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

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.