Last night at Evolutions Medical Spa Santa Barbara we hosted an event on Dermal Fillers to an at-capacity crowd. On hand was a representative from Medicis, the pharmaceutical company that produces the popular dermal fillers Restylane and Perlane, and also the anti-wrinkle neuro-modulator Dysport.
We have come to realize that many people do not know the difference between dermal fillers and neuro-modulators such as Botox and Dysport. Botox and Dysport get so much press that people often assume that Botox is the end-all solution to turning back the clock and “erasing” wrinkles! This is not necessarily the case for many people.
Before we get into an in-depth look at dermal fillers, we will give you a brief description of Botox / Dsyport and how they work in your face. Botox and Dysport are neuro-modulators that treat dynamic wrinkles in the upper portion of the face. Popular uses for both of these are for the lines across the forehead, the lines between the brows (often referred to as a “scowl”) and the lines on the outside of the eyes (“crows feet”). These neuro-modulators treat the cause of the wrinkle, which is the muscle beneath them that is creating the crease (or wrinkle). Botox or Dysport relaxes the muscle under the wrinkle and the skin smoothes out.
Dermal fillers, on the other hand, provide volume to the face – most commonly used on the lower portion of the face – in places where volume has been lost. As a person ages, volume may be lost under the eyes (causing the under eye dark circles to look darker and the eyes to look sunken) and in the cheekbone area. Deep creases often develop from the side of the nose to the lips (nasiolabial folds) and even on either side of the lips. With the enhancement of dermal fillers, a person may regain the face that they had five or ten years ago, giving them a more alert, rested look.
Several brands of dermal fillers are available at Evolutions. The ones that were highlighted yesterday were Restylane and Perlane. These are made from hyaluronic acid, a complex sugar molecule, that is naturally produced in the body to help provide fullness and elasticity. Restylane is a smaller molecule and better for fine lines, lasting about 6 to 8 months. Perlane is made up of bigger Restylane molecules and typically used for deeper folds. Since the Perlane molecules are bigger, it takes the body longer to break them down and Perlane may last anywhere from 6 to 9 months.
A dermal filler treatment gives a person instantaneous results! Depending the depth of the creases that are being filled (and the number of areas being treated), a treatment may use up to three syringes (3 mL) of filler to achieve “full correction”. “Full correction” means using just the right amount of filler in the treatment areas of the face to get the results you want. How many syringes you will need is determined by Dr. Perkins (or the nurse) who is administering the treatment. Although you may feel that you do not want to purchase two or three syringes for “full correction”, doing this proves to be much more cost effective over time. A study by Medicis showed that if a person had “full correction” and came in for a follow-up treatment before all the dermal filler had broken down (typically between 4.5 and 9 months), they ended up getting half as much the second time because when layering hyaluronic acid it binds to itself.
A very revealing before-and-after interactive picture on the Medicis website showcases the dramatic effect that fillers can have on your face – view it here (use your mouse to “scroll” over the picture and see her face before fillers and after treatment).
Other dermal fillers that Evolutions carries include Radiesse (a much deeper structural filler), Juvederm and Prevelle Silk. Dr. Perkins has also developed a unique protocol of layering fillers, called the Layered Liquid Lift, that treats the entire face and can turn back the clock ten years. The Layered Liquid Lift typcially is done in a 90-minute session and the results last 12 to 18 months. A great alternative to a facelift!