American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

I’m interested in cosmetic injections

Question: How often do I need cosmetic injections after the first injections?

Answer: This really depends on so many factors.  First, areas of high mobility like the lips, smile lines, and areas around the mouth tend to suffer from absorption more readily than areas that are less mobile like the cheeks, under eyes, and temples.  Secondly, it depends on what products you are using, as some products have longer lasting timeframes in one’s body than others.  Third, it depends on how much product was placed, as placing more product may lead to relative persistence of the remaining product compared with placing very little product there. Fourth, it depends on your body’s metabolism of the product.  I have seen individuals hold products for years whereas other hold it for only a few months.  Variability truly sits with the individual person.  Speaking with your facial plastic surgeon who does your injections can help you determine based on all these factors what the likelihood of your product lasting a certain amount of time would be.

I’ve been reading about cosmetic injections and I wanted to know…

Question: Are cosmetic injections permanent?

Answer: Some cosmetic injections can be permanent; others are temporary.  Most common cosmetic injections like hyaluronic acid (Restylane, Juvederm) are temporary injections.  However, silicone microdroplets can be used for permanent corrections, most commonly for lip augmentation and acne scarring.  However, this method is considered “off-label” as it is FDA cleared for retinal detachments.  Using silicone safely is based on a discussion with a specific doctor’s philosophy and experience.  Another permanent injectable is polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), marketed as Artefill.  A certain percentage of this product is made of bovine (cow) collagen that is partially absorbed and used as a vehicle for delivery of the product to ensure that it is smooth and does not migrate.  Finally, fat grafting can be considered a permanent injectable by those who are experienced at delivering fat.  If fat is not placed in small microdroplets it can look lumpy.  Since it is truly a “graft”, it needs blood supply to survive.  In experienced hands fat transfer is permanent minus a small percentage that can be absorbed.  There are other permanent injectables that are approved for use outside of the United States but that are illegal for use in the U.S.  Since this Academy is a U.S. based organization and the author of this post is from the U.S., I shall refrain from commenting on the safety, limitations, and efficacy of these other non-approved products.