Like Restylane, Radiesse is a natural substance (calcium hydroxylapatite) and is identical to the mineral content of human bone. Thus, no allergy testing is needed. Radiesse is also produced in a laboratory environment and is thus not derived from animals. The biggest advantage of Radiesse is its longevity; improvement may be visible for up to three years.Radiesse was the first long lived filler to be widely used and is a combination filler and bio-activator. Being calcium based, it not only gives an immediate result, it further stimulates the growth of natural collagen and enhances the skin’s dermal matrix. Longevity can be greatly influenced by how quickly the individual’s body absorbs sub dermal calcium at the correction site. Radiesse is best used for deeper furrows, such as the nasolabial fold that runs from the nose till the corner of the mouth. Radiesse can also be used to augment volume over cheek bones and along the jaw line and to fill in hollow areas of the cheek. By far the best use of Radiesse is as rejuvenation therapy for ageing hands. Based on years of clinical experience, the majority patients are satisfied with their results which can last from at least 10 months.to a year while some patients can see results dissipate in as little as 3 months. Though many will want additional treatment after this time, there is still noticeable residual volume that persists due to the increase in collagen. Bruising and swelling are the most common side effects due to the heavier consistency of Radiesse compared to other fillers. In all cases, this resolves in a time period consistent with individual patient history.
Another newer injectable is Sculptra, a polymerized form of lactic acid (a product of sugarcane). Lactic acid polymers have been used for many years to produce absorbable surgical sutures (stitches), which gradually dissolve. Sculptra is a suspension of small particles of the material which when injected just beneath the skin, stimulate production of collagen as it dissolves, adding extra volume to the cheek. Sculptra is not a dermal filler per-say but a bio-activator which stimulates the body to build more of its own, natural collagen. Sculptra is usually given in a series of two or three treatments, each spaced several weeks apart. The volume augmentation can take two or more months to be fully evident. The treatment effects are more than additive in that the second and especially the third treatment sessions result in more volume augmentation than the first.Post Sculptra, there is minimal bruising and swelling and most patients can go immediately back to work, experiencing no down time at all. Long term results start to become noticeable in 3-4 weeks with most of the correction completed during the first couple of months.
The amount of correction from each treatment is based on several factors relating directly to the specific patient’s relative age and needs. Once a full correction is achieved, results can last years. Typically, one’s natural aging process will benefit from minor touch-ups every few years.