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Your guide to injectable facial fillers in San Mateo, CA: Hyaluronic Acid-based vs. collagen stimulators

Our skin gets its youthful plumpness, elasticity, and glow from beneficial proteins and molecules such as Hyaluronic Acid (HA) and collagen. As we age, our bodies produce less HA and collagen naturally. It’s estimated that collagen is lost at a rate of 1% each year after age 21. By age 50, our skin contains 30% less collagen than at age 20! Fortunately, Allura Skin & Laser Center in San Mateo, CA, can literally inject HA and collagen back into your skin to restore these beneficial substances, which reverses the effects of the natural aging process.

Injectable facial fillers

There are numerous injectable or dermal fillers to choose from, and they are all generally administered in much the same way. One of our skilled specialists precisely administers the gel formulation to the treatment area with a fine needle. Many dermal fillers are designed with lidocaine. So, your utmost comfort is maintained throughout treatment. We can also discuss other options to keep you comfortable as needed, including topical numbing creams.

Dermal fillers are low risk and well-tolerated. Side effects are commonly limited to temporary and minor redness, bruising, or tenderness at the injection site. Partnering with highly skilled dermatologists assures that treatment is safe, risks of side effects are minimized, and that the results from treatment look natural. No “over-filling” or “over-doing” here! Facial fillers are also an appropriate alternative for patients who are not ready for, nor do they want, to undergo an invasive surgical procedure such as a facelift.

Some of the most common fillers are formulated with HA. These products include the Juvéderm® and Restylane® family of filler products and may be used to soften lines and folds and add volume and definition to areas most affected by volume loss.

Treatment sites include:

  • The nasolabial area around the mouth and nose
  • The lips and the tissues surrounding them
  • The cheeks or “mid-face”
  • The under-eye region
  • And the back of the hands.

Some HA-based products, such as Restylane Refyne, Restylane Defyne, and Juvéderm® Ultra XC, are specifically designed or formulated to provide unique benefits. For example, Restylane® Defyne is manufactured with special technology that naturally softens deep folds around the mouth and nose. Likewise, Juvéderm® Ultra XC is also designed to correct deep folds and highly detailed contouring areas such as the cheeks, as a thicker gel than its “sister” products.

Belotero Balance®, too, is uniquely manufactured to improve moderate to severe “etched-in” smile lines and vertical lip lines and to integrate cohesively in the skin for the most natural appearance.

Results from HA-based products are generally immediate; once the gel is applied to precise points of the face, it behaves like a balloon to smooth out wrinkles and to plump up shallow or sunken areas. Depending on the type of product used, results from these fillers might last anywhere from around six months to two years.

Collagen stimulators

Products such as Radiesse® and Sculptra® Aesthetic are all characterized as “collagen stimulators.” Due to how these products are formulated and how they work to correct signs of aging, they essentially produce longer-lasting results than most HA-based fillers. The results from these products may not be immediate. Depending on the product that is best for your needs and goals, results may unfold gradually after one or more treatment sessions.


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Like HA-based formulas, Radiesse® and Sculptra® are both made from biocompatible materials. So, the risks of allergic reactions and other sensitivities associated with animal-derived or other synthetic products are avoided. Radiesse®, for one, is made from calcium microspheres that are similar to minerals found in the bones. Alternately, Sculptra® is derived from PLLA, the same poly-L-lactic acid that is used in dissolvable stitches. When skillfully applied to treatment sites, such as the mouth area, jowls, chin, cheeks, and temples, these fillers are designed to restore lost volume and fill in depleted areas, and notably, trigger the production of new, fresh collagen. These fillers stimulate collagen remodeling in a way that is compatible with natural tissues. In fact, the filler is absorbed naturally and safely by the body. Generally, results from Radiesse® are immediate and last for around 18 months. Results from Sculptra® are gradual, with optimal improvement visible after about two to three treatment sessions; however, improvement may be sustained for more than two years.

No filler product is a permanent “fix.” Touch-ups are required. You can also help sustain the beautiful results and prevent further signs of aging with healthy skincare, especially proper sun protection! Regardless of the type of filler that is best for you, all are generally a non-invasive way to hit “pause” on the march of time. We can’t stop the clock, but we can “reset” it! Contact Allura Skin & Laser Center to schedule your consultation.

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