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What is a Wrinkle Filller?

By Nychole Price
Updated May 17, 2024
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A wrinkle filler is an injectable soft tissue filler that fills in wrinkles located on the face. This smooths their appearance and makes them disappear to the human eye. Wrinkle fillers can correct moderate and severe skin folds and wrinkles, depending upon the person's skin health. There are two types of wrinkle fillers; permanent and temporary.

There is one type of product approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a permanent wrinkle filler. This product is known as Polymethylmethacrylate beads, or PMMA micro-spheres. They appear to be small, smooth balls that are bio-compatible with the body and, therefore, not absorbed by it. This product is better known as ArteFill and is mostly used to correct laugh lines, found around the mouth.

There are four different absorbable fillers approved for use by the FDA. They include collagen, cyaluronic acid gel, calcium Hydroxylapatite, and poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA). Of these four products, collagen is the most well known and commonly used wrinkle filler.

Collagen is found in the human body and is a major component of skin. When collagen stores begin to naturally deplete with age, wrinkles develop. Many people choose to have collagen injections to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. This type of absorbable filler comes from purified cow collagen. It usually last for about four months before it is absorbed by the body, and costs around $700 US Dollars (USD) per injection.

Hyaluronic acid gel is produced by a person's own body. It is a water soluble protective gel that is non-antigenic, noninflammatory and nontoxic. This type of wrinkle filler is more commonly known as Restylane, and costs around $350 USD per 30 minute treatment. Hyaluronic acid is often used in conjunction with lidocaine to reduce discomfort during injection.

Another type of absorbable, non-permanent filler is calcium hydroxylapatite, a component of human bones. It is implanted into the desired area in the form of a gel substance. This substance is the primary ingredient of Radiesse, a dermal filler medication. Radiesse was approved by the FDA on 22 December 2006, for the treatment of facial fat loss in HIV and AIDS patients. The effects of this variety of wrinkle filler lasts for approximately one year before being absorbed by the body.

Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) is the final substance approved by the FDA for use as a wrinkle filler. This chemical is a synthetic polymer from the alpha-hydroxy-acid family. Due to the fact that this substance is biodegradable, it has been used for dissolvable stitches and bone screws. The brand name for this substance is Sculptra®, a widely used injectable throughout Europe and the USA. This wrinkle filler works by stimulating neocollagenesis to increase the volume in sunken areas of the face.

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Discussion Comments
By Raynbow — On Sep 05, 2014

My mother gets hyaluronic injections, and has been to several different plastic surgeons to compare prices. She has always been given costs based on the number of syringes she has injected, not the amount of time it takes to inject them. Syringes of wrinkle filler are not cheap, either.

Anyone who can find a doctor that charges by time like the article mentions should be thrilled because that is a great deal.

By Heavanet — On Sep 04, 2014

@ocelot60- While having a permanent wrinkle filler sounds great, the potential for side effects in the near or distant future is very real. Because this type of filler doesn't absorb into the body over time, the possibility of infections occurring around them is very likely. When this happens, the patient will have a mess because removal is the best treatment. However, a liquid filler is not easy for a doctor to remove, and doing so can result in major scarring.

On the other hand, temporary wrinkle injections provide nice results and do not cause major risk of infection. If a problem does occur, there are things doctors can do to treat them.

Another good thing about this type of filler is that advancements have been made over the years to improve their longevity. Though the wrinkle-filling effects of temporary injections don't last forever, they last much longer than they use to.

By Ocelot60 — On Sep 03, 2014

Having a permanent wrinkle filler sounds much more cost-effective than repeatedly having a temporary one injected. Are they safe to have, and do they cause any major side effects?

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