Choose Wrinkle Treatments Wisely FDA Advises
by Robert Preidt
HEALTHDAY, Aug. 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Injectable dermal fillers are widely used by people seeking to smooth out wrinkles, but it's important to know the risks of these products before using them, a U.S. government expert says.
Dermal fillers use a variety of materials to treat facial wrinkles. Most of these products are temporary and last for about six months or more. Only one permanent wrinkle filler is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Dermal fillers are not approved for use anywhere else but on the face.
"As with any medical procedure, being injected with dermal fillers poses some risks. You should ask what you can expect and contact your health care professional if you are concerned about a particular side effect," Dr. Janette Alexander, an FDA medical officer, said in an agency news release.
Common side effects include bruising, redness, swelling, pain and itching. Other side effects can include infections, lumps and bumps, discoloration or a change in pigmentation. Rare, but serious, risks include scarring, blurred vision, partial vision loss, blindness and severe allergic reactions (anaphylactic shock).
Most side effects occur shortly after a dermal filler is injected and vanish within two weeks, according to Alexander. She said you should not use wrinkle fillers if you have:
- Severe allergies marked by a history of anaphylactic shock
- An allergy to collagen (if you want to use a filler containing collagen)
- An allergy to lidocaine (if you planned on using a filler with lidocaine)
- A tendency to form excessive scarring or thick scarring
- A bleeding disorder
- An active inflammatory condition -- such as cysts, pimples, rashes or hives -- or an infection. In such cases you should postpone treatment until the condition is controlled.
Alexander also noted that the safety of dermal fillers is unknown when used in pregnant or breastfeeding women, in people younger than 18 or when used with Botox and other wrinkle treatments.
She also warned to never buy dermal fillers on the Internet. They could be fake, contaminated and/or dangerous.
The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about aging and skin care.
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Injectable dermal fillers play a very significant role in facial rejuvenation. While this article focuses on wrinkles, many physicians commonly use them for the correction of volume loss and scarring as well.This article discusses risks, however, they are fortunately uncommon but certainly dependent on the skill of the injecting physician and the choice of material that is utilized. I personally prefer hyaluronic acid injections as they can be removed if needed and are less likely to lead to permanent concerns. Other longer lasting fillers such as polymethyl-methacrylate and calcium hydroxylapatite can lead to dramatic benefit but are not easily reversible. Collagen allergy is mentioned in this article, however, the product is no longer used. There is very good news that the most common side effect from injectables which is bruising, can now be eliminated or diminished through laser treatment performed a day or two after the injections. The optimum cosmetic outcome requires not only good skills from the injecting physician but also the medical background to address any concerns that may arise. In the correct hands the injectable fillers are almost always extremely safe leading to very satisfied patients.