Injectable dermal fillers are gel-like substances that are injected underneath your skin to change its appearance. They’re a popular and minimally invasive treatment for wrinkles. Read on for more information.
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Types of Wrinkle Fillers and Lip Fillers
There are several categories of wrinkle fillers, and each works in a slightly different way.
Hyaluronic acid is already naturally produced by your skin. You may recognize the ingredient from cosmetics that claim to plump and hydrate your skin.
Hyaluronic acid fillers are gel-like, and results can last 6 to 12 months. These fillers tend to be a bit more expensive than collagen.
This type of calcium is found in your bones. It’s a mineral-like compound that’s soft like a gel, and it doesn’t require any animal products to be created, making it vegan-friendly. This is one of the longer-lasting types of injectables, with a life span of 9 to 15 months.
Brand name: Radiesse
Polylactic acid is a type of filler that dissolves after just a day or two. Instead of staying put underneath your skin, Poly-L-lactic acid is meant to stimulate natural collagen production in your body.
Poly-L-lactic acid is the same ingredient that encourages healing in dissolvable stitches used after surgery. Although this ingredient is biodegradable, it’s still a synthetic ingredient.
Brand name: Sculptra
Polymethyl-methacrylate (PMMA) microspheres
These microspheres are tiny, synthetic balls that are injected to give structure underneath deep wrinkles or to fill out thin lips.
PMMA microspheres are considered a longer-term solution than hyaluronic acid and polylactic acid. Because of how long this treatment lasts, doctors often require several appointments to slowly fill in the area with multiple, smaller injections.
Brand name: Bellafill
Autologous fat injections
This type of filler material comes from your own body. Autologous fat injections use fat deposits from donor areas of your body, like your tummy area or buttocks.
The fat is extracted via a liposuction procedure before being injected into another area of your body where volume has been lost. Unlike most other types of injectables, these natural fillers last forever.
Where you can use them
Different types of fillers are recommended depending on the area of your body that you’re looking to target.
While most of the fillers can be used for this area, there are a few that might be preferred by some people. These might include PMMA, polylactic acid, and certain hyaluronic acids.
Fat injections, hyaluronic acid, and polylactic acid can be used around the eye area. Certain hyaluronic acids might be better than others for this area. Some tend to not provide the optimal correction, and can leave the area looking lumpy or bumpy.
You should be advised that no filler has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the under-eye area.
Nasolabial or smile lines
Most of the hyaluronic acids and PMMA microspheres have been approved by the FDA for use in this area. They can be used for the smile lines and folds around your nose.
Forehead and crow’s feet
If you’re opposed to Botox injections, filler solutions for your forehead furrows and crow’s feet include polylactic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite, and PMMA.
Fillers in this area are also not approved by the FDA, and many providers won’t use injectables in this area due to complications.
Cheeks can be plumped and structured with polylactic acid and many of the hyaluronic acids.
Most of the hyaluronic acids can be used as lip fillers, and they’ve been approved by the FDA to do so. Most of the other filler options shouldn’t be used on the lips.
Calcium hydroxylapatite, hyaluronic acid, or essentially any of the above dermal fillers can be used to contour and add volume to the chin.
Hyaluronic acid and calcium hydroxylapatite can be used to fill in loose skin on your hands, as well as decrease the appearance of veins.
Chest or décolletage
Not to be confused with breast augmentation, wrinkles around your chest area and lower neck can be treated with hyaluronic acid.
Fillers do have measurable cosmetic benefits for your appearance. People who swear by fillers report younger-looking skin, fewer fine lines and wrinkles, and a more visible bone structure.
For those who are self-conscious about the visible signs of aging, fillers are fairly straightforward and work for their intended purpose.
Hyaluronic acid, in particular, may soften scar tissue and add volume to where it’s injected.
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Botox and It's Uses
1. Corrects Strabismus
The earliest Botox uses in the medical world were for treating certain eye disorders. One of these is strabismus, a condition that causes improper eye alignment. In this case, one of the eyes may be looking straight ahead, while the other turns upward, downward, or to one side.
Botox injections have been a treatment for this visual problem since the 1970s. It corrects the eye position so that both eyes turn toward the actual direction the person is looking at. In very small doses, Botox for strabismus is safe even in children.
2. Helps Bring Involuntary Blinking of the Eyes Under Control
Another eye condition that Botox can help with is blepharospasm. Although a rare condition, it causes uncomfortable, uncontrollable blinking or twitching. In some people, it can even cause difficulty in opening their eyes.
Blepharospasm results from spastic muscles around the eyes. These spasms may be due to abnormalities in the part of the brain that controls muscles.
Since botulinum toxin relaxes muscles, it can help reduce involuntary muscle movement. Very small doses of Botox injections weaken the eyelid muscles. This then prevents the muscles from twitching.
3. Reduces Migraines and Headaches
Almost a quarter of all U.S. households has a member suffering from migraine. This throbbing headache isn’t only recurrent — it’s also incapacitating. It can be so debilitating that sufferers have to take sick leaves from work to stay in bed.
The good news is, small doses of botulinum toxin can help reduce migraine attacks. In fact, it’s one of the earliest Botox medical uses that the FDA approved back in 2010.
Researchers found that Botox cut down the frequency of chronic migraine headaches. Patients also reported fewer days off from work due to their debilitating headaches. More than half said they saw a 50% reduction in their headaches, while another 29% saw a 75% reduction.
4. Curbs Excessive Sweating
People with hyperhidrosis experience excessive sweating even during days that aren’t hot. And when we say excessive, we mean abnormal amounts of sweat that soak through their clothes. They perspire so much their clothes can even drip with sweat!
As you can imagine, the usual antiperspirant products don’t do these folks that much good.
This is where Botox injections can come to the rescue. If prescription antiperspirants don’t work, Botox may be the next best choice. The FDA has approved it for excessive underarm sweating.
Off-label Botox use may also help reduce perspiration in the hands, feet, or face. Note that the term “off-label” means using any medication other than what the FDA has approved it for.
5. Keeps an Overactive Bladder in Check
Does it seem that nature calls you every so often? If so, you’re not alone — in the U.S., overactive bladder affects up to 33 million people. Three in 10 men suffer from it, and another four in 10 women do.
Luckily, studies have found that small doses of Botox can help keep OAB in check. It’s for this reason that the FDA approved Botox for this condition back in 2013.
Botox helps by relaxing the bladder while also raising its storage capacity. This then results in fewer episodes of urinary incontinence.
6. Lessens Neck and Shoulder Pains
Botox injections also help reduce the severity of neck and shoulder pain. These include chronic posterior neck pain and shoulder myofascial pain syndrome.
One study found that the use of Botox led to a significant reduction in patient pain scores. Patients also saw a huge decrease in the number of headaches they experienced. They also reported reduced severity in their headaches.
These improvements then resulted in higher levels of sleep and enjoyment. The participants also said they were able to do more activities. All these benefits of Botox then helped boost their quality of life.
(sources: healthline.com, pureaestheticsgainesville.com)