The last 5 years have seen a proliferation in the number of fillers available to patients. When it comes to aging, loss of volume is one of the most significant changes in the face. This loss of volume results in sagging and creases. Fillers are the solution as they directly replace the lost volume.
Having so many new options is great for physicians and patients alike. However, with all of the choices can come some confusion for patients. How do you know which is best? I will try to highlight the differences.
Of course there are nuances to each filler and each patient so only an individual consultation can provide you a definitive answer but the descriptions below should serve as a good primer.
Hyaluronic acid based products:
There are many in this category including Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm, Belotero and Voluma. These were amongst the first fillers available and are very versatile. They can be used safely throughout the face. Hyaluronic acid fillers are the ideal choice for lips as they are clear and relatively soft. The one area they should be avoided is the tear trough, which is the area in the lower eyelid that can become hollowed out.
Radiesse (calcium hydroxyapatite):
Radiesse lasts longer than the HA fillers mentioned above, usually by 4-6 months. Moreover, the syringes contain more product than the HA fillers so it provides a nice value. It should never be used in the lips or tear troughs but is safe and very effective everywhere else.
Bellafill is the only long lasting FDA approved filler. It currently has a FDA approval of 5 years but is completing a study to achieve a 10 year approval. In fact I have patients from about 10 years ago that still have the volume benefits so I can attest for its longevity. Bellafill is also the only filler to have FDA approval for acne scarring.