Looking young and fresh has never been as important in our culture, but with the likes of Belotero Balance, Radiesse, and Xeomin by Merz Aesthetics, your options have never been as diverse for maintaining your most natural and most youthful appearance.
Recently, Dr. Grant Stevens spoke to a group of media to discuss the difference between the fillers, their effectness and where they are best applied. He also offers these at his own Marina Plastic Surgery in Marina del Rey, California.
Belotero Balance, Radiesse, and Xeomin are today’s most highly specialized fillers, targeted at specific areas of your face for the best results. It is important to understand what each is and where they are best applied. Would you like to relieve the appearance of smile lines? Belotero Balance and Radiesse are both recommended remedies. How about frown lines between your eyebrows? Then Xeomin is your friend. Bottom line: Your best face is closer to reality than you think.
FDA-approved, Belotero Balance is a hyaluronic-acid-based dermal filler intended to treat wrinkles on the face, particularly around the nasal folds, smile lines, and lip lines. Because Belotero Balance is a soft gel, it adapts to the skin more easily, more quickly, and more smoothly than other products. Belotero Balance is injected into the skin using an extrafine needle, and patients can look forward to little or no downtime. Patients regularly return to their normal activities immediately after the procedure.
Hyaluronic acid, in fact, naturally occurs in the skin, but levels drop as part of the aging process. Belotero Balance replaces the decreased hyaluronic acid, resulting in the softer, smoother look that’s also more natural and subtle in contrast with other hyaluronic acid fillers.
Belotero Balance is approved by the FDA for general use, but you should know a few guidelines before seeking treatment. The effects of Belotero Balance are unknown to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding; the same goes if you are younger than 21. Also unknown: The effects of Belotero Balance in areas of the face besides smile lines. However, if you are subject to severe allergies, particularly to gram-positive bacteria, you should not use Belotero Balance.
If those criteria don’t apply, feel free to move to the next decision-making stage and learn about the risks and guidelines for Belotero Balance. As with all treatments delivered via injection, you face a risk of infection or reaction. A reaction to Belotero Balance will usually clear in less than seven days. Combining Belotero Balance with laser treatments or chemical peels also expose you to infection, and do not undergo Belotero Balance treatment if you have skin inflammation or a skin infection.
Belotero Balance requires a prescription and must be administered by a licensed health care professional in office. Prior to your appointment, let the health care practitioner know if you are taking medicines that affect your immune system or clotting. Your chances of bruising or bleeding following treatment can increase with these medicines. Also, let the administrator know if you have cold sores, cysts, pimples, rashes, hives, or other skin infections; your treatment will have to wait until the skin condition subsides.
Patients can resume their everyday schedules after the doctor’s visit, but they should take care in the 24 hours following treatment. Patients should steer clear of strenuous activity, extensive sun or heat exposure, extreme cold weather, aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours after being treated with Belotero Balance. Otherwise, they risk temporary redness, swelling, and/or itching at the site of injection. Belotero Balance is known to have side effects, including swelling, bruising, redness, hardening of the skin, pain, altered color, or itching. Patients have reported headaches, swelling of the side of the nose, moderate cold sores, lip numbness, and lip dryness too, but they typically pass within seven days.
Like Belotero Balance, Radiesse is an injectable filler that treats smile lines running from the side of the nose to the corners of the mouth. However, Radiesse differs from Belotero Balance in that it is made from calcium hydroxylapatite, and over time, it encourages your body to create its own collagen to boost and plump the skin. Radiesse is delivered via a fine needle inserted under the skin, where it immediately adds volume and body, while decreasing the appearance of wrinkles. The effects of Radiesse can last for a year or more.
Radiesse is not only popular (shipping 3.8 million syringes to more than 50 countries worldwide since 2004), it’s also safe and approved by the FDA in clinical tests. However, Radiesse is available via prescription only and should always be administered by a health care professional. Some patients may experience side effects such as redness, bruising, or swelling, most of which will subside within a few days of treatment. In rare cases, the swelling may persist, or patients will see unevenness or firmness in the area of application. If that happens, the patient should contact the health care provider. For patients with a history of herpes, an outbreak may follow Radiesse treatment. Like all injections, a Radiesse treatment carries risk of infection.
Despite its overall safety record, Radiesse should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, Radiesse is not recommended if you are under 18 years of age or are allergic to the ingredients. Even if these conditions do not apply to you, make sure to let your health care administrator know if you are taking blood thinners or other anti-clotting medications before undergoing Radiesse treatment. These medicines can increase your chances of bruising or bleeding at the injection site.
In clinical studies, Radiesse was shown to work better at treating wrinkles, preferred by more patients, and scored higher in patient satisfaction than hyaluronic-based fillers. However, to ensure Radiesse’s effectiveness, patients are advised to follow a few guidelines for 24 hours after treatment: Avoid significant movement or massage of the treated area; do not apply makeup; and stay out of the sun and heat.
It should also be noted that the microspheres in Radiesse will show up in X-rays and CT scans. If the situation arises, let your health care provider know ahead of time that you have undergone Radiesse treatment.
Finally, if you’re looking to treat the frown lines between your eyebrows, Xeomin will do the job. Xeomin is a botulinum toxin type A that is injected under the skin. It hinders the production of the neurotransmitter to blocks the transmission of signals from nerves to the muscles. Thus, the muscle relaxes and appears smoother for a temporary period of time. Xeomin takes effect within seven days of treatment and can last for up to three months, though the duration will vary, depending on the patient.
In 2011, the U.S. FDA approved use of Xeomin, following two clinical trials involving 16 investigational sites and including 547 healthy adult patients. Both studies showed a strong decrease in frown lines 30 days on from the first injection when compared to placebo. Including the United States, Xeomin has been approved in 19 other countries, among them 15 in the European Union.
Though Xeomin has been FDA approved, precautions are necessary to ensure the safest use. Do not take Xeomin if you are allergic or Xeomin or any of its ingredients; have had an allergic reaction to other botulinum-derived products (for example, Myobloc, Botox, or Dysport), or have a skin infection at the injection site.
Prior to treatment, inform your doctor if you have a disease that affects your muscles or nerves, as serious side effects may follow. In addition, disclose any past incidents with other botulinum toxins, breathing problems, a history of swallowing problems or inhaling food or fluid into your lungs (aspiration), bleeding problems, or drooping eyelids, as well as surgery to your face or plans for surgery. The effects of Xeomin on women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are unknown, but you are advised to let your doctor know of your plans or condition. Your doctor also needs to know what vitamins, herbal products, and medicines (prescription or over the counter) you are taking, in case of medical conflicts. You must inform your doctor if you’ve taken these medicines as well: antibiotic by injection; muscle relaxants; an allergy or cold medicine; a sleep medicine; a blood thinner.
Most important, your doctor must know if you have received any other botulinum toxin product in the last four months or in the past and, if so, the exact product, as this will affect the dose of Xeomin applied.
Following Xeomin treatment, some patients may experience side effects ranging from minor to severe. On the relatively minor side, you may notice loss of strength, muscle weakness, blurred vision, or drooping eyelids. Allergic reactions such as itching, rash, redness, swelling, wheezing, asthma symptoms, or dizziness or feeling faint may also ensue. Dry mouth, discomfort or pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, neck pain, and eye problems, including double vision, swelling of the eyelids, dry eyes, and reduced blinking can also occur. Seek medical attention right away if you experience wheezing or asthma symptoms, feel dizzy or faint, or have eye pain or irritation following treatment.
Life-threatening side effects can follow Xeomin treatment, such as problems with swallowing, speaking, or breathing or the spread of toxin effects to other parts of the body. In the second instance, patients can contract a serious condition known as botulism. Symptoms include loss of strength and muscle weakness all over the body, double vision, blurred vision and drooping eyelids, hoarseness or change or loss of voice, trouble saying words clearly, loss of bladder control, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing. In both circumstances, immediate medical attention is highly recommended.
Marina Plastic Surgery
Dr. Grant Stevens
4644 Lincoln Blvd. Suite 552
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
We will not sell or distribute your e-mail address to anyone else.
Written by Jane Emery