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How Does Collagen Relate to Dermal Fillers in Albuquerque?

Learn More About Collagen Loss

We are often asked about collagen at Albuquerque's Western Dermatology Consultants, with questions coming from patients who want to know its role in the aging process. Over the years, as people lose collagen 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.

At Western Dermatology Consultants, we do not inject collagen, but we do offer Restylane®, Juvéderm®, and other dermal fillers as the 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, hyaluronic acid, and what fillers like Restylane® and others can do. 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 makes 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-slower 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, 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.

The dermal fillers available at Western Dermatology Consultants are formulated from hyaluronic acid, bringing the moisturizing and structure-providing carbohydrate back into the skin wherever it's injected. Some of the fillers focus on smoothing out wrinkles, some focus on adding volume, and some do both.

Patients who want to explore their options to restore the benefits of collagen and hyaluronic acid can learn more.

Restylane®

For clients who want to correct moderate to severe facial wrinkles and move forward with skin that has fullness and volume as opposed to looking sunken due to lost collagen, Restylane® is a safe and effective dermatological treatment. The board-certified dermatologists of Western Dermatology Consultants gladly administer it to their clients from Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Cedar Crest, and the surrounding area. Many people like to use Restylane® for the wrinkles that form in the nose and mouth area, as well as on the lips themselves. It is especially helpful for those crescent-shaped lines that sit between your nose and the corners of your mouth, known as nasolabial folds.

Working in the same way as the hyaluronic acid your body naturally produces, Restylane® is a specifically formulated clear gel that works immediately to smooth wrinkles and add volume. Even if your wrinkles are quite severe, regular treatment (about every six months) can make a huge difference in their visibility. Restylane® is in use in more than 60 countries, and uses non-animal products in its injections (unlike actual collagen). Topical anesthetic minimizes patient discomfort. Any resulting redness or swelling is likely to last only two or three days, and the results are amazing.

Juvéderm® Voluma XC

This injection is simple and easy and provides exceptional results in very little time. If you are looking for smoother skin that lasts longer, this is an excellent option to consider. After the injection, you will have a very natural-looking cheek lift without the need for surgery. Juvéderm® Voluma XC is the first and only FDA-approved facial filler for the middle of the face and offers the appearance of a cheek lift with a simple injection.

While the active component in Voluma is hyaluronic acid, it also contains a small amount of lidocaine to act as an anesthetic. Typically, your injector will administer the first unit of Voluma, 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 request a topical numbing agent to help reduce sensation in the targeted area.

Each injection contains a small amount of the product, allowing your injector to precisely tailor the treatment to your face for overall natural-looking results. Some slight massaging may ensure that the Voluma is evenly distributed throughout the face to restore the appearance of natural collagen, but you should leave this to the injector to handle.

The results are instantaneous. Patients will immediately see a difference in their cheek area, where age-related volume loss due to diminished collagen and fat is most obvious. The lack of any significant down time for recuperation means patients can return to their normal daily activities within 24 hours. The effects may diminish slightly over the next few days as any initial swelling subsides, but otherwise the appearance of the apple area of your cheeks immediately after your treatment session will remain for up to two years.

Some patients find that a follow-up treatment a month after their initial session helps them to better achieve the results they're looking for.

When administered under optimal conditions, the effects of Voluma can last up to two years. As the initial aesthetic benefits fade, patients can return for maintenance visits to maintain the look typically associated with a youthful amount of collagen and other beneficial components that keep facial skin looking healthy and rounded as opposed to sunken and deflated.

Leading filler company Allergan, maker of Voluma, also produces a number of other aesthetic products to cosmetically reverse the effects of aging, diminished natural collagen production, wrinkle formation, and more.

While Voluma has been the subject of studies and is frequently and safely used around the country every day, some moderate side effects are possible. These side effects mostly cause brief discomfort, including tenderness, firmness, swelling, bumps, lumps, pain, bruising, and similar issues at the injection site. Such side effects typically fade in a few days to four weeks. Talk to the Western Dermatology Consultants team to learn about what to watch for in the days after your treatment session.

Click here for the complete Voluma XC PDF download brochure, and learn more about the amazing, beautiful results possible with this popular injectable.

Perlane®

Perlane® is a dermal filler appropriate for fine lines and wrinkles, as well as the deeper lines that might form between your nose and the corners of your mouth (nasolabial folds, or "smile lines") as you lose hyaluronic acid and collagen. It makes use of hyaluronic acid, which is a natural substance that diminishes with age. The injection is considered safe, and uses a very fine needle to get beneath the skin. As a dermal filler, it sets itself apart by containing larger particles and more hyaluronic acid. This means that it is better than those with small particles at filling in severe wrinkles, and is more ideal for patients with thick skin.

Many patients enjoy results that last up to six or nine months, though your outcome will depend on your individual skin type. In addition to filling in facial wrinkles due to collagen loss and more, Perlane® is a great solution to thinning or wrinkling lips. You can enjoy a whole new smile with the science of this sought-after dermal filler! While it is considered a completely safe treatment, some patients do experience redness, pain, swelling, or bruising after an injection. This will typically clear up within a week. We do not recommend using it if you use blood thinning medications, are pregnant, breastfeeding, or under 18 years.

Other Options for Treating Collagen Loss

Patients looking for treatment options that don't involve injections may want to consider some of the other services available. Thermage® is a procedure that can remodel existing collagen to smooth out wrinkles, using heat energy to penetrate deep into the skin. Fractional laser treatment also employs heat energy, actually stimulating the production of new collagen for a rejuvenating boost. Talk to the Western Dermatology Consultants team to learn which treatment or combination of treatments may be right for you.

Ask our board-certified dermatologists if any of these collagen-boosting, wrinkle-smoothing, or volume-restoring fillers is right for you. Call the Spa in Albuquerque at 505-855-9267 or schedule an appointment online.