Fill’er Up Doc! Fillers can be an easy alternative to surgery

collagen injectionCosmetic facial fillers have been available for almost 30 years now.

In the past they used substances like paraffin, silicone and collagen, although results have been less than desirable and in some cases have lead to serious complications.

In 1934, researchers out of Columbia University discovered a substance that appears naturally in the human body called hyaluronic acid.  They found that hyaluronic acid helps to hydrate the skin and keeps its volume and form.  It is also responsible for lubricating joints.

Hyaluronic acid (HA) works by retaining water and can absorb almost 1,000 times its weight. When injected into the dermis of the skin it helps to add volume and binds collagen and elastin together, which enables the body to transport vital nutrients within the skin, giving it a more radiant and youthful appearance.

In 2003, Restylane was the first hyaluronic acid dermal filler to receive approval from the FDA for the correction of wrinkles and creases like the nasolabial folds, or “smile lines.”  According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, (ASAPS), Hyaluronic acid fillers are the fastest growing non-invasive treatment in the United States.

There are many products on the market today that are hyaluronic-acid based: Restylane, Juvederm, Prevelle Silk, Radiesse, Perlane, Hylaform, just to name a few.  They all vary slightly in their makeup and most are designed for specific uses, however, their major active ingredient is hyaluronic acid.

Most HA dermal fillers are considered safe to use on most body types.  Very few adverse affects have been documented from the use of HA dermal fillers.  However, some of the side affects can include temporary redness, discomfort with injections, swelling and slight bruising.  Allergic reactions are also very uncommon.

If you have questions about hyaluronic acid facial fillers and live in Fairfax or Northern Virginia, Dr. Christopher Hess can help you make an informed decision on the benefits and limitations of their use.

Dr. Christopher Hess is board certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and was voted one of the top Plastic Surgeons for 2008 from the Washingtonian Magazine.

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