and relaxing agents, both of which are generally used to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles, creases, or furrows.
Filling agents (“fillers”) include Restylane, Juvaderm, Radiesse, and Artecoll and work by injection of a volume of these gel-like products under or within a targeted skin region such as a wrinkle, literally filling it in and making it less noticeable. Most fillers provide a result that lasts for a year or two while Artecoll may be permanent. The duration that the filler lasts however,
should not be the only consideration in choosing a filler product and your doctor will take into account several factors such as the location of the wrinkle, skin quality, and physician preference when advising you on which filler will work best.
To date the most popular relaxing agent is Botox which has become nothing short of a cultural icon. Some wrinkles are the direct result of the muscle just below the skin being in a constant state of involuntary tension which causes the overlying skin to wrinkle. Botox causes these wrinkle-inducing muscles to relax thereby causing a corresponding relaxation and smoothing of the wrinkles in the skin. The results generally last about five or six months.
When it comes to fillers and relaxing agents, the choice of which product to use is based on which area of the face is being treated. In general, the upper third of the face, including the horizontal wrinkles on the forehead, the furrows between the eyebrows, and the “crow’s feet” lines that are found at the outside corners of the eyes are best treated using Botox. Fillers do not provide as dramatic a result in these areas. Conversely, the nasolabial folds (the creases on the cheeks running from the nostril to the corner of the mouth) and the “marionette lines” (the creases running from the corner of the mouth down the side of the chin) are best treated with filler products. Cosmetic facial injectables truly have revolutionized aesthetic medicine and anti-aging therapy. When used properly and judiciously, these products work great with very minimal risks and essentially no downtime.