For years now, dermatologists and plastic surgeons have been using fillers, those injections that instantly put volume where it is missing in the face, like plumping up the smile lines, lips and cheeks.
Well now doctors have a new tool that can get rid of the fine lines.
"You put it very superficially and you see how it defuses?" New Orleans dermatologist Dr. Mary Lupo is injecting a filler into her patient. She show us how different it is when it comes to how deep it goes into the skin.
He patient, Tracy Dreiling, 44, has decided, for the first time, to do something to treat the years of hurting her skin through sunbathing.
"I did abused my skin terribly and I run. I do put the sunscreen on now, but I run and over the years after having children, lost all the fullness in my face," said Dreiling as she waited in the doctor's exam room.
Sun destroys the production of collagen that plumps up the skin, and Tracy with her fair skin and blue eyes is more susceptible to what's called photo aging. So she is turning to Dr. Lupo to try the latest filler on the market. It's called Belotero.
"And what specifically Belotero will do for us, is give us the ability to correct finely etched lines without some of the lumping that you can see with some of the other H.A. fillers," said Lupo.
H.A. is hyaluronic acid, a natural substance in people and animals, a major component skin uses to repair itself. When you get UV rays from the sun, your skin stops making as much. Belotero is a type of H.A. just like the other fillers, but this one can be used in the smaller fine lines around the mouth, the crow's feet around the eyes, and lines on the forehead. It is generally not for the deep smile lines or plumping lips, because it will not give you a lot of volume.
"This is more for those real stubborn fine lines, like smokers lines or those lines where your lipstick bleeds around the lips that really bother a lot of women. We didn't really have a great solution until this product," explained Metairie Plastic Surgeon Dr. Cynthia Mizgala.
The other H.A. fillers such as Juvederm or Restalayne, are too thick to put in the fine lines.
"The other advantage of this product in fine lines is in addition to not lumping, you will not see what is known as the Tyndall effect. The Tyndall effect is this bluish hue when an H.A. filler is injected too superficially," said Dr. Lupo.
"It's a hyaluronic acid but it's a particularly good one that we did the clinical trial on," said Dr. William P. Coleman III, a dermatologic surgeon in Metairie who is also the editor of the his specialty's medical journal.
Five years ago, Dr. Coleman tested Belotero on nearly two dozen local patients, along with other U.S. doctors who studied 118 patients in all. He published that it was well tolerated and superior over cow collagen. And while it is recently approved in the U.S., it has been used in Canada and Europe for five years.
"It's similar to other hyaluronic acid products in that it's safe and reversible if necessary by hyaluronidase," said Dr. Mizgala about a product doctors can use to degrade Belotero in the skin if there is a problem after it is injected.
Tracy says she instantly noticed a difference.
"Just the softening of the lines around my mouth in particular, those cervices above the eyebrows. I feel like they've been softened a lot," she said after Dr. Lupo injected her.
There is no anesthesia in Belotero like other fillers, so just make sure a topical one is rubbed on your face before injecting.
"It's less than a bee sting and actually in some of the areas, in particular around the eyes where it was so superficial, you couldn't even feel it. I couldn't feel anything," said Dreiling.
This new filler lasts for six to twelve months, but doctors have discovered that the longer you use fillers, the less you'll need, because they stimulate your skin to make more of it's own natural filler. It's called the stretch effect of aging.
Sun exposure stops the skin from making natural filler.