If you have looked into treatment for reducing facial folds, hollows or wrinkles, you may have heard of the dermal filler Radiesse.  It is one of the newer drugs on the market to treat moderate to severe wrinkles and has been on the market in the U.S. since late 2006.

Radiesse is made up of calcium-based microspheres suspended in a gel-like solution.  The microspheres are comprised of calcium hydroxylapatite, a substance naturally found in the body so there is virtually no risk of allergies developing.   This is the first filler to provide volume to repair wrinkles and depressions, and stimulate natural collagen growth.  This means that long after the initial injections, the drug helps the body produce new tissue and thereby, extends the desired cosmetic results.

This ability to promote collagen growth is what makes Radiesse unique in the dermal filler family.  While other fillers last about 6 months to a year, Radiesse can continue working up to a year or 18 months before another treatment is necessary.  According to Dr. Dominic Castellano, a facial plastic surgeon in Tampa, this unique action restores the fullness and contours of a youthful, healthy appearance with continued results that can last on average a year or more.

Radiesse is primarily used to treat deeper wrinkles, hollows and folds of the face such as the nasolabial folds (more commonly known as laugh lines or smile lines that appear as parenthesis around the mouth).  Other common areas that are treated with Radiesse are lines around the nose, cheeks and lower face.  For patients with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), this drug helps provide a long-lasting correction of facial fat loss (lipoatrophy) which causes the appearance of sunken cheeks.

Fine lines around the eyes (crow’s feet) and lips (smoker lines) are not usually treated with Radiesse because the small microspheres in the drug do not provide the smooth results necessary for work on wrinkles that are very close to the surface of the skin.  In those areas, fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane may be a better choice.  However, in the fleshier areas, Radiesse can be injected deep enough under the skin to avoid any roughness to show though the dermal layers.

The Radiesse treatment process is a simple outpatient procedure and the injections take about 15 minutes depending on the location treated and patients can return to work that same day.  Both the patient and doctor will see initial results immediately during the injection process, but the final outcome is evident in about a week.  The side-effects are minor and include slight bruising, puffiness at the area treated and pain at the injection site.  The biggest risk associated with Radiesse occurs when patients allow non-licensed practitioners to administer treatment.  This risk can be avoided by using a board-certified surgeon or licensed practitioner at an accredited facility such as Elite Facial Plastic Surgery.

To find out if Radiesse is for you, schedule a consultation with a doctor to discuss your area of concern.  You can then learn more about how the procedure can help you erase those deep wrinkles and folds caused by age or weight loss.  The doctor can explain the cost of the injections and provide you with before/after pictures and referrals from other patients that have been treated with Radiesse.  The long-term benefits of this medication can help you look younger and feel more confident.

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