Collagen is a fibrous protein and one of the botox alternatives that provides skin with toughness and firmness. It also supports bone, cartilage, and blood vessels in the human body. For anti-wrinkle treatments, the collagen used is obtained from cattle and purified (Zyderm, Zyplast) or, for individuals sensitive to cattle collagen, human based collagen (Cosmoderm, Cosmoplast) made from human sources. An allergy test is usually performed before cattle based collagen is used to determine the level of sensitivity of the individual.
This type of treatment falls under the general category of soft-tissue augmentation. This simply means that a substance compatible with the body tissues of the individual is injected under to skin to remove scars, wrinkles and other skin aging problems. The injections replace the lost collagen underneath wrinkles, thus raising the affected wrinkled skin areas to match to surface level of the unaffected skin.
It is used to specifically treat deep and fine wrinkles on the forehead, frown lines, crow’s feet, smile lines and folds that span the area from the nose to the corners of the lips. This botox alternative can also be used on the neck, back and chest areas. Collagen injections basically improve the overall appearance of the skin’s texture.
Treatments generally last from 3 to 12 months. Treatment times vary, but generally the procedure requires anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. The anesthetic lidocaine is mixed with the collagen and therefore, in most cases, no other pain killing medication is required.
Side effects can include temporary (from one to three or four days) redness, bruising, swelling, and uneven skin texture. Pregnant or nursing women should avoid this treatment.
Cymetra, Fascian, and Autologen are other botox alternatives based on collagen.
The advantage of fat fillers as one of the botox alternatives is that the injected substance is not some foreign substance. The filler consists of fat cells extracted with a syringe (connected to a vacuum device) from the individual’s own stomach, thigh, or buttock areas.
Once extracted the cells are purified by the doctor and then injected into the targeted areas for treatment. The disadvantage is that transplanted fat cells may not get the necessary blood supply in time and may die and be subsequently reabsorbed into the body. This will reduce the benefits of the treatment.
Fat filler treatments are used to eliminate facial lines and to diminish wrinkles in the forehead and eye areas. These fillers are also used to make lips fuller and improve the appearance of scarred skin areas. In general, fat fillers improve the appearance of the skin’s texture.
Each treatment session can take from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the extent of the treatment. Results can last for a few weeks or up to a year. Also, because fat cells may die and be reabsorbed by the body, treated areas are overfilled.
Side effects include significant swelling that might last for several weeks and some bruising.
FAT TRANSPLANTATION (Microlipoinjection)
This botox alternative anti-wrinkle treatment (sometimes referred to as “body sculpturing”) involves taking fat from one area of the patient’s body and injecting it to the treatment area. Fat is usually removed from the thigh, abdomen or buttock areas. This is similar to the fat filler treatment, but is more extensive because of the greater area that will be treated and the larger amount of fat that is transferred. Also, the emphasis of fat transplantation is more on sculpturing.
The purpose of this treatment is to replace the fat that has been lost due to aging and thus can be used to fill in wrinkles. Usual target areas for treatment include the deep creases around the nose and mouth, and the larger cheek, chin and forehead areas. It also helps reduce skin sinking and sagging in the facial area and used to give hands a more youthful plumpness. Other body areas that can be treated are the buttocks, bicep, tricep, calf, breasts, and penis.
This treatment can take up to two hours and would normally be performed by a plastic surgeon in a hospital, usually on an outpatient basis. Mild sedation or general anesthia are used to make the patient more comfortable during the procedure. Basically, fat is extracted via a special syringe with vacuum suction. The extracted fat is then purified by the surgeon and transplanted into the target areas.
Multiple treatments are necessary due to the absorption of the injected fat by the body. In fact, up to 60 percent of the transplanted fat will likely be reabsorbed by the body. This is why the treated areas are normally overfilled, giving the skin a puffy appearance for the first few weeks. This factor also introduces a bit of unpredictability in the results that can be achieved. However, by using multiple treatments, fat will accumulate in the desired areas and the result will be longer lasting benefits. If performed properly, the treatment lasts 1 to 3 years.
Swelling that may last for several weeks and bruising are side effects that may occur. Bumps and lumps under the skin may also be present as well as uneven skin texture.
Radiesse is a botox alternative that contains calcium hydroxyl apatite microspheres that are suspended in a carboxymethylcellulose gel. Thin connective tissues form around the microspheres thereby acting as fillers that remain implanted at the treatment site. In other words, tissue grows over time around the spheres and creates fuller looking skin with more texture.
This treatment is useful in reducing wrinkles or skin folds around the mouth and nose. It may also be used as filler for certain types of scars.
On average the treatment can take from a few minutes to 15 minutes. Injections are long lasting and the benefits may still be evident for 2 or more years after the initial treatment.
Radiesse is biocompatible, non-toxic and non-allergenic. There is minimal swelling that can last up to 48 hours after treatment. As with most other botox alternatives, some bruising may also occur.
Hyaluronic acid is a natural occurring sugar molecule. It is responsible for adding volume and shape to the skin.
This botox alternative is a clear liquid gel that binds to water molecules in the skin matrix. The result is the plumping of the skin and reduction in wrinkles.
Target areas for this treatment are the large folds around the mouth that extend to the nose. It can also be used for sculpting lips and for the improvement of other facial features. Hyaluronic acid has been successful in reducing or eliminating deep wrinkles that some other procedures cannot handle.
Treatment time for this procedure can range from a few minutes to 30 minutes and generally lasts for six months or more.
Possible side effects of this botox alternative treatment are headache, nausea, redness, pain at injection points, and pronounced swelling for 2 to 3 days.
Restylane, Restylane Fine Lines, Perlane, Captique, Hylaform, and Hylaform Plus are other hyaluronic acid treatments.
Sculptra involves the injection of Poly-L-lactic acid under the skin. This substance works gradually to increase skin thickness in the treated areas over the span of a few weeks.
It is used to treat larger areas and acts to diminish aging skin folds, indented chin, hollowed cheeks and sunken eyes.
The positive benefits of this botox alternative treatment may last up to 2 years.
Sculptra is biocompatible and therefore, no major side effects are expected. However, like other botox and botox alternative treatments some tenderness, redness and discomfort should be expected at the injection points.
Injectable silicone is no longer used as one of the possible botox alternatives or anti-wrinkle treatment, since it can harden, migrate to other parts of the body and cause a host of other health problems.
The information provided on this page is for information purposes only. Of course, you should only proceed with botox and botox alternative treatments after proper consultation and discussion with your doctor, dermatologist, or plastic surgeon to ensure this is the correct anti skin aging treatment for you. Ensure you deal with a physician that has plenty of experience with botox injections or botox alternative treatments.
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