More and more people are turning to injectable dermal fillers as a safe alternative to cosmetic surgery. Radiesse is convenient and long-lasting, but one of the most important considerations for many in choosing this treatment is how long their results will last. While there are many variables at play in answering this question, Dr. Ip and her talented team at Vibrant Dermatology in Dedham, MA are experts at developing individualized treatment programs that will give you the best and longest-lasting results possible.
How Long Does Radiesse Last?
Radiesse is an FDA-approved calcium hydroxyapatite-based filler that is designed to treat moderate to severe wrinkles and folds in the face and hands. Its unique value comes from its special formulation best suited for treating high-mobility areas around the mouth and cheeks. This product’s biocompatibility makes it a generally well-tolerated treatment.
Since everyone’s body responds differently to treatments, it’s difficult to predict precisely how long the results will last. Many factors influence the longevity of treatment results, including age and health, lifestyle, skin condition, location of treatment, and injection volume. However, with proper maintenance, studies show your treatment will last up to a year or longer.
Understanding Your Skin
The skin is your largest organ, and it is important to understand the basics of skin anatomy in order to understand how dermal fillers work. Your skin defends your body against everyday threats such as microorganisms like bacteria and viruses, harsh weather conditions, and environmental damage. It supplies necessary nutrients and regulates body temperature. As your first line of defense, your skin’s layers also take a lot of damage.
The Dermis and Epidermis
The first two layers of skin are called the epidermis and dermis. The epidermis is the outermost layer that protects us from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays and acts as a waterproof barrier to the outside world. Areas of the body that are more vulnerable tend to have a thicker epidermis layer, such as the palms of your hands and soles of your feet.
The second layer is the dermis, which provides the flexibility that cushions the body from wear and tear. It contains the sebaceous glands, which produce the necessary oils that support the skin’s suppleness and elasticity. This is also where the receptors are located that are responsible for your sense of pain, pressure, and touch.
The Hypodermis (Subcutaneous)
The subcutaneous layer contains the deep blood vessels that are essential to nutrient transfer. Also called the hypodermis, its composition of fats and connective tissues help to act as the body’s shock absorber. This layer also helps regulate temperature and acts as an insulator.
The Effects of Aging Skin
As we age, men and women alike experience hormonal changes that cause our skin to grow thinner and less elastic. As sweat glands and sebaceous glands produce less oil, collagen production slows down, and our skin becomes less hydrated. Blood vessels tend to weaken, making nutrient transfer more difficult and increases the tendency for bruising. All of this means that more mature skin takes longer to heal and does not rebound as quickly as younger skin.
These variables are what lead to the sunken, hollowed appearance in the fragile skin of the eyes, mouth, and cheekbones. As the skin loses its hydration and resilience, the skin begins to sag and droop with the effects of gravity. This is why dermal fillers are fast becoming the most popular non-invasive cosmetic treatment for restoring volume in these areas.
The Aging Epidermis
Each layer of skin responds differently to the aging process. Being the skin’s first line of defense, the epidermis takes the strongest hit. As this layer loses its youthful elasticity, it succumbs hardest to harsh weather, drying effects, and sun damage. This makes scarring more prominent as the skin stretches and thins.
Pigmentation is also a function of the epidermis. As we age, the cells responsible for skin color begin to thin out and disappear. The remaining cells grow larger, creating the discolorations we colloquially refer to as “age spots.”
The Aging Dermis
The older we get, the more collagen production slows and breaks down. This causes the dermis to weaken and begin to lose the cushioning that helps absorb wear and tear on the body. The dermis also houses small blood vessels that are more damage-prone, which causes the skin to bruise more easily.
The Aging Subcutaneous
This deep, innermost layer of skin is affected differently by the aging process for men and women. Hormones shift and change with age, causing the sebaceous glands to produce less oil. For men, this change in oil production typically doesn’t occur until around 80 years of age. For women, oil production slows much earlier – around the time of menopause (on average around 51 years of age).
How Can Dermal Fillers Help?
Dermal fillers are formulated to replace lost collagen and hydration in the skin. For decades, collagen dermal fillers were the only option, and they typically only lasted for three to six months. The advent of new technologies has ushered in a whole new world of filler solutions. These newer, more advanced treatments are longer-lasting and gaining popularity fast.
Cosmetic professionals continue to rank injectable fillers at the top of their recommendation lists. Fillers are delivered into the dermis using tiny needles. Some thicker formulations are injected more deeply into the subcutaneous. Due to their track record of long-lasting results with low risk and minimal downtime, they remain a popular and safe alternative to cosmetic surgery.
Radiesse: What You Need To Know
This product’s key ingredient is calcium hydroxyapatite, which is a collagen stimulator. This product not only smooths severe folds and wrinkles in the skin but also encourages the body’s own collagen production and skin renewal. It is formulated for treating the lower face, including smile lines, corners of the mouth, marionette lines, and chin wrinkles. It has also recently been FDA-approved for treating the hands as well.
About Calcium Hydroxyapatite
Calcium hydroxyapatite has a well-established safety profile and high viscosity, making it an ideal agent for treating facial skin. This compound is a mineral-like substance that occurs naturally in our bones, which makes it one of the heaviest fillers on the market. The compound is suspended in a water-based gel for smooth and seamless injection.
Before it was used for injectable dermal fillers, calcium hydroxyapatite was used in dentistry and reconstructive surgery, giving it a history of safety and efficacy. Once injected, it resists migration to other areas and stays put longer than other fillers. Since it is not sourced from animals and already occurs naturally in the body, this treatment is well-tolerated by most.
Why Consider Using Radiesse?
Since calcium hydroxyapatite is injected directly into the skin, its effects are noticeable after just one treatment. Calcium hydroxyapatite instantly restores elasticity and improves facial contours, and stays in place longer than most other treatments. It can also be molded to reconstruct sunken, hollow areas of the face and immediately enhance facial contours.
One of the benefits of Radiesse is that you will not need to undergo allergy testing, which is typical for most dermal filler treatments. Because this product is formulated using only substances already naturally occurring in the body, there is little to no risk of allergy for most people. Because of this, treatments are quick (approximately 15 minutes) and require no downtime.
Despite consisting of a series of small injections, the ultrafine needles used to deliver the calcium hydroxyapatite increase accuracy over a small area. They also reduce the treatment area, making the process minimally invasive. During the session, patients are offered a topical anesthetic that will minimize any discomfort.
In the past, other dermal fillers and collagen treatments lasted less than 6 months and broke down quickly in the body. The calcium hydroxyapatite in Radiesse is thick enough that it resists breaking down and does not migrate. In addition, with continued use, it makes permanent positive changes to the skin as collagen is stimulated and fills in areas where it was once lost.
How to Get the Most From Radiesse Treatment
While everyone responds to treatment differently, there are some things you can do to get the longest-lasting results from your treatment. Regular maintenance and touch-ups will help maintain your desired results, but there are other things you can do to extend the longevity of your treatment. Making healthy choices, living an active lifestyle, protecting your skin, and prioritizing a skincare regimen will all go a long way toward improving your treatment results.
Studies indicate that the more product your skin receives, the more your tissues become conditioned to the process, making each treatment increasingly more effective. In addition, it stands to reason that the more touch-ups you receive, the longer the effects will last. Since calcium hydroxyapatite stimulates collagen production, regular maintenance will encourage the skin’s own restoration processes.
It goes without saying that UV damage from the sun can hinder the duration of your treatment. Radiation damage can cause premature aging and encourage liver spots and leathery skin. Avoiding tanning beds and wearing sunscreen gives your skin its best chance for long-lasting results.
High stress levels produce cortisol, a hormone that can create unwanted negative effects on the skin, such as lower skin barrier functionality, thinning, and reduced elasticity. This makes the skin less resilient and less likely to recover from damage. Introducing activities that reduce stress levels can enhance the effectiveness of your treatments.
Make Skincare a Priority
Skincare isn’t just about what you put on your skin – it’s also about what you put in it. Developing a consistent skincare routine that ensures the skin gets the hydration and nutrients it needs will enhance your treatment’s effectiveness. Dr. Ip can make recommendations for companion treatments and other products that will maximize your results.
Make Your Health a Priority
Getting the most from your sessions begins with prioritizing your health. Lifestyle choices can play a big part in making your results last as long as possible. Habits such as smoking and tanning (or any overexposure to ultraviolet light) can speed up the aging process and extend recovery time. In addition, high stress levels sap energy reserves and affect the body’s ability to heal. Introducing holistic approaches to your skincare regimen will extend the duration of treatment results.
Get Started Today
Radiesse is a safe, non-invasive, calcium hydroxyapatite treatment that will restore elasticity and skin resilience. Its effects are instant, long-lasting, and require little to no downtime. Sessions last less than an hour and most patients are able to return to their normal daily activities immediately.
Don’t let aging skin be a source of self-consciousness and insecurity. Restore your confidence with more vibrant, younger-looking skin. Contact Dr. Ip and her experienced medical team at Vibrant Dermatology in Dedham, MA to schedule your consultation today.