The use of wrinkle fillers has increased significantly over the past few years, with a number of new fillers being approved by the FDA. There is often a great deal of confusion among patients who are looking for a non-surgical treatment of facial aging. “Do I need Botox®? Dysport®? Radiesse®? Juvederm®? Sculptra®? Restylane®?” It can be hard as a consumer to keep them straight much less understand the limitations and risks. What’s more, the flood of advertising from the companies that manufacture the products and the individuals who are offering the injections tends to increase the confusion. In this world of competitive medical marketing it is a breath of fresh air to see a coalition of physicians dedicated to patient safety providing reliable, non-biased information about these products and procedures. That’s what PCIS is, The physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety. Click here to go to their website.
The project was a joint effort of national and international societies of Plastic Surgeons, Dermatologists, Otolaryngologists and Ophthalmologists. They stress the importance of choosing a qualified, experienced physician and what questions to ask them during your consultation. Also, it is important that your physician use the real product that has been approved by the FDA. (Not long ago there was a news story about a physician and several of his staff winding up in the ICU after injecting themselves with a cheap, no-name botulinum toxin.)
The site goes on to provide a nice review of what the injectables do. There are wrinkle reducers (Botox® and Dysport®) which act by relaxing the muscles that cause wrinkles, particularly the frown line between the eyes, forehead lines, and crows’ feet lines. And the wrinkle fillers, hyaluronic acid (Restylane®, Juvederm®, Prevelle®) calcium hydroxyapetite (Radiesse®) and poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra®), which are used to fill in hollows, lines or grooves in the face that come with aging.
Fillers have been a nice adjunct treatment for facial rejuvenation, sometimes used in conjunction with facelift surgery and other times instead of when it is too early for the face or neck lift. But just because something is non-surgical doesn’t mean it’s simple or without risks. As with all of the procedures we do to improve a person’s appearance, the first concern should always be safety.