With the ever-increasing number of injectables on the market, patients can get confused about the differences between the different brand names. While they may not agree on the way to best do it, injectables all have the same goal — to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, creases, and folds; to replace areas that have lost volume, such as the cheeks; and to plump or fill out the lips.
To make it simple, you can really break injectables into two categories, neuromodulators and dermal fillers.
If you are interested in learning more about dermal fillers and injectables and whether you are a candidate for treatment, give us a call today at (818) 325-0400 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Larisse K. Lee!
What’s the difference between dermal fillers and neuromodulators?
People sometimes confuse the different injectables, but dermal fillers and neuromodulators are completely different, both in how they work and in the types of wrinkles and lines they work on.
Dermal fillers are injected, and they simply fill in space, pushing the skin back up and erasing the crease or returning volume to an area that has sunken, such as the cheeks. “Natural” dermal fillers are made from hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the human body responsible for hydrating, plumping, and firming the skin. Hyaluronic acid does this by binding with nearby water molecules. Some dermal fillers, such as Radiesse, also encourage the skin in the injection area to produce new amounts of collagen to plump and firm the skin.
Dermal fillers only work on “static wrinkles.” These are the type of wrinkles that are caused by sun damage, declining collagen production with aging, personal habits such as smoking, and other factors. Static wrinkles show themselves at all times. They are found on the mid to lower face: smile lines, parentheses lines, marionette lines, barcode lines, and others. Dermal fillers also return the volume to sunken areas such as the cheeks and temples.
Neuromodulators, such as Xeomin and Botox, are completely different than dermal fillers. Neuromodulators are made from the botulinum toxin type A, the same bacteria that cause botulism. This sounds scary, but it’s not. Way back in the 1950s, scientists discovered that when the botulinum toxin was injected into a muscle in very minute amounts it stopped that muscle from contracting for a period of time. Initially, this proved effective for stopping problems with involuntary muscle spasms, such as blepharospasm (involuntary eyelid spasms).
When a neuromodulator is injected into the muscle causing the wrinkle, it blocks the acetylcholine (the nerve messenger) in the muscle from communicating with the brain. The brain never receives the message to contract the muscle, so the muscle stays relaxed, and the surface wrinkle is erased. These dynamic wrinkles occur only on the upper third of the face, the expressive area. They are crow’s feet at the outside of the eyes, frown lines between the brows, and forehead lines.
What are the different types of dermal fillers?
At L.A. Vein Center in Los Angeles, we offer dermal fillers and injectables to address different areas of the face.
Belotero lasts from six months to one year. Synthetic fillers are made from different materials with the goal of adding structure under the skin for support. Some of them also trigger the body to produce more collagen in the injection area.
We also offer the synthetic filler Radiesse, which is composed of calcium hydroxylapatite microspheres suspended in a water-based gel. The calcium microspheres and gel instantly provide plumping of the wrinkle or crease, plus results continue to improve as the body builds more collagen in the area. Radiesse results last a year and sometimes longer. Other fillers are deemed “semi-permanent” and have longer life spans.
What areas can be treated with dermal fillers?
As mentioned above, dermal fillers only work on static wrinkles, the type that shows themselves at all times. These occur on the mid to lower face, as creases and lines, but also as areas of volume loss.
Dermal fillers are great for returning volume to sunken, flattened cheeks, for adding volume to the lips, and for covering elevating tendons and blood vessels on the backs of the hands. For lines and creases, dermal fillers erase smiles lines running from the nose to the corners of the mouth, parentheses lines framing the sides of the mouth, marionette lines running from the corners of the mouth downward, barcode lines above the upper lips, and similar wrinkles around the mouth area.
What are the side effects of dermal fillers?
Risks with all injectables come down to basically two things: allergic reactions and migration or lumping. Because hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the human body, allergic reactions are rare. Synthetic fillers can be more prone to allergic reactions in the patient.
What are the risks with dermal fillers?
Otherwise, the real risk with dermal fillers is an injection into the wrong location. This can allow the filler to migrate to an unwanted area where it can be seen; or the filler can form a lump, which can also be seen where it pushes up the skin. This is an advantage of hyaluronic acid fillers because their effects can be reversed with a simple injection of an enzyme in case the filler has moved. In any case, these risks are rare, and are usually the result of an inexperienced injector. That’s why it’s paramount to trust only an experienced injector such as Dr. Lee and the team at our Los Angeles clinic with any injectables.
Is there anything I need to do to prepare for dermal filler injections?
No. These are simple procedures that take just minutes.
Are dermal filler injections painful?
We apply topical numbing cream prior to your injections, so they are not painful.
How long does a filler injection session take?
These treatments take just 15-30 minutes. For most locations, we apply topical numbing cream prior to your injections, so you need to allow 30 minutes or so for that to numb the area.
Can dermal fillers be reversed if I do not like my results?
Hyaluronic acid-based fillers, such as the Belotero fillers, can be reversed or neutralized if the patient doesn’t like the look of their results, or if the filler has formed a lump (which can occasionally happen). The injection of an enzyme, hyaluronidase, immediately dissolves the hyaluronic acid.
What our patients have to say
“The professional care and treatment that I received and the entire group were very helpful and friendly!”
- David A.
“I had originally found this doctor on Google and was inspired to go in for a consultation because of the excellent reviews. Now I know why their reviews are so good. Everyone in that office is sweet and welcoming and gentle. They give detailed information so you know everything you could want and their bed side manner is remarkable! Worked well with my insurance and were so accommodating. Glad I didn’t go anywhere else!”
- Vanessa B.
What should I expect after my dermal filler injections?
When you’re done there isn’t any recovery; you can go right back to your normal activities. You may have some slight redness and swelling at the injection sites, but that usually resolves within a day. There may also be some slight bruising, but this also resolves quickly. You shouldn’t rub the injection sites for 24 hours after your injections, just to let the filler settle into place.
How long do dermal fillers results last?
Dermal fillers have varying lifespans. Eventually, every filler and neuromodulator will be absorbed by the body and the wrinkles or lines will return. Radiesse generally provides results for about one year. Belotero has different filler options, lasting from 6 months up to 18 months for Belotero Volume.