Young skin is beautiful. As we age, though, we lose some of the fullness and moisture in our skin. Loss of hyaluronic acid (HA) is partially to blame for this. We also lose collagen and elastin, leaving skin dry, wrinkled, and dull. Luckily, there is a treatment that can help replace some of the hyaluronic acid, and one FDA approved source is described herein.
Juvederm is a non surgical filler used to give your face a fuller, smoother appearance. There are several forms of this hyaluronic acid dermal filler, including Juvederm Ultra and Juvederm Voluma. Each formula is used for different areas of the face, but both work the same way.
What is the Difference?
Voluma is thicker and more gel-like. It is used in the harder areas of the face — cheekbones and chin. It actually settles on top of the bones, adhering to them. It adds thickness to those areas, giving a lifting appearance. This helps with the loss of density that occurs with age in the bones, fat, and muscles around the facial structures. Ultra is softer and has a thinner consistency, which makes it effective to be used on soft areas — eyes, lips, and the creases between the mouth and nose (nasolabial folds). The effect of this thinner treatment is a softer, fuller look.
How is it used?
Both treatments are injected under the skin. Voluma is injected deeper than Juvederm because of where it is used. It is used on cheekbones, the jawbone, and on the chin. Juvederm Ultra is injected less deep because it is used on softer tissue areas like under the eyes and around the lips. It can also be injected into the hands to make veins look less prominent and add fullness to thinning skin.
Is is safe to use?
Both products are made of hyaluronic acid (HA), which is a natural sugar found in skin. There is no human or animal DNA found in HA. An added benefit of injecting this naturally occurring substance is that collagen production may increase as a result. This of course will only enhance a more youthful appearance.
Some swelling and redness can occur, but should not last longer than a couple of days. Because the serum is less thick, Ultra seems to cause less puffiness than Voluma. There are precautions you can take to decrease the likelihood of these effects. These pre-emptive measures, as well as after-treatment care are listed in the following section.
These products are formulated with lidocaine to help with the pain. Some practices also use a topical anesthetic to assist with pain reduction of the injection sites. This anesthetic cream can also help reduce bruising by constricting blood flow. For treatment of the lips, many practitioners use a similar procedure to numb the lips that a dentist uses. The effects of both of these should dissipate in less than two hours. Use of cold packs after treatment can also help with swelling and discomfort.
How long will the Voluma fillers last?
Unfortunately, these treatments are not permanent, but should last approximately one year. The need and frequency will depend on the product and placement of your treatment. Your body chemistry will also help determine how long the treatments last. Voluma, again because of its thickness could last up to two years.
How do I care for my skin after treatment?
For best results, you have some skin and health care needs to address before and after treatment. Taking these steps will decrease side effects, especially bruising. Avoid NSAIDS: Aspirin, Excedrin, Ibuprofen, Aleve, and Advil for 1 week prior to and 2 days following treatment. Tylenol is acceptable, since it is not an NSAID. Vitamin E, fish oils and St. John’s Wort should not be taken 3 days before or after treatment. Any exercise more strenuous than normal walking should be avoided for 1 day after treatment.
Many patients are able to apply makeup and proceed with their daily plans immediately after treatment. Some swelling is to be expected, especially if your treatment is around the lips. Most patients resume normal activities the next day and more formal social events can be planned within two to three days.
Is this treatment for everyone?
As with all medical procedures, contraindications do exists to receiving treatment with Ultra and Voluma treatments. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not have these treatments at all, and those who bruise easily should only proceed with treatment upon the advice of their primary care physician. The results of this treatment are such that anyone who has experienced aging and wants to look younger can appreciate.