In today's world, people are seeking out less invasive procedures that will restore a more youthful appearance without surgery or significant downtime. As we age, there is a loss of collagen and elastin which gives our skin its framework. Additionally, there is loss of bone mass and facial volume. This results in a hollowing of the face with sagging jowels and the development of nasal-labial fold creases. One of the first steps in correcting for the aging process is to restore volume and collagen production through the use of dermal fillers. There are presently too many dermal fillers on the market to discuss all of them so today I will focus on Bellafill and Juvederm Voluma.
Bellafill (formerly called Artefill) is a dermal filler that is a combination of bovine collagen and bio-compatible microspheres. In the first weeks following the injection of Bellafill the bovine collagen is broken down and resorbed by the body. The microspherses in Bellafill have been safely used in medicine for over 60 years. Once injected, these bio-compatible microspheres remain in place and provide a matrix to support your own collagen. Additionally, the microspheres stimulate the production of collagen. The body does not break down the bio-compatible microspheres so they remain in place to continually stimulate collagen production. Studies have shown that at 5 years out, the amount of facial restoration is as good or better than it was 6 months after the injections. So as to not over-correct, this filler is usually injected in a two step process although some clients can achieve their optimal results with a single set of injections. Another advantage to Bellafill is that it is not harmed if the same areas are treated with medical cosmetic lasers. In fact, they may further enhance the effects of the Bellafill by stimulating collagen.
Juvederm Voluma was just recently introduced into the United States. This product is a gel containing hyaluronic acid (HA). HA fillers are made from long chains of sugars that occur naturally in the skin. They attract water molecules to expand tissue. Voluma is unique in that it has special cross-linking that slows its degradation and provides excellent lifting capacity. Voluma will last roughly twice as long as other HA dermal fillers with about two-thirds of patients showing some volume expansion at 2 years. Although it is rarely necessary, the results from Voluma can be reversed with an enzyme injection should you not be pleased with the result. One area of concern with HA fillers is whether treatment with skin rejuvenation lasers or skin tightening devices will break down the filler quicker. Allergan, the manufacturer, does report the risk of inflammation in the skin if laser procedures or skin peels are performed after the injection of Voluma.
An additional consideration that needs to be made when comparing whether to select Bellafill or Juvederm Voluma is the overall cost over time. The two products are similarly priced, thus over the long run, the cost of Bellafill will likely be significantly less. Both fillers achieve a nice volume expansion and lift when performed by an experienced clinical injector who understands facial anatomy.
At The Lifestyle Center, Dr Moore is very experienced in performing the Liquid Lift procedure. He is careful to not over-correct our clients which can lead to an unnatural appearance to the face. While many in Hollywood may like this appearance, it does not go over well in St Louis, MO. At this time, for clients seeking long term results, our preferred dermal filler is Bellafill. We often recommend the addition of skin rejuvenating and tightening procedures such as Fractora, Lumecca and Venus Legacy to restore a more overall youthful appearance. By combining these therapies, we can shave as much as 10 or 15 years off your appearance.
To learn more about restoring your youthful appearance, please contact The Lifestyle Center to schedule your free consultation.