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Collagen & Dermal Fillers

Treat Lines, Wrinkles & Volume Loss with Allergan's Juvederm Filler Line at Our Albuquerque Practice

We are often asked about collagen by patients who want to know its role in the aging process. Over the years, as people lose collagen, hyaluronic acid, and other beneficial components from their skin, the expressions they make each day etch lines into their faces. While this might show the world how often they've smiled or enjoyed a good laugh, it might not be their ideal for expressing themselves.

We do not inject collagen, but we do offer the Juvederm® line of dermal fillers at our Albuquerque, NM, practice as safe and effective solutions you require to regain the volume lost as collagen and subcutaneous fat diminish.

Call our Spa at 505-855-9267 to learn more about collagen and hyaluronic acid, and what we can achieve with the Juvederm® line of dermal fillers at our Albuquerque, NM, practice. You may also schedule an appointment online.

Collagen's Role in the Skin

If you have firm, smooth skin, you can thank collagen for it. The protein works to support a variety of organs throughout the body, providing both structure and flexibility. The same component that helps to give bones their strength keeps your face looking youthful and healthy.

While everyone’s bodies generate collagen naturally, production of the vital protein begins to slow over time. UV radiation from sunlight and other factors can damage collagen, changing it from a pliant element in the skin to a brittle one. People in their 20s may find that their skin is beginning to show signs of wear as damaged collagen is replaced by new collagen at ever-slowing rates. Collagen production typically stops in a person's 40s.

A reduction in healthy collagen creates two problems.

  • Once-resilient skin now lacks the ability to fully smooth out again after being pushed into folds, leading to the formation of wrinkles. Think of skin full of healthy collagen as a soft cloth. If you push it into folds, then pull it flat again, it will look the same as it did before. Now, consider skin with lowered collagen levels to be a piece of paper. If you push it into folds, then pull it flat again, you will still be able to see lines where the folds happened. Repeated folds will eventually turn faint lines into creases.
  • Areas of the face that once enjoyed a vital volume begin to flatten and sag, creating hollow areas that can make a face appear sunken or gaunt. This change due to collagen loss is especially apparent in the cheeks.

Hyaluronic Acid's Role in the Skin

Collagen isn't the only component of healthy skin. Hyaluronic acid also serves to keep wrinkles at bay by ensuring the skin stays properly hydrated. Similar to collagen, the production of hyaluronic acid diminishes over time, so skin gradually loses its moisture-retaining abilities and dries out. The resulting wrinkles and other aesthetic issues can be hastened by sun damage and a lack of proper skin care.

Dermal fillers that contain hyaluronic acid can quite literally “fill” the skin to boost volume and smooth out lines, wrinkles, and folds. There has also been some research that demonstrates that the addition of hyaluronic acid through dermal fillers into the skin may also trigger an acceleration in the production of collagen.

At Western Dermatology Consultants, we offer the entire Juvederm® line of dermal fillers from Allergan, the manufacturer of BOTOX® Cosmetic.

Juvederm® Filler Family by Allergan

Allergan's Juvederm® line is one of the most tried, tested, and true brands of dermal fillers on the market. All formulated from hyaluronic acid, each FDA-approved dermal filler provides the moisturizing and structure-providing carbohydrate back into the skin wherever it may be injected. Some of the fillers focus on smoothing out wrinkles, some focus on adding volume, and some do both.

The members of Allergan’s Juvederm dermal filler line are:

  • Juvederm® (Ultra and Ultra Plus)
  • Juvederm Vollure (or simply Vollure)
  • Juvederm Voluma® (or simply Voluma®)
  • Juvederm Volbella® (or simply Volbella®)

Juvederm®, the flagship or parent dermal filler of the line, comes in two formulations: Ultra and Ultra Plus. Both are FDA-approved to treat moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds (such as nasolabial folds), and last about a year – Ultra is recommended for moderate wrinkles and folds, while Ultra Plus is recommended for deeper ones. Ultra is also approved for lip augmentation.

Vollure, the latest addition to Allergan's dermal filler line, is also FDA-approved to treat moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, and can last up to 18 months.

Voluma® is the first FDA-approved dermal filler for the midface, and offers the appearance of a cheek lift with a simple injection. After the injection, you will have a very natural-looking cheek lift without the need for surgery. Results from this dermal filler last up to two years. Click here for the complete Voluma® XC PDF download brochure.

Volbella® is FDA-approved for both lip augmentation and treating vertical lip lines. While Volbella® achieves a subtler amount of lip augmentation than Ultra, it is the only filler in the line that can treat vertical lip lines. Both can last up to a year.

Note that Juvederm® dermal fillers with an "XC" in its label contain lidocaine, a local anesthetic that reduces injection-related discomfort, swelling, and bruising.

What to Expect from Dermal Filler Treatment

Depending on your individual concerns, one or more of these dermal fillers may be used on specific parts of the face. The treatment protocol for dermal filler treatment can be discussed in detail during a consultation.

Typically, your injector will administer the first unit dermal filler, then wait to allow sensation in the rest of the treatment area to fade before proceeding with the remaining injections. Patients concerned about potential pain can also request a topical numbing agent to help reduce sensation in the targeted area.

Some slight massaging by your injector may ensure that the dermal filler is evenly distributed throughout the face to restore the appearance of natural collagen.

Results from dermal fillers are instantaneous. Patients will immediately see a difference in the treated areas. Most patients can return to their normal daily activities within 24 hours. Makeup can normally be used after a dermal filler session to cover up any bruising. Other temporary (between a few days to four weeks) side effects may include tenderness, firmness, swelling, bumps, lumps, and/or pain in the treated areas.

Some patients find that follow-up dermal filler treatments after their initial session help to better achieve the results they're looking for, as well as for maintenance treatments to preserve them long-term.

Other Options for Treating Collagen Loss

Patients looking for treatments that don't involve injections may want to consider some of our other services. Thermage® can remodel existing collagen to smooth out wrinkles, using heat energy to penetrate deep into the skin. Fractional laser treatment also employs heat energy, stimulating production of new collagen for a rejuvenating boost.

Ask our board-certified dermatologists if dermal fillers or other treatments are right for you. Call the Spa in Albuquerque at 505-855-9267 or request a consultation online.