Are you considering erasing those wrinkles? Heard a lot about Botox and other fillers? Well, when considering such treatment, its important to keep in mind that not all syringes are created equal. Just because fillers are all injected into the skin doesnt mean theyll have the same effect on lines. With dozens of therapy options floating around out there, sometimes its difficult to keep track of whos who in the wrinkle-fighting domain. Heres everything you need to know about three of todays most popular treatmentsBotox, Restylane and Radiessebefore deciding which--if any-- procedure is best for you.
Average Cost: $125 to $400 per treatment area
By far the most widely-known wrinkle filler injection, Botox is a brand of OnabotulinumtoxinA, a compound that inhibits muscle movement by blocking the release of acetylcholine at the injection site. It is generally prescribed to adults between the ages of 35 and 65 for the smoothing of wrinkles located on the forehead or between the eyebrows. Because different brands of OnabotulinumtoxinA cannot be mixed-and-matched, patients must stick to the Botox brand (or any other similar brand that they initially use) when receiving follow-up treatments.
During your first visit, your doctor will pinpoint the key injection sites for your desired treatment area. The fluid, which consists of a powdery substance, is inserted not only in the target wrinkles, but also in the muscles that are associated with those wrinkles. Anesthesia is usually not given during the procedure, which lasts up to 20 minutes. Botox typically improves wrinkles by 80 percent within one week, and the results last for approximately four months. Follow-up treatments are recommended every four to five months.
Botox injections may bring about minor side effects such as pain or bruising of the injection site, headache, nausea, teary eyes, flu-like symptoms, muscle weakness or temporary drooping of the eyelids. In rare severe cases, it can cause vision change, swelling of the eyelids and extremities, chest pain, or dizziness. RestylaneAverage Cost: $350 to $800 per syringeA gel-based injection, Restylane restores elasticity of the skin by mimicking the effects of natural hyaluronic acid, a sugary substance that gives the skin its volume. It is typically given to adults between the ages of 35 and 60 who want to smooth out moderate to severe wrinkles around the nose and mouth (known as nasolabial folds) or the lines that extend from the corner of the mouth to the jaw line (known as marionette lines). Another version of Restylane, called Perlane, contains larger hyaluronic acid molecules and can be used for deep wrinkles that dont benefit from more superficial injections.Local anesthesia is usually given during the procedure, since the depth of the injections can cause pain and discomfort in the area around the mouth. Your doctor will determine the appropriate dosage of the injection. Generally, you shouldnt receive more than 60 milliliters of the medication in a single dosage. Treatment results can be seen within one week, and 95 percent of patients continue to see results for anywhere between 4.5 to 9 months.
Side effects of Restylane commonly include pain and irritation of the injection area, headache, nausea and flu-like symptoms that may last up to seven days. The injection is not recommended to those who have bleeding disorders or who take blood-thinning medication. You also shouldnt get Restylane injections if you are severely allergic to gram-positive bacteria or the local anesthetic lidocaine. RadiesseAverage Cost: $650 to $800 per syringeAs you get older, your natural supply of collagen diminishes, robbing your skin of its elasticity. Radiesse injections fight wrinkles and lines by stimulating collagenesis, the skins collagen-producing process. The treatment is recommended for adults between 35 and 60 years old who desire to improve the appearance of wrinkles around the mouth and the side of the chin.The initial treatment consists of several injections (depending on the dosage selected by your doctor) of calcium hydroxyl apatite that is enclosed in a carboxymethylcellulose gel. In simpler terms, a combination of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, glycerin and sterile water is implanted in the skin, where it fills up the spaces that are caused by wrinkles. After a few months, the gel is broken down, causing fibroblast cells to produce new collagen and restore the skins natural volume. An 80 percent improvement in wrinkles can be immediately seen after the treatment, and it typically lasts for up to two years with several intermediate touch-ups.
Some swelling may be experienced for up to 36 hours after the treatment, and exposure to the sun immediately following the injections is not recommended. In very rare cases, Radiesse may cause the formation of bumps on the skin that can be remedied by either steroid injections or a surgical procedure. Stella Katsipoutis is a freelance writer who has written for Redbook, Fitness, Global Rhythm, and Bridal Guide magazines. She has alsopreviously worked on TheNest.com and WeddingChannel.com,published by The Knot Inc. Her writing has covereda variety of topics, including health, nutrition, music, travel and weddings.