Dermal fillers are fast becoming a popular alternative to cosmetic surgery, and Juvederm Voluma is the first dermal filler with lidocaine to be approved by the FDA. It is injected into the skin to restore a more youthful appearance, and its effects are immediate and long-lasting (up to two years for some). At Bella Forma CSC & Medspa in Duluth, GA, we offer this treatment along with a comprehensive menu of other cosmetic treatments and surgeries.
Understanding Your Skin: An Overview
You may already know that skin is your largest organ, but you may not always stop to think about all the fascinating ways it protects you from the outside world. Between outside invaders such as harmful bacteria and viruses and exposure to the elements, your skin is continuously warding off attacks from your environment. At the same time, it is also helping to regulate your body temperature, making Vitamin D, and storing water and necessary fats.
With all this hard work, it’s no surprise that skin begins to break down with age. It loses its elasticity, blood vessels become more fragile, and thinner skin near our eyes and lips begin to appear sunken and wrinkled. This is why many people turn to dermal fillers to restore the volume they once had in these areas.
The Epidermis, Dermis, and Subcutaneous Layers
There are two main layers of skin, with a third layer underneath made up of fatty tissues. The first layer is called the epidermis. This is the thin outer layer of skin, though it changes in thickness depending on its location and purpose (i.e. on the bottoms of your feet). This is what creates our skin tone and gives us a barrier to the outside world.
However, it is the second layer of skin called the dermis where dermal fillers are typically injected. This layer is what gives our skin its strength and flexibility, and it is also where we sense pain and touch. It contains hair follicles and sweat glands and acts as a cushion from stress and strain. Sometimes thicker dermal fillers are injected into the subcutaneous layer, which is the fatty layer underneath.
What Happens As Skin Ages
As we grow older, our skin faces challenges as it adjusts to hormone changes and an overall decrease in the production of oils and cells that give it its youthful appearance. The layers of skin tend to become thinner, and the blood vessels more fragile. Collagen also decreases over time, adding to the sagging effect of aging skin.
For men, the sebaceous glands continue to produce oil until around age 80, after which it diminishes only minimally. For women, this process can start much earlier at around the time of menopause. As oil production slows and the fatty connective tissues thin out, the skin begins to look paler, rougher, and saggier.
Effects of Aging
As the skin layers begin to thin, you may notice changes in your sensation of touch, pressure, heat, and cold. This can make you more prone to skin injury, which can exacerbate the appearance of aging. In addition, older skin takes much longer to heal than younger skin, and bruising is more common as blood vessels become more fragile over time.
In addition to wear and tear, our skin is also particularly susceptible to harsh weather, bad habits, and stress. These stressors make our skin more fragile and less able to rebound as we age.
Voluma: What You Need to Know
What Are Dermal Fillers?
In the past several years, advances in dermal treatments have made leaps and bounds in scientific development. For decades, the main option for dermal fillers was collagen. While this is still a viable treatment option, its effects tend to last less than six months. With the advent of newer technologies, longer-lasting treatments are gaining popularity.
Dermal fillers act primarily as a substitute for lost collagen under the skin. Since their effects vary depending on where they are injected and how long they last, several filler options have become available, including hyaluronic acid, collagen, calcium hydroxyapatite, polymethylmethacrylate, silicone, and poly-L-lactic acid.
How Is Voluma Different?
Juvederm Voluma is a hyaluronic dermal filler that is proven to lift the soft tissues of the face and tighten the epidermal layer for a natural facelift without surgery. Because of its unique formulation, it resists breaking down in the body longer than other hyaluronic acid treatments. With technology that strengthens its molecular structure, this treatment lasts twice as long as most other hyaluronic fillers.
Patients are also attracted to the convenience of treatment. An outpatient office visit generally lasts less than an hour and there is very minimal downtime. The patient can typically resume normal activities immediately.
Hyaluronic Acid consists of a chain of sugars that occur naturally in the skin. It is important as an agent of hydration, as it can hold almost one thousand times its weight in water. We produce hyaluronic acid on our own, but as we age production levels taper off, which diminishes the plump, hydrated appearance that we once had.
In addition to holding water, higher amounts of this acid also stimulate collagen production and the transfer of nutrients through the skin. This is what gives young skin its resilience. Hyaluronic acid promotes elasticity and faster healing from things like sun exposure and environmental damage.
What Areas Can Be Treated?
Juvederm Voluma is specifically designed to plump and firm the cheeks and surrounding skin. Because it is a thicker, more viscous gel, it goes deeper into the layers of skin and doesn’t migrate to other areas. It stays put and gives the upper and middle cheeks that signature long-lasting contour.
While it is intended as a cheek filler, it is also used to treat other midface areas such as the nasolabial folds. These are the lines from the nose to the corners of the mouth. As they lose collagen, these areas descend over time, making us look older and more tired. This treatment has been used to successfully lift and treat the nasolabial areas as well as the upper and middle cheeks.
The lower face areas include the lower cheeks, mouth, and jawline. Because the lower face is particularly susceptible to the appearance of frowning or descending lines, the chin area deserves the same attention as the cheeks. Many doctors are now using this treatment for the chin and surrounding areas as well.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Treatment?
Almost anyone over the age of 21 who is experiencing reduced elasticity and plumpness of skin can benefit from treatment. One of the most attractive things about this treatment is that it can be used by many people who are not good candidates for cosmetic surgery. This gives those who would otherwise have opted for surgery the hope of a non-invasive option with minimal downtime and long-lasting benefits.
What to Expect
For about a week or so prior to treatment, you should avoid taking over-the-counter pain relievers that are known to be blood thinners. These include aspirin and any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications such as Advil and Motrin. Blood thinners may create challenges for injectable treatments.
In addition, for 7-10 days it is best to stop any habits that may create sensitivity in the skin, such as waxing, plucking, or bleaching skin. Since you will be receiving a series of small injections, you will want to make sure your skin is not already subjected to any other irritations. Avoiding alcohol will also minimize the risk of bruising.
Upon arrival at our office, you will be invited to relax in our modern suite. Our staff are experienced practitioners and will make you feel at ease. Most sessions last under an hour.
The vials we use to inject the gel contain lidocaine, an effective local anesthetic. The very fine, specially-designed needle encourages accuracy and comfort as the treatment is received. Most patients report a very comfortable experience.
Most patients can resume normal daily activities immediately after treatment. You may be encouraged to continue avoiding irritants to the skin (such as tanning or waxing) for a day or two afterward. For those who bruise easily, you may also be encouraged to continue avoiding alcohol for the following 24-48 hours.
Dermal fillers do more than just enhance facial contouring. By lifting and plumping the skin, they also elevate any old scars such as those left from acne or sun exposure. They can brighten shadowy, hollowed areas and obscure blood vessels. Voluma specifically offers several benefits.
Voluma mimics substances found naturally in the body and is not derived from animal sources. Because of this, it is well-tolerated by the body with very rare occurrences of rejection or allergic reaction. Typically, when such a reaction does occur it is due to an added ingredient to the filler, such as the lidocaine.
Hyaluronic acid treatment has been proven effective time and time again after various studies. It remains a top recommendation for cosmetic professionals due to its history of long-lasting results with minimal risk and downtime. In addition, some research has shown that repeated use of hyaluronic acid treatments can actually make permanent improvements to the skin over time.
Works for Nearly Everyone
Anyone who is dissatisfied with their skin’s appearance can benefit from hyaluronic acid treatment. If you are someone who wants to have a more contoured jawline and fuller cheeks, a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, and an improvement in mid-face elasticity, then you are likely to be a good candidate for this treatment.
In addition, this treatment is compatible with other dermal treatments. If you use peels, laser treatments, or other dermal fillers, you can also use hyaluronic acid treatments. The key is timing, which we will be happy to discuss with you.
Due to its cutting-edge technology, Voluma’s molecular structure is more stable, less likely to migrate, and lasts longer than other dermal fillers. It is the only filler FDA-approved to last up to one year, but many patients see the benefits for up to two years. This saves you time and money on recurring treatments and solidifies long-term benefits.
Because it is a thicker gel, it gives a great deal of volume to the face while minimizing over-correcting or nonconforming. It is injected deeper into the tissues, which gives it endurance and the convenience of fewer office visits.
Don’t Wait for Immediate Effects
Voluma is a safe and efficient treatment to enhance skin laxity and facial contours. The effects can last up to two years and is a non-invasive treatment with minimal downtime. Contact Bella Forma CSC & Medspa in Duluth, today for a consultation. We take great pride in offering compassionate and effective care.