Hyaluronic Acids

Brands to look for: Belotero Balance, Juvederm, Juvederm Volbella, Juvederm Voluma, Juvederm Vollure, Juvederm Ultra, Restylane, Restylane Silk, Restylane Refyne, Restylane Defyne, Restylane Lyft

Injectable fillers are a rapidly expanding approach to treating facial aging (such as nasolabial folds) and firmly established wrinkles. Fillers restore volume and can add structure depending on the type of filler used and the depth of the dermal injection. All hyaluronic acid fillers carry some risk of bruising, lumpiness, redness, product specific adverse reactions and in rare cases local infections.

Our natural levels of hyaluronic acid decline with age due to exposure to free radicals and the aging process in general, and women over 50 are estimated to have half the hyaluronic acid they had in their youth. With the ability to hold up to 100 times its own weight in water, hyaluronic acid (a sugar found naturally in human skin) is responsible for retaining moisture in the skin. Hyaluronic acid binds to water similar to the way a sponge absorbs water. Because of this, it hydrates the skin in the treated region. Hyaluronic acid fills the space between collagen and elastin fibers, enhancing the skin’s plumpness.

After treatment, you may experience swelling, bruising or even discoloration, all of which will subside after a few days. A major benefit of this filler class is that allergic reactions are extremely rare and no pre-treatment skin testing is necessary. The body eventually absorbs hyaluronic acid fillers. You can expect results to last anywhere from three to 12 months depending on treatment area. In the event that you’re not happy with the results, the treated areas can be injected with hyaluronidase to dissolve the filler.

Hyaluronic acid fillers contain lidocaine to reduce pain. Before the approval of Juvéderm XC and Restylane-L, doctors found themselves mixing in lidocaine, or injecting it into the patient, to make the procedure more tolerable. One advantage to fillers now containing lidocaine is that not as much anesthetic needs to be injected into the patient before using the filler. Injecting the area to be treated with anesthesia can cause some swelling and distort the creases and folds that are being corrected. 

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