Thinking about going under the knife, but you’re a little nervous? Fortunately, you don’t have to put yourself through any of that. Here are some alternatives that are just as good, if not better, than surgery.
The general category of fillers includes mostly creams, serums, and injections that mimic surgery and provide results that are comparable, or better. Now, don’t confuse fillers with things like Botox. Botox is a drug made from a toxin which is produced by a bacteria.
This is the same bacterial toxin that causes the life-threatening botulism – food poisoning. Doctors typically inject it directly under the skin to smooth out facial wrinkles and improve the visual appearance of skin. It can also be used to treat migraines, overactive bladder, cervical dystonia, blepharospasm, and even severe underarm sweating.
Fillers, on the other hand, often work in concert with your body to produce change from the inside. One of the downsides to Botox is that it must be repeated often and doesn’t make fundamental changes to your skin. With fillers, real change occurs.
Hyaluronic Acid Fillers
There’s been a surge in particular hydrogel injections that act as a face-lift. If this substance sounds familiar, it’s probably because it’s been used by doctors to treat osteoarthritis. Hyaluronic acid is a natural fluid that’s found in your body and helps lubricate joints and keeps them working smoothly. It asks like a shock absorber.
Getting an injection in the face in a good choice too because of its compatibility with our body. High concentrations are found in soft connective tissues in the face, especially tissues around the eyes.
When injected, it acts like an inflated cushion to support structures and tissues. It also brings water to the surface of the skin, keeping you looking young and fresh.
There are also hyaluronic acid fillers are non-injectable, made of a particular sugar that is naturally-occurring in the body. These gel formulations come in either thin or thick consistencies and can fill shallow or deep folds and wrinkles.
So, if you’re looking to erase fine lines around the lips and face, then this might be the perfect thing for you. And, if you need to fill in deeper folds around the nose and “marionette lines,” then this might also be a good option for you.
With a gel, you won’t notice immediate results. It takes several weeks for fine lines and wrinkles to disappear. You must also apply it consistently, every day and never miss an application. Some people don’t notice as dramatic results with the gels as they do with an injectable.
If you’re leaning on the conservative side, try the gel first for at least 6 weeks. If that doesn’t work, see your doctor about an injectable version, which should produce, more or less, instant results.
Calcium Hydroxylapatite Microspheres
Calcium hydroxylapatite microspheres is a compound that’s similar to minerals found in the body. It makes up the main ingredient in Radiesse, for example. It’s thicker than hyaluronic acid and effective where substantial volume is needed. It builds up a weak chin, strengthens a jawline, pads sunken cheeks, and fills in deep wrinkles. Results typically last a year or longer.
Poly L-lactic Acid
This treatment is more long-term, but it works with your body to produce collagen. It’s commonly sold under the brand name Sculptra, and is a biodegradable synthetic material that’s used in dissolvable stitches.
What it lacks in speed, it makes up for in longevity. No, you won’t see overnight results with this. Instead, applying daily helps stimulate your body to regenerate its own collagen. You will usually need a series of three to six injections, about a month apart, and results last up to two years.
This is one of the best-known ways to turn back the clock on your face and regain a more youthful appearance. This will also treat more stubborn cases like moderate to severe creases and frown lines. Because it’s synthetic, there’s less chance that you will experience an allergic reaction to it.
And, if you combine this with other fillers, you can get both an immediate, and long-term, result that you should be happy with.
Collagen fillers are usually cow (bovine) or human cells. The body slowly absorbs the collage over time. Regular injections might be needed to maintain the results. This is more of an older treatment, since most doctors today would recommends hyaluronic fillers instead of collagen. However, it’s still offered at many doctors’ offices.
Jonathan B. Collins is a beautician. He likes to share his experiences and insights online. His articles are available mainly on beauty and lifestyle sites.