Hyaluronic acid fillers are a great option for those looking to replace lost volume by plumping your wrinkles, folds, and sagging skin. The process is minimally invasive, and results are instant, lasting anywhere from six to eighteen months. Risks are low, but can include very rare instances of allergic reaction, and possible injection site problems that are more likely with an inexperienced injector. Read on for more information on hyaluronic acid dermal fillers;

What Are They?

A dermal filler is a gel injection used to soften folds, wrinkles, and creases on your face, around your mouth, and lips. Unlike the popular Botox® and Dysport®, dermal fillers are not neuromodulators, which means they will not affect nerves or muscles underneath your skin. Basically, the name says it all: They are injected under the skin to fill the space created by age-related lost volume.

How Do They Work?

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The most popular dermal fillers are made of hyaluronic acid (HA). This is the same molecule that is already inside our bodies, creating the cushioning and moisturizing environment for our collagen and elastin in the dermal layer of the skin. The injectable gel integrates into your dermal tissue to attract and bind surrounding water molecules for added volume. The consistencies and particle sizes of each filler differ among products and brands, making each one more or less suitable for certain uses.

What Are The Different Types?

Restylane® is a very versatile filler of medium thickness that has a smaller particle size, making it an appropriate option for lip augmentation in patients over 21 years of age. Restylane can also be used easily in other areas of the face since it is not as dense or rigid as some of the other HA fillers.

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Juvéderm® products are made by a different company which also makes Juvéderm® Ultra Plus and Juvéderm® Voluma. Juvéderm® marketing claims that it differs from Restylane® in that its formula uses Hylacross™ technology to purportedly achieve a smoother consistency than Restylane®, though this difference hasn’t been clinically proven to be of any significance at present. This also implies that Juvéderm® absorbs more moisture, so it can be trickier to handle as it will swell more than Restylane®. This may be of benefit if it’s the desired effect.

Juvéderm® Ultra Plus and Juvéderm® Voluma also use the Hylacross™ technology, but with different purposes. Juvéderm® Ultra Plus is denser than regular Juvéderm®, so it is used for deeper wrinkles. Juvéderm® Voluma, however, is the first dermal HA filler to be FDA-approved to specifically replace lost volume in your cheeks. The Juvéderm® family of products comes pre-mixed with lidocaine in their “XC” line.

The type of filler used is entirely dependent upon the patient’s situation, so as always, see your local board-certified dermatologist to discuss what’s best for you.