By Wendy Lewis, Beautyinthebag.com
Americans recently welcomed a major breakthrough in facial rejuvenation. Juvederm® XC from Allergan announced its FDA approval, followed shortly by Restylane® and Perlane® with Lidocaine from Medicis. These fillers are the next three hyaluronic acid gel derived filler choices available in the US market, after Prevelle® Silk from Mentor and Hydrelle®, which is now marketed by Coapt Systems.
Although many doctors are already using lidocaine with their injections, these new products are a dramatic advancement in the next generation of age-reversing injectable substances. It also confirms the importance of making us comfortable while getting our lips enhanced or folds filled. Now that the two market leaders have entered the lidocaine enhanced filler space, this clearly sets the new gold standard for every filler product that gets launched.
Essentially many of us will be able to tolerate Juvederm XC or Restylane with Lidocaine without the need for additional messy topical anesthetic creams or local anesthetic injections which can be as uncomfortable as the filler injections alone. These breakthrough products contain 0.3% lidocaine that effectively numbs the treatment area within a few seconds, so the only painful injection is the first time the needle enters your tissues. Reduced stinging and burning also reduces your squirming and contributes to an overall manageable and one might even say “pleasant” experience for you and your doctor. Furthermore, the treatment will take much less time, since the anesthetic is already loaded into the syringe. Topical creams used to take 30-40 minutes to kick in, local injections added more time and more swelling, and many doctors were fiddling with mixing lidocaine into fillers before they used them. So these new products are a real win-win.
These product launches are also a giant leap for women who want multiple areas treated in one session will now comfortably be able to tolerate two, three, four or more syringes to enhance sagging cheeks, deep creases around the mouth, fill in hollows under the eyes and reshape the lips with ease. For all the filler virgins out there who have been afraid to take the plunge and have their first treatment because of the stinging of the needles, now is the perfect time to reconsider. Hyaluronic acid gels have been studied around the world for over 15 years and have been proven to be safe and effective for filling facial lines, folds and wrinkles, as well as lips, scars, and other areas as an off-label use.
In Europe, the emphasis on patient comfort is long overdue. The introduction of soft, bendable needles is taking European injectors by storm. For example, one such brand, SoftFil, is a kit that contains one soft filling needle with one sharp needle of the same diameter. The practitioner can insert the soft needle into the skin after the sharp tipped needle has created a puncture hole, which minimizes discomfort even in delicate areas such as around the lips. Anteis Injector Pen is another device that is picking up steam. It include a foot pedal to ease the way products such as fillers and botulinum toxins get injected, thus taking some of the sting out of needle sticks.
Finally, the newest powerhouse is Merz Aesthetics who recently launched a new facial shaping agent called NOVABEL™ has generated unprecedented excitement among practitioners. Novabel introduced a new class of alginate-based facial rejuvenation products developed with the patented Geleon technology widely considered a breakthrough in injectable products for rejuvenation. This is a very versatile substance that can be used for all areas of the face including cheeks, folds, lower eyelids, lips, nasolabial creases, commissures, and more. The real benefits are that it is long lasting (up to one year), soft and natural, and there is minimal to no downtime, redness, swelling, bruising or discomfort due to the flexibility of the product itself upon injection.
About Wendy Lewis
Wendy Lewis is the author of 10 consumer health and beauty books, including two editions of America’s Cosmetic Doctors & Dentists (Castle Connolly), and her newest title, Plastic Makes Perfect; The Complete Cosmetic Beauty Guide (Orion). Wendy is co-founder of www.beautyinthebag.com, an intergenerational beauty forum. She is also a Contributing Editor to Plastic Surgery Practice, Editor at Large for New You, and Editorial director of GLOW.
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