For some of us, aging can be a process so slow we don’t even realize our appearance has changed until one day we look in the mirror and notice lines on our face that had not been there before. Unfortunately, short of plastic surgery, there haven’t been very many treatment options that produce long-lasting results until recently. At the dermatology practice of Ingrid E. Trenkle, MD in Redlands, CA we believe that the key to long-lasting beauty results is with Bellafill dermal injections.
Does Bellafill Really Last for Five Years?
Yes! Bellafill really does last for five years at a time for the majority of patients. In fact, the longevity of this treatment is usually the most attractive benefit for patients who are considering this filler. Clinical trials and experience since then all say the same thing: this treatment reliably and effectively reduces the appearance of visible aging on the face for an average of four to five years for most patients. The treatment itself is fast, painless, and has virtually zero downtime.
What Is Bellafill?
Bellafill is a dermal filler, a type of injectable cosmetic treatment that involves injecting a solution into the skin to reverse the visible signs of aging. Injectable treatments can either be fillers that replace lost volume or neurotoxins that relax the muscles in the face to smooth out the skin surface. Most injectable treatments last for an average of three to five months, so the fact that this particular filler can last five years is incredibly special.
How Does It Work?
This filler works like many other injectable treatments. You come into the office for a treatment appointment and a certified technician administers the injectable solution with thin needles to targeted areas. The real difference between this filler and other fillers is the formula of the solution, which is a unique, patented blend of two active ingredients.
Why Does It Last So Long?
A filler that lasts five years has to have something special about it, and that is certainly true in the case of this injectable treatment. The solution in this treatment is composed of two parts: collagen gel and PMMA microspheres suspended in the gel. Both of these ingredients work with the natural regenerative properties of the body, helping to support and sustain the treatment for a longer period of time.
As you may know, collagen is a naturally occurring protein found within the skin that supports skin structure and volume. However, as we age, our ability to produce collagen slows to a point where we begin to lose volume in the skin, which is what allows wrinkles to form. Many dermal fillers have a solution that includes collagen or other compounds that stimulate collagen production.
This filler uses a smooth, rich collagen gel that immediately plumps the appearance of the skin. The collagen gel both replaces collagen that is not produced in the body and helps support collagen that is already present in the skin. The collagen gel is eventually absorbed by the body, usually within a year, but results from this filler still continue. Why? Credit for that goes to the second active ingredient in this filler.
Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) microspheres are a synthetic compound. In this filler, PMMA acts as structural support for the skin, like scaffolding for a building, working to hold up the skin and fill in lost volume. PMMA takes several years to be metabolized by the body, which is a large part of why this treatment lasts so long. PMMA is safe for the body and is even used in sunscreens.
Apart, neither collagen gel or PMMA can produce results that last more than six months at a time. When combined, these two ingredients support each other to stimulate collagen production, which allows you to enjoy results for years before you need another treatment.
What It Treats
As a general rule, dermal fillers are an anti-aging treatment, and this is true for this particular filler, as well. This injectable treatment is approved to treat mild-to-moderate age-related skin concerns, such as:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Expression lines
- Volume loss in mid-face
- Hollows beneath eyes and cheeks
This filler is also the only injectable treatment that is approved to reduce the appearance of mild and moderate acne scarring, particularly scarring on the cheeks. This filler can reduce the appearance of scarring because it fills in the lost volume that creates the appearance of pitted skin texture. Additionally, this treatment can be used off-label to restore the appearance of the hands.
What to Expect Before, During, and After Treatment
Since cosmetic treatments are a big commitment, most patients like to know what they can expect from every stage of treatment. At the dermatology office of Ingrid E. Trenkle, MD there are a few steps involved in any of our dermal filler treatments.
Your first appointment will be a consultation, during which we will determine if you are an ideal candidate for this treatment. We will examine the condition of your skin, particularly any nasolabial folds or scarring, discuss your expectations for treatment, and talk about your aesthetic goals.
We will need to gather some information about you, including general medical history, drug allergies you may have, previous dermal filler treatments, and how prone your skin is to scarring. We may ask that you complete an allergy test, which is standard practice for dermal filler treatments.
Before your treatment, you will need to follow some instructions to make sure your treatment is safe and produces optimal results. Some pre-treatment instructions will include:
- Stop blood-thinning medications
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco for 48 hours
- Do not eat certain foods or use certain products
If you have a cold sore on the week of your appointment, please contact our office so we can prescribe an antibiotic for you to use before your appointment. You will not need to arrange for transportation after your treatment.
At our office, the use of a numbing cream is optional. If you would like to use a topical numbing cream for your treatment, please arrive at your appointment 30 minutes early so we have time to administer the cream before the injections. For the treatment itself, we will inject the solution into targeted treatment areas outlined in your treatment plan. Your appointment should take between 30 and 60 minutes from start to finish.
After your treatment, it is important you follow certain instructions to ensure that your treatment produces ideal results. A few post-treatment instructions will include:
- Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours
- No strenuous exercise for 48 to 72 hours
- Avoid excessive heat and direct sunlight
- Do not touch the treatment area
- Stop taking certain medications
- Use sun protection
We may provide you with additional instructions, such as how to reduce swelling after treatment or what kind of skincare products you should be using. If you have any questions about post-treatment instructions, please feel free to call the office at any time.
Most dermal fillers require three to seven days to settle into the skin, and that is when results from treatment begin to show. For this filler, the recovery time is between seven and 10 days, which is when any swelling and redness to the skin should disappear completely. During recovery, it is important to follow the post-treatment instructions for your own comfort and for the protection of your skin. You will notice more obvious results within two to four weeks after treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Bellafill Better Than Other Fillers?
While “better” is subjective, many patients seem to agree that this particular filler produces better results than some others. The truth is that the efficacy of results for dermal fillers tends to depend on the patient and how well the patient responds to treatment. This filler is a better option for patients who are looking for long-lasting results.
Is This Filler Right for Everyone?
This filler is a treatment that can be used on virtually any skin type and skin tone, as well as for most skin conditions. This treatment is versatile and can be used for patients with mild, moderate, and sometimes severe age-related skin concerns.
Is Bellafill Safe?
This dermal filler was approved by the FDA in 2015 following rigorous five-year studies to verify the longevity and safety of the product. This treatment has a low risk of allergic reactions. Overall, this is a safe treatment for patients who pass the allergy test for the active ingredients in the filler.
When Should I Have This Treatment?
Some patients wonder if there is a point in their life when this treatment is most effective. The simple answer is that this filler can be used for any patient over the age of 18 for the treatment of acne scars, volume loss, and other age-related appearance concerns. However, the majority of patients who use this treatment are between the ages of 30 and 50. You should have this treatment when you notice visible signs of aging or if you want to reduce the appearance of acne scarring.
Is There a Best Time for This Treatment?
It is sometimes the case that cosmetic treatments are best done during certain times of the year. For example, energy-based treatments like laser resurfacing should be done when sun exposure is minimal, such as during the fall and winter months. However, dermal fillers can be done at any time of the year, provided you have enough recovery time before a planned life event. If you do have a major life event, we recommend scheduling your treatment appointment at least two months before the event date to allow time for results to settle.
Who Are Good Candidates?
There are many good candidates for this treatment. The vast majority of patients who are considering this dermal filler are qualified candidates. Women and men who are not satisfied with their overall appearance and who want to reverse visible signs of aging usually make the best candidates. You may be a good candidate for this treatment if you want to reduce:
- Smile lines
- Wrinkles around the mouth and nose
- Lines around the chin
- Lost volume in the mid-face
- Acne scarring
Get Long-Lasting Beauty With Bellafill!
Don’t let signs of visible aging creep up on you. It’s time to get long-lasting results and restore your beauty with Bellafill! If you think you may be a good candidate for this unique dermal filler, call the office of Ingrid E. Trenkle, MD in Redlands, CA to schedule your consultation appointment today!