Adding Volume and Smoothing Wrinkles in the Appleton, WI, Area
Much of the volume and structure that gives skin its healthy appearance comes from collagen. The protein is abundant throughout the body when a person is young, but collagen levels drop over time, leading to thinning and sagging in areas that rely on roundness and support to maintain a youthful look. While gradual collagen loss in the skin is basically guaranteed, there is a way to regain missing volume: dermal fillers. Whether a patient wants to address facial wrinkles or enhance a smile via lip injections, Excelin Medical Spa in Appleton, WI, offers injectable fillers to reliably provide the desired cosmetic benefits.
Dermal fillers come in a range of brands, each with a different focus. Some are best suited as lip injections, while others are intended for providing a subtle lift in the cheek region or filling in moderate to severe lines—”parentheses” around the mouth and “marionette lines” that run downward to the chin. Dr. Victoria Negrete and Jennifer Erb, RN, are experienced in helping women and men get the look they want by carefully and strategically deploying the right filler or combination of fillers based on a patient’s unique traits and personal goals. Dr. Negrete also performs dermal filler injections in the Neenah location at Forefront Dermatology.
What is Collagen?
An essential component to a healthy body and found throughout the bones, tendons, muscles, and various other systems and organs, collagen also provides a framework for moisture-friendly hyaluronic acid molecules and helps skin hold its shape while remaining pliant.
Everyone is born with collagen, and the human body continually replenishes it as individual protein molecules break down over time. This breakdown of collagen is natural, but can be hastened by stress, toxins, and especially exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or tanning beds.
Unfortunately for anyone with an interest in maintaining a youthful look, the older someone gets, the more sluggish their body becomes in replacing lost collagen in the skin. As collagen’s presence dwindles, the skin becomes less pliant, its moisture carrying capacity diminishes, and its structural support weakens. Aesthetically, this means the formation of wrinkles, the development of flat or hollow patches on the face, and sagging.
Are Dermal Fillers Made of Collagen?
Early fillers made use of animal collagen, which took the place of the skin’s natural collagen. Some patients would experience allergic reactions to these fillers, and the ingredient has been phased out in favor of formulas based on hyaluronic acid and other safe and naturally occurring chemicals.
Modern fillers typically serve one of two purposes: to add physical volume in place of the collagen lost, or to stimulate the production of new collagen in the skin.
Which Dermal Fillers Are Available?
Made by Allergan, Juvederm® is a popular family of hyaluronic acid-based fillers that reduce the appearance of wrinkles, restore roundness to the apples of the cheeks, and more.
This clear, hyaluronic acid-based gel is intended for reducing the appearance of lines on the face—especially near the mouth. Its formulation makes it particularly suited for use on nasolabial folds that form between the nose and corners of the mouth, and on marionette lines, which run horizontally from the corners of the mouth to the chin. Restylane® can also be used for lip injections to add volume, making them fuller and more defined. The hyaluronic acid particles in Restylane® Silk are smaller, making it smoother and suitable for refining and subtle corrections. Silk’s primary application is for adding definition to the lips by reducing the appearance of vertical lip lines and improving definition and shape by adding volume with direct lip injections.
Manufacturer Galderma took a different approach with Sculptra®, which uses poly-L lactic acid, a sugar molecule, as its base. While hyaluronic acid provides volume by essentially filling in creases in the skin, Sculptra® is a collagen stimulator that provides more gradually visible results. Microparticles in the injectable filler are absorbed, prompting the skin to make new collagen over the course of months. The result is a natural-looking reduction in facial wrinkles. The best results with Sculptra® come from a series of sessions.
What Is a Dermal Filler Session Like?
Each patient who comes to Excelin Medical Spa expresses individual cosmetic goals for his or her distinct and unique face. That diversity means no two dermal filler sessions will be exactly the same. Some will focus on just one area—and will so take only a small fraction of an hour—while others will be more involved as multiple issues are addressed.
That said, filler injections on the whole do not take long. As with any treatment that involves needles, patients can expect what is often described as the sensation of a slight pinch. Multiple treatments spaced months apart may be necessary for someone to achieve their ideal results.
Just after the session, patients may notice injection-related side effects, including bruising, redness, swelling, and tenderness—all of which are common and resolve on their own in a matter of hours or days.
Depending on the specifics of the treatments, including the specific filler used, patients can expect their results to last anywhere from months to years. The details of each filler, including its duration and recommended maintenance schedule, can be discussed at a personalized consultation.
What Complements Dermal Fillers?
Dermal fillers are ideal for lip injections and addressing the static wrinkles that appear due to collagen loss. When it comes to dynamic wrinkles that form due to repetitive muscle activity, a neuromodulator to relax the muscles in question, such as BOTOX® Cosmetic or Dysport® is required.