Dr. Branman Awards Dr. Rhys Branman's Cosmetic Surgery Blog

Avoid Cheap Fillers and Botox

July 26, 2018 - Rhys Branman, MD

We have seen ads online offering dermal fillers for sale at cut rate prices. So have unscrupulous, and untrained people who are quite willing to make a buck offering you their services. Advertisers like this are not authorized to distribute legal products in the United States. Often the drugs are counterfeit, in other words, you don’t know what you’re getting. Also, anyone can buy them. A number of arrests have been made of people representing themselves as doctors for giving illegal injections over the past couple of years. The United States is tougher on injectable fillers than other countries. For example, compared to the few approved by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) there are 160 on the market in England. Here are the ingredients that are approved in the United States. Don’t forget that each individual product must also be tested and approved by the FDA as well.

Collagen has been around a long time. It is a protein found in the skin and other parts of the body. In fact, you probably know collagen is the very tissue we are replacing with other dermal fillers, and we are promoting the growth of collagen with laser treatments at Little Rock Cosmetic Surgery Center. When used as a dermal filler, collagen from cows is purified and refined into a dermal filler. The shortest lasting dermal filler, collagen only lasts 3 -4 months, if you’re lucky.

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the body. It is a type of sugar that is capable of combining with water and swelling. Therefore it can smooth out wrinkles when injected under the skin. Hyaluronic acid lasts for 4 – 6 months. This is the substance found in Juvéderm® and Restylane®. Although these two hyaluronic acid based dermal fillers are preferred at Little Rock Cosmetic Surgery as injectable fillers, there are other brand names that are legitimate. Here’s a list: Elevess, Hydrelle, Hylaform, Juvéderm®, Perlane, Prevelle, and Restylane®. We prefer Juvéderm® and Restylane® at Little Rock Cosmetic Surgery.

Sculptra, on the other hand, is made from poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA). This is a man-made substance that is biodegradable and also biocompatible (therefore no allergy tests are needed). PLLA had been used to make absorbable stitches for years before the FDA approved it as a dermal filler. Sculptra can last up to 2 years, which makes it the longest lasting facial filler. The effects become more evident over a period of weeks. Like hyaluronic acid, PLLA is an ingredient deemed safe by the FDA.

Calcium hydroxylapatite is found in Radiesse. It is a mineral found in the bones and teeth. Calcium hydroxylapatite is the heaviest of the dermal fillers. These calcium based particles act as a platform for collagen to grow on. Radiesse is not a good choice for lips, so if patients want lip filler in combination with other parts of the face filled, I would tend to use Restylane® or Juvéderm®, which I feel is a much better choice. Again, Radiesse takes some time to obtain the maximum effect.

PMMA (polymethyl-methacrylate) fillers are also approved by the FDA; the brand name is Artefill. PMMA is essentially a clear plastic which is combined with collagen. Although very long lasting, we don’t use PMMA because not only does it take up to 3 months to reach its full effect, but also a number of injections are required. Another synthetic, Silikon 1000 is composed of sterile silicone oil and often used by cosmetic surgeons to augment lips or fill in lines.

You want a trained injector for these procedures, preferably a board certified cosmetic surgeon who will only buys products from authorized distributors or the company itself. Come to Little Rock Cosmetic Surgery Center for your dermal fillers to be sure it is the real thing.

Call the Melinda at the front desk to set up your consultation 501-227-0707

One thought on “Avoid Cheap Fillers and Botox

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