GREAT NECK, NY – For those interested in getting derma fillers to treat their wrinkles or sagging skin, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) medical officer recently noted in the Office of Health and Constituent Affairs Patient Network News that it is important for people to know the risks of this procedure.
Derma fillers can be made of Hyaluronic Acid (HA), which Homayoun Sasson, MD, director of plastic surgery at Franklin Hospital in Valley Stream and Plainview Hospital in Plainview explains is found in people’s joints and skin. The purpose of HA is to lubricate and hydrate those areas, Dr. Sasson adds.
While the standard of treatment for wrinkles used to be collagen injections about a decade ago, physicians have moved to derma fillers because there is less of a risk of allergy.
“Unfortunately, the thing about collagen was that because it was extracted from an animal, a lot of people were allergic to it,” Dr. Sasson says. “Just like if you were taking penicillin and you didn’t know that you were allergic to it. So when we used collagen, we would have to test the patient with a small amount of collagen in their skin… Nowadays, there are synthetic materials used for derma fillers and they fill the wrinkles in the face, in the forehead, around the mouth, around the cheek areas and around the chin areas. They are safer.”
Derma fillers are made by a process that uses a type of bacteria also used to synthesize a lot of other medical materials, including antibiotics.
“It’s the product of the bacterial synthesis in the laboratory,” Dr. Sasson explains. “Those are strictly molecules that come from bacteria that are purified step by step and then they’re used to inject into the patients.”
Derma fillers have been used by both men and women in their 30s, 40s and 50s.
“The older you get, the more wrinkles obviously you get, and the more redundant or hanging skin you get,” Dr. Sasson says. “At that point, the fillers might not be as effective as they used to be when you were in your 40s and 50s because they don’t act to tighten the skin to the point that let’s say a facelift procedure would do.”
Dr. Sasson describes some of the risks of derma fillers in this video: