JUVÉDERM® XC Injectable Gel

JUVÉDERM XC injectable gel is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved dermal filler that, according to its manufacturer, Allergan, Inc., is designed to "temporarily treat moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds such as nasolabial folds" in people older than 21. Unlike the original JUVÉDERM injectable gel, JUVÉDERM XC is infused with lidocaine to make its injection more comfortable.

JUVÉDERM XC is a smooth-consistency gel that restores volume to the skin, and smooths away moderate-to-severe facial wrinkles and folds. It is made of hyaluronic acid (HA), a sugar that occurs naturally in the body. In terms of the skin, HA's role is to deliver nutrients and hydration, and act as a cushioning agent. Young, healthy skin contains a lot of HA, but factors that include aging and sun exposure reduce the amount, causing skin to lose structure and volume. JUVÉDERM XC is most effective in improving the appearance of nasolabial folds, the lines that run from the bottom of the nose to the corner of the mouth on both sides of the face.

JUVÉDERM XC Injectable Gel Procedure

JUVÉDERM XC injections take about 15 minutes to administer in a doctor's office. A fine needle is used for the injection, which is given under the skin in the targeted area to add volume or fill in wrinkles and folds. Because JUVÉDERM XC contains lidocaine to improve comfort, an anesthetic may not be needed. However, a doctor may still elect to use a topical anesthetic on the area to be treated before giving the injection. Afterword, the doctor may gently massage the treated area(s).

Once treatment is completed, patients can return, with virtually no downtime, to their regular activities. For the first 24 hours after treatment, to reduce the risk of complications, patients should avoid strenuous exercise, excessive sun or heat exposure, and alcohol consumption.

Results of JUVÉDERM XC Injectable Gel

The results of JUVÉDERM XC are visible immediately after injection; any swelling and bruising, to which ice can be applied, should subside during the next few days. Results can last 6 to 9 months, and, in some cases, up to year. However, according to its manufacturer, "Results from injectable dermal filler vary and correction is temporary. Supplemental 'touch up' treatments may be required to achieve and maintain optimal correction of . . . wrinkles and folds."

Risks of JUVÉDERM XC Injectable Gel

Although JUVÉDERM XC is considered safe, there is a risk of side effects. They are usually limited to the injection site, and include the following:

  • Redness
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Firmness
  • Swelling
  • Lumps or bumps
  • Bruising
  • Itching
  • Discoloration
  • Infection

For customized treatment, Allergan, Inc., offers two types of JUVÉDERM XC: JUVÉDERM Ultra XC, which is suitable for superficial facial lines and folds, and JUVÉDERM Ultra Plus XC, a stronger formulation that is used for deeper facial folds and lines. JUVÉDERM XC is the first HA filler that is FDA-approved for use on people of color.

Restylane® Injectable Gel

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved Restylane® injectable gel is a cosmetic "filler" that contains hyaluronic acid (HA), a natural substance that is found in the body. HA gives volume and elasticity to the skin, but as the body ages, HA levels decrease, resulting in loose skin and wrinkling. When injected, Restylane gel is designed to plump the skin beneath lines and wrinkles, smoothing them out and making them less noticeable.

The most common areas for Restylane treatment are the glabellar lines (which run between the eyebrows) and the nasolabial folds (which run from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth). Restylane injectable gel is also FDA-approved, for those 21 and older, for enhancing the lips. According to manufacturer Medicis, results can last for up to 6 months, at which point the hyaluronic acid is reabsorbed by the body.

Benefits of Restylane Injectable Gel

When injected, Restylane gel plumps up glabellar lines and nasolabial folds, making skin appear younger and look smoother. When used for lip enhancement, it makes the lips fuller and gives them more definition.

Advantages of Restylane Injectable Gel

One significant advantage that Restylane injectable gel has over other facial fillers made with hyaluronic acid is that it contains nothing of animal origin. As a result, it does not require a potential user to undergo allergy testing, which can sometimes take weeks. Another advantage is that Restylane injections are performed in-office, usually by a dermatologist, in less than half an hour, and require little-to-no downtime for the patient.

Side Effects of Restylane Injectable Gel

The most common side effects of Restylane injectable gel are swelling, redness, pain, bruising and tenderness in and around the injection sites. They typically go away within a week. Although considered safe for most patients, Restylane injections carry a risk of infection, bleeding or allergic reaction.

Radiesse® Volumizing Filler

RADIESSE® volumizing filler is a synthetic injectable filler that has been U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved for reducing moderate-to-severe wrinkles, folds and creases around the nose and mouth by augmenting the skin's natural collagen supply. It is a safe, effective and long-lasting alternative to injectable collagen and other dermal fillers for smoothing wrinkles and adding facial volume and contour.

RADIESSE filler is composed of microspheres in a water-based gel; the microspheres are made of a substance called calcium hydroxylapatite, which stimulates the production of collagen. When injected into lines and wrinkles, the additional collagen that is produced smooths out the lines and wrinkles, and adds volume to the skin.

RADIESSE Volumizing Filler Applications

RADIESSE volumizing filler can be used on various areas of the face and body. In addition to correcting scars that leave depressions, it is effective in improving the look of the following:

  • Nasolabial folds (run from corners of nose to corners of mouth)
  • Marionette lines (run downward from corners of mouth)
  • Downturned corners of the mouth
  • Jowl pre-sagging
  • Chin wrinkles

RADIESSE filler has also been approved by the FDA to restore and correct the signs of lipoatrophy (loss of fat beneath the skin) in patients with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

RADIESSE Volumizing Filler Procedure

Before a patient is given RADIESSE filler, the treatment area is cleaned. RADIESSE injections are then made with a fine needle, and typically take only 15 minutes to perform. There is little-to-no downtime; many patients return to their normal activities right away. RADIESSE volumizing filler is also FDA-approved for mixing with the anesthetic lidocaine, which makes the injections less painful. Typically, only 1 or 2 treatments are needed to achieve the full benefits of RADIESSE volumizing filler.

RADIESSE Volumizing Filler Results

Results are visible immediately after injection, and sometimes last up to a year. Because results are temporary, treatments must be repeated to sustain them. Touch-up treatments may prolong the effects of RADIESSE filler.

RADIESSE Volumizing Filler Side Effects

Side effects of RADIESSE filler are usually not serious, and go away on their own. They occur at the injection site, and include the following:

  • Mild irritation
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness

Allergy testing is not necessary before treatment because the calcium hydroxylapatite microspheres in RADIESSE filler are similar to minerals that occur naturally in the body.

Sculptra® Aesthetic Facial Injectable

Sculptra® Aesthetic injectable is used to reverse the signs of facial fat loss that occur with aging. By restoring collagen, which decreases as the body ages, it fills out shallow-to-deep wrinkles and folds that run from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth (nasolabial folds). It is not appropriate for use in the eye and lip areas.

Sculptra Aesthetic's main component is an alpha hydroxy acid called poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), which is a safe and long-lasting synthetic (artificially created), biocompatible (can be used harmlessly in the body), biodegradable (able to be broken down by the body) substance. PLLA has been used for more than 20 years in many surgical products, including dissolvable sutures and soft-tissue implants.

Benefits of Sculptra Aesthetic Facial Injectable

U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved for the treatment of nasolabial folds, Sculptra Aesthetic is considered safe and effective for most patients. Because it works gradually, patients achieve a more youthful, natural-looking appearance with subtle, yet noticeable, results. Although not FDA-approved to treat them, according to manufacturer Valeant Aesthetics, Sculptra Aesthetic can be used on marionette lines (at the corners of the mouth) and chin wrinkles. Because it contains no animal, human or bacterial components, allergy testing is not necessary prior to treatment. There is little-to-no downtime after receiving Sculptra injections; most patients return to their normal activities immediately.

Treatment and Results of Sculptra Aesthetic Facial Injectable

Sculptra Aesthetic injections are designed to be a one-time treatment. A patient can have up to 4 injection sessions, which are spread 3 weeks apart. When injected into shallow-to-deep folds and lines, the additional collagen that is produced smooths them out, and adds volume to the skin. Results of Sculptra injections vary but, in a clinical study, their effects were shown to last for up to 2 years in most patients

Side Effects of Sculptra Aesthetic Facial Injectable

Possible side effects of Sculptra injections include localized bleeding, tenderness, discomfort, redness, bruising and swelling. Side effects usually fade within a few days, although can last longer.

According to Valeant Aesthetics, "Other side effects may include small lumps under the skin that are sometimes noticeable when pressing on the treated area. Larger lumps, some with delayed onset with or without inflammation or skin discoloration, have also been reported."

Lip Augmentation

Lip augmentation is a cosmetic procedure that, either surgically or with injections, increases lip size. Either the upper or lower lip, or both, can be augmented. Whether the results are temporary or permanent depends on the type of augmentation performed. There are several different techniques for augmenting lips. Most involve injecting a facial filler, although fat transfers (also called fat grafting) and implants are also options.

Injectable fillers usually contain a hyaluronic-acid material. Fat transfers inject fat that is harvested from the patient's body. Implants are placed under the skin; they are often made of a soft, solid-silicone elastomer. Which type of augmentation is used depends upon the individual patient, doctor preference and the cosmetic results desired.

Lip Augmentation Procedure

Lip augmentation is a cosmetic procedure that, either surgically or with injections, increases lip size. Either the upper or lower lip, or both, can be augmented. Whether the results are temporary or permanent depends on the type of augmentation performed. There are several different techniques for augmenting lips. Most involve injecting a facial filler, although fat transfers (also called fat grafting) and implants are also options.

Injectable fillers usually contain a hyaluronic-acid material. Fat transfers inject fat that is harvested from the patient's body. Implants are placed under the skin; they are often made of a soft, solid-silicone elastomer. Which type of augmentation is used depends upon the individual patient, doctor preference and the cosmetic results desired.

Lip Augmentation Results and Recovery

After lip augmentation with injectables, patients typically experience mild discomfort and swelling for a few days; they usually subside on their own. Most patients can return to work and other normal activities within 1 to 2 days after the procedure, although exercise and other strenuous activities should be avoided for a bit longer. Recovery from fat-transfer procedures and implants will take longer, usually up to 2 weeks.

With injectables, patients require multiple treatments (usually every 3 to 4 months) to maintain results. Fat transfers often provide permanent results, but a percentage of fat may not take or be reabsorbed by the body, so touch-ups may be required. Lip implants provide permanent results.

Lip Augmentation Risks

Lip augmentation is considered a safe procedure, but there are risks. They include bleeding, infection, asymmetry, numbness, nerve damage, swelling and scarring.

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