You may have heard of collagen stimulators – the brand name cannot be mentioned here as it is an S4 drug. It is a new anti-aging treatment which is becoming more and more sought after. It is an injectable filler, but with significant differences from other fillers. In my practice, I get asked all the time about how it differs from other filler treatments. All of them are excellent treatments, and the best choice will depend on your needs. I will explain as much as I can about the new collagen stimulator so that you can decide if it is suitable for you.
What Is It and How Does It Work?
It is a non-hyaluronic acid filler. It is injected into the skin to lift, sculpt and restore lost volume associated with skin aging. Its principle component is Poly-Caprolactone (PCL) microspheres – a bio-resorbable soft medical polymer. The PCL is suspended in a gel carrier made of carboxymethylcellulose (CMC).
When injected into the skin, it reverses skin aging with a 2-step process:
- The CMC gel gives immediate lifting and sculpting results. However, the gel only lasts for about 12 weeks.
- At the same time, the PCL microspheres begin to stimulate your skin to produce collagen. The collagen stimulation peaks at 12 weeks to give the final result.
Unlike hyaluronic acid fillers, which lifts because of its properties as a gel, the collagen stimulator works by stimulating your body to produce collagen. The results last 2 – 4years.
Why Does this Product Last Much Longer Than Other Dermal Fillers?
It is made of microspheres that degrade differently from other fillers. When introduced into your body, it undergoes a “resorption” process whereby the molecules progressively dissolve. The microspheres retain their original volume until almost all the molecules are dissolved.
The longevity is dependent on the number of molecules composing the spheres. The more molecules there are, the longer lasting the result will be.
Which Areas Can Be Treated?
This product is surprisingly versatile. It is hard enough to sculpt facial features such as the chin and nose, yet moldable enough to restore volume to the forehead. In my practice, I love using it for the chin because it is so defined, and also for the forehead due to its natural, long lasting results.
the collagen stimulator be used to treat most areas which hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers can treat, including the:
- Temples and Brow area
- Nasolabial Folds
- Lower Face, Marionette lines
Collagen Stimulators (CS) vs Hyaluronic Acid Fillers
In my opinion, both give excellent results..
Advantages of CS over HA fillers:
- CS is longer lasting than most HA fillers
- CS is more cost effective in the long term
- CS does not cause delayed hypersensitivity reactions (formation of a granuloma – or hardened lump), which, although rare, can happen with HA fillers
- Because CS works by your own collagen production, it does not migrate. (HA fillers can migrate, in rare instances)
- CS maintains its volume better over time.
- CS gives a better aesthetic result for the nose, chin, and forehead
Advantages of HA fillers over CS include:
- There is an antidote to HA fillers – they can be dissolved should a problem arise. Hence, both minor (lumpiness) and major complications (e.g. necrosis) can be treated more easily.
- HA fillers give a more dewy look to the skin. Hence they are also used as Skinboosters to improve skin texture.
- HA fillers are better for fine tuning very delicate areas such as the undereye area.
- HA fillers are cheaper upfront.
- Should you suddenly decide to go for surgery (e.g nose implant), HA fillers can be dissolved. CS cannot be dissolved and you will have to wait until it resorbs in a few years.
Does CS Have Any Possible Side Effects?
CS is very safe, and most side effects are injection related – mild swelling, bruising and soreness. These are temporary and will resolve with no issues.
Severe side effects of CS are similar to other injectable fillers – necrosis (death of skin) and blindness. These are extremely rare, and can be minimized with good doctor technique.
Because CS is non-dissolvable, any overfilling cannot easily be removed – hence, it is even more important to find a doctor with ample experience, and whom you trust, to have the procedure done for you.
Watch the procedure being performed here by a colleague in the UK.