Whoever came up with the idea of body and facial fillers was, undoubtedly, a genius. With a few injections, many issues that people face can be resolved, or at least alleviated– ranging from flat noses, short chins or sagging cheeks to tiny butts, small breasts and even improve sensitive body parts.
It’s a wonderful invention.
One of the most common questions people ask me is: how many types of fillers are out there in the market today? Phew, one could write a whole essay on that! :)
In a nutshell, fillers can be classified into temporary, semi-permanent and permanent fillers. My favourite is the hyaluronic acid (HA), which is a temporary filler lasting between 9-12 months. It’s made of glycosaminoglycan polysaccharide and is not just found to be naturally occurring in the body as universal extracellular matrix– it’s also chemically identical across species and therefore, is very low on antigenicity, i.e. less likely to cause bad immune reactions. In other words, it’s very safe. Two well known brands are Juvederm and Restylane.
Then, there is the semi-permanent fillers such as Sculptra and Radiesse. Sculptra consists of poly-L-lactic acid and Radiesse contains calcium hydroxyapatite. Both of them essentially work by having an initial bulking effect plus an additional benefit of stimulating collagen synthesis wherever they are placed. This prolongs their volume enhancing effect in the mid-term and they are therefore able to last up to 2 years. Actually, a very good alternative would be to choose a more viscous HA product.
Permanent fillers last the longest. Examples include Aquamid, which is a polyacrylamide gel (i.e. plastic), and liquid silicone, which is the longest lasting of all FDA approved fillers. These can last for years.
For more information about fillers, you can also read these posts. :)