Cosmetic injectables can be just the right solution for you if you’re looking to decrease lines and wrinkles and get a more youthful appearance. They are a non-surgical treatment that is a simple, relatively painless substitute for something more drastic like a face lift or a forehead lift.
A cosmetic injectable, as the name implies, is something that a plastic surgeon injects under your skin for cosmetic reasons. Injectables are minimally invasive and simple procedures. The most famous injectable is Botox, but it is actually in a category all its own. Most injectables are something called dermal fillers, and together Botox and dermal fillers account for nine million procedures performed in the United States every year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Botox and dermal fillers are very different products in that they do different things in different ways. Yes, they are both injectables, but that’s where the similarities end. Botox contains a bacteria that freezes muscles, minimizing the lines and wrinkles in the face caused by facial expressions (such as frown lines, crow’s feet, and forehead wrinkles). On the other hand, dermal fillers add fullness to places parts of the face that have thinned due to aging (such as the lips and cheeks).
Botox is a form of the toxin botulinum, coming from a bacteria that causes food poisoning known as botulism. But don’t worry! Just because it comes from a toxin doesn’t mean that it’s dangerous or even has significant side effects.
Botox blocks nerve signals in the muscles where it has been injected, temporarily freezing that muscle, or paralyzing it. With these muscles frozen, wrinkles in the face can be reduced. Because of this, Botox can only work on wrinkles that are caused by muscle. These muscles are caused by frowning, laughing, grimacing, or making other facial expressions. (So if your mother ever told you that if you make a face it’s going to get stuck like that, she was partly right!)
It usually takes Botox 3-5 days to take effect, but it’s possible that you may not see full results for up to 7-10 days after the injection. Unfortunately, Botox doesn’t last forever. In general, Botox usually lasts 3-4 months. It is possible that some patients may experience the benefits of Botox for up to 4-6 months, but some may disappear in 2 months. It’s also common that your first treatment might be on the shorter end of that spectrum, but that your later treatments will be on the higher end. Results may vary from person to person.
Dermal fillers, the other form of cosmetic injectable and also known as soft-tissue fillers, are substances that are injected beneath the skin to, well, fill. They add fullness and volume.
Some common types of dermal fillers are calcium hydroxylaptite (a compound found in the bones), hyaluronic acid (a substance found naturally in the body which adds plumpness), polyalkylimide (a transparent gel), polyactic acid (a substance which causes the body to produce collagen),and PMMA (microspheres).
Each one of these fillers is used to do different things, and your doctor will help you decide which is applicable for your situation. We’ll talk about the most prominent name-brand fillers below.
Just like Botox, these dermal fillers don’t immediately generate results, but manifest them slowly after one to two weeks. Some of these fillers will last for six months and others will last for two or more years. It varies depending on the type of filler and from person to person.
Below are the two most commonly used dermal fillers:
Juvederm is the most commonly used dermal filler brand in the world. There are five variants: Juvederm Vollure XC, Juvederm Voluma XC, Juvederm Volbella XC, Juvederm XC, and Juvederm Ultra XC.
Restylane is the second most common brand, and consists of six products: Restylane, Restylane-L, Restylane Silk, Restylane Lyft with Lidocaine, Restylane Refyne, and Restylane Defyne.
Botox and dermal fillers are the most common types of cosmetic injectables. They behave very differently from each other, acting in different ways: Botox freezes or paralyzes muscles to combat things like laugh lines and crow’s feet, whereas dermal fillers are used to fill areas under the skin to remove wrinkles and to plump up things like the lips or cheeks. Of the two, Botox lasts a shorter amount of time, anywhere from two to six months. Dermal fillers vary widely depending on the type used, and can last anywhere from six months to two years.
Are you ready to try a cosmetic injectable?
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