Everyone's skin shows the inevitable signs of aging as they grow older. The skin becomes slack with less collagen, the protein that provides structure to skin as well as hair, nails, and joints. Collagen declines in production in both men and women, but it is usually more noticeable in women, especially once they reach menopause. The eyes become sunken, the lips become thin, and facial expression wrinkles, such as smile lines and the lines between the eyebrows, become more noticeable.
While not every woman wants to run out and sign up for a full facelift, there are other relatively inexpensive, less invasive cosmetic injection procedures that can have you feeling like your "old self" with a fresh face. Here's what you need to know.
What Are Cosmetic Injection Procedures?
The aging face loses the volume that collagen provides. Physicians can replace this lost volume by injecting different materials into the areas of your face that are bothersome. For example, if you don't like the vertical lines on your upper lip from your years as a cigarette smoker, these wrinkles can be filled, thereby becoming less noticeable.
What Substances Are Used In Cosmetic Injection Procedures?
The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved several materials for dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and other healthcare professionals to use in cosmetic injection procedures.
- Hyaluronic Acid: This is a natural gel-like substance that the human body's skin already has. It is used to plump the skin back up. The results will last about a year before the body absorbs the substance.
- Poly-L-lactic Acid: This is a synthetic substance that is not contraindicated for use in the body. Rather than injecting a wrinkle filler, Poly-L-lactic acid is used to trick the skin in to producing its own collagen to fill the volume loss voids. This is used for deeper furrows and wrinkles. The results can last for two years or more.
- Polymethylmethacrylate: This is also a synthetic substance, but it is combined with naturally occurring collagen to soften wrinkles. It is often used for correcting the nasolabial folds around the nose. It is also a good treatment for reducing the appearance of badly pockmarked skin from the scars of severe acne.
- Fat Injections: You can also have a cosmetic injection procedure made of your own fat. This requires liposuction first. For example, if you are like many women and have excess belly fat, you can have liposuction first, and then the removed fat can be cleaned and used as a wrinkle filler for your face.