Posts Tagged ‘hyaluronic acid’

FDA Advisory Panel Recommends Restylane for Lip Enhancement

Monday, May 9th, 2011

While an advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) injectable filler Restylane for lip enhancement, it seems unlikely to make much difference even if the FDA does move to approval. Many doctors in the United States already find Restylane very effective in filling out their patients’ lips.

Restylane, like other hyaluronic acid fillers such as Juvederm and Elevess, temporarily smooths wrinkles by adding volume under the skin, and was approved for this use by the FDA in 2003. The effects of hyaluronic acid fillers typically last about six months.

Restylane is frequently used for off-label purposes, such as lip augmentation, since hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body and there are very few risks associated with the procedure. According to Dr. Farhad Rafizadeh, a New Jersey plastic surgeon who spoke with MyHealthNewsDaily, Restylane is the best filler for the lips because it remains in place. Other facial fillers, he says, tend to seep into other areas of the face.

This practice is not as unusual as one might think, since off-label use for a product is quite different from using a substance that has not been approved by the FDA. Experienced, conscientious doctors can legally and ethically use drugs and other products for alternative purposes, as long as these products have already been shown to be safe for human use, and the patient fully understands the nature of the use.

A move by the FDA to approve hyaluronic acid fillers for lip enhancement would most likely only impact doctors that are unaccustomed to using the products and hesitate to go off the beaten path. In the hands of an expert plastic surgeon, however, hyaluronic acid fillers can work wonders for smile lines, wrinkles, creases, lips, and hollow cheeks.

Botox or Facial Filler? How to Reduce Wrinkles Without Surgery

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

While Botox is the most popular cosmetic procedure in the world, with 5.4 million procedures performed last year in the United States alone, facial fillers have become very trendy in recent years. Products like Juvederm, Sculptra, and Artefill are continuing to redefine how we think about wrinkles. Each product has unique benefits that are worth considering.

All of these products work by being injected into the face over the course of about 15 minutes. The benefit of injectable treatments is that there is no downtime, as patients can usually return to their routine immediately after the procedure. Typically, the only side effects are what you might expect for an injection, such as redness, bruising, or stinging, which pass soon afterwards.

Botox is best suited to treating forehead lines, frown lines between the eyebrows, crow’s feet, lines between the upper lip and nose (perioral wrinkles), and wrinkles on the neck. All of these areas can be treated through targeted injections that relax certain muscles and allow others to pull the skin tighter than before.

Facial fillers are best used on smile lines and wrinkles below the mouth. However, they can often be used for other wrinkles and creases on the face, as well as for augmenting lips and filling out hollow cheeks.

Some fillers, such as Restylane, Elevess, Perlane, and Juvederm, use hyaluronic acid for striking results that last up to 6 months. All are highly effective on smile lines and other facial wrinkles, although each is formulated differently and suited to unique purposes. For example, Juvederm is especially well-suited to filling out lips, while Perlane contains no animal proteins whatsoever.

Other fillers last much longer than Botox and hyaluronic acid-based fillers. Sculptra lasts for up to two years and works by replacing lost collagen. Artefill, however, lasts longer than most (if not all) other facial fillers. It provides permanent support thanks to special microspheres that are injected along with the collagen and provide a framework for new collagen deposits. The microspheres are not absorbed into the skin, so that they may provide lasting support for a number of years.

Each product has unique benefits that are best suited to different patient needs, desires, and timeframes, so it’s always important to discuss your needs with a qualified plastic surgeon to find the injectable treatment that’s right for you.

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