Hyaluronic acid is a natural volume-maintaining substance in the skin which decreases with age.
Injectable hyaluronic acid is used to lift up tissue under a wrinkle or give volume to the face or lips.
Juvederm™, Restylane® and Teosyal® are hyaluronic acid products recommended for smoothing wrinkles, restoring volume to the cheeks, lifting the brow and sculpting the lips. Optimal results can be maintained over time by additional treatments. Another product called Sculptra® is created from poly-L-lactic acid, the material used in reabsorbable sutures. Sculptra® stimulates a patient’s body to produce its own collagen and restore lost facial volume. The results can last for 18 to 24 months or longer.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q: Where Do Hyaluronic Acid Products Come From?
A: Injectable hyaluronic acid is produced from non-animal sources by a natural fermentation process. Thus there is no risk of transmitting diseases from animals.
Q: How Long Does Hyaluronic Acid Last When Injected?
A: The volume enhancement frequently lasts 9 to 12 months particularly when used to augment the cheeks.
Q: Does the Treatment Hurt?
A: With newer anesthetic techniques and products, the procedure is virtually painless.
Are There Any Side Effects?
A: After a treatment, injection related reactions can occur, such as swelling, slight discomfort, redness, mild bruising and tenderness at the implant site. These effects generally resolve within 1 to 3 days. Rarely (about 1 in 3000 patients), localized inflammation and, sometimes, tender nodules can develop in the area of injection. This may last for several months. It is also remotely possible to develop diffuse swelling or puffiness in the treated area which could last till the product dissipates in 6 to 9 months. An extremely rare complication is injection of product into an artery which could lead to an area of skin breakdown and scarring.
Q: Can “anyone” inject fillers?
A: Hyaluronic acid injection should only be performed in a medical doctor’s office by a qualified doctor or registered nurse under the supervision of a doctor. It is unwise to have this procedure done in a spa, esthetics clinic or home “office” where there is no direct medical oversight and supervision.