Hyaluronic Acid – a well-known facial filler – is just one type of filler among many available in the market. The world of fillers is vast, with options ranging from biodegradable to non-biodegradable options.
Biodegradable fillers can be broken down and absorbed by the body, while non-biodegradable fillers are permanent. Before the invention of hyaluronic acid, the most popular filler was collagen, which was derived from animals like cows. While effective, the use of animal-derived collagen posed the risk of allergic reactions and even potentially fatal angioedema.
Today, hyaluronic acid is the most popular biodegradable filler. It lasts longer than collagen – up to 18 months – and is less likely to cause allergic reactions. Moreover, it has a dissolving agent that can reverse any adverse effects from injections. Hyaluronic acid is now derived from bacterial fermentation, and there are over ten brands of hyaluronic acid on the market, each using a different production method and some with patented technologies. Brands produced by major pharmaceutical companies are supported by clinical studies that demonstrate their effectiveness.
Other common fillers include calcium hydroxyapatite (Radiesse), a biocompatible and biodegradable ceramic that provides long-lasting results and is not prone to shifting, but has no dissolving agent. Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) is a collagen-stimulating agent that, when injected deep into the skin, can prompt the regeneration of subdermal collagen. While its effects are natural-looking and long-lasting, multiple treatments are required, and it has no dissolving agent.
Biodegradable fillers have advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of which filler is best suited for a particular individual should be left to a medical professional. With so many options available in the market, it is important to consult a licensed practitioner who can provide the appropriate guidance and advice on the best course of treatment.