Everyone wants fewer acne scars, smoother skin, and no more nasolabial lines. However, every treatment on the market that promises big results also has a big BUT at the end. A treatment may work great, BUT you have to do 27 treatments. This procedure will take 10 years off your face, BUT it requires surgery. This procedure will totally get rid of acne scars, BUT you have to do a follow up every 4 weeks.
Even tried-and-true fillers like Juvederm wear off within 6 to 12 months and you have to make the semi-annual pilgrimage back to the treatment chair.
Now there is an alternative! Bellafill offers long-lasting results without a million extra appointments. Dr. Nadir Qazi recommends Bellafill for patients with acne scars and unwanted nasolabial folds.
What is Bellafill Filler?
Bellafill was known as Artefill until December of 2014. Manufactured by Suneva Medical, Inc. Bellafill is a new type of dermal filler that is both FDA approved and field tested for effectiveness. It works like most dermal fillers: it can be injected almost anywhere on the face. Once it has been placed, it will create instant volume. The initial results will be noticeable instantly.
Over the next 6 months, the filler will also promote collagen production in the body; this means that your skin texture and quality will improve on its own long after the first appointment.
Dermal fillers are an ideal method for achieving natural-looking contour without makeup or facial tape. All types of dermal fillers, including Bellafill, can be injected during a quick and comfortable 45 minute appointment. Because the procedure is so non-invasive, patients can go back to work or school immediately after their appointment.
This makes dermal fillers a great alternative to more invasive procedures, like facial implants. Unlike facial implants, there is no need for surgery, no incisions, and no extended downtime. Because it is so long-lasting, it can provide nearly the same caliber of results as facial implants at a fraction of the cost and no recovery time.
What is Bellafill Made Of?
Bellafill is made of enhanced bovine collagen microspheres and mixed with lidocaine, an anesthetic. This formula gives the filler better shape and aids in subdermal placement. Because microspheres are made from polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) – a common material for body-safe implants and fillers – they are practically invisible to the naked eye, making them suitable for injection with very small needles.
What is Bovine Collagen in Bellafill?
Collagen in the human body is a kind of protein that functions like building blocks for the skin and tissues. Things like indented acne scars, wrinkles, and fine lines are the result of reduced collagen levels. For older people, the body normally produces less collagen with age, resulting in the common signs of aging, like thinner skin and wrinkles.
Younger people can also fall victim to a collagen deficiency. If you have ever had ice pick or rolling atrophic acne scars, lack of collagen is the culprit. If the body does not produce enough collagen as acne scars heal, it results in a small hole in the skin.
Because of collagen’s role in skin texture and elasticity, it is a known ingredient in many popular beauty routines. There are several collagen supplement pills, collagen beauty creams, and collagen powders on the market.
Nearly all forms of supplementary collagen are actually bovine collagen. Cows, bison, antelope, and yaks all produce suitable collagen for humans. The supplement can be made by boiling cow bones and extracting collagen from them. At this time, there is no vegan alternative for collagen supplements, nor is Bellafill vegan.
Why Is There Lidocaine in Bellafill?
It is normal for fillers to have a small amount of anesthetic mixed into the filler; the most common additive is lidocaine. The primary reason why lidocaine comes pre-mixed with Bellafill is for patient safety and comfort. Many patients utilize additional pain management methods during their appointment, such as pro-nox or numbing cream. However, there can be some additional discomfort that is not addressed by these additions. That is where the extra bit of lidocaine comes in.
Lidocaine in filler can also be more efficient than other pain management methods. For example, numbing cream can take up to 30 minutes to kick in, delaying the rest of the appointment. Lidocaine works as soon as the filler is injected.
Some early studies of HA-based fillers also suggest that premixed lidocaine may even reduce the amount of bruising and swelling that occurs after the injection.
6 Things You Need to Know About Bellafill Filler
Most people don’t need to know the ins and outs of how bovine collagen microspheres are made. When patients ask Dr. Qazi “what is Bellafill made of?”, what they really want to know is if it is anything like Juvederm.
If you have questions about Bellafill, here are 6 things you need to know about this new and exciting type of filler:
1. What is Bellafill Filler Good For?
Like other fillers, Bellafill is designed to create volume in the face. It is FDA-approved for treating atrophic acne scars and smoothing nasolabial folds. In studies comparing Bellafill with other brands of filler, it performed better for wrinkle reduction at both the 6 month mark and the 1 year mark. In comparison, other brands of filler typically wear off or get reabsorbed after 6 months, so the patient’s face returns to their pre-treatment look.
For acne scars, Bellafill had a positive response rate that was nearly twice the rate of other fillers tested. When used on comparable 4 point acne scars, patients who got it reported longer lasting and more complete results.
2. Can Bellafill Be Reversed?
If you are familiar with dermal fillers, you may be aware that certain dermal fillers can be reserved or dissolved early. This only applies to fillers that are made with hyaluronic acid, including Juvederm and Restylane. If a patient receives Juvederm fillers and either does not like them or has a bad reaction, a shot of hyaluronidase can dissolve the fillers within a few days.
Some fillers are not made from hyaluronic acid. For example, Sculptra and Radiesse. Sculptra is made from poly-L-lactic acid and can last 2 to 3 years in the body before it is broken down and absorbed. Radiesse is made from calcium hydroxylapatite and lasts around 12 months before the patient needs a follow up. While these fillers cannot be reversed on demand, they will eventually wear off.
Bellafill is a little different. Because of the structure of the collagen microspheres, the body cannot absorb and break down Bellafill the way it can with other fillers. This means that this fillers will provide support and structure to the underlying layers of the skin for a long time. The results of Bellafill can last many years if patients properly care for their results.
While the hardiness of Bellafill is desirable for some patients, others may prefer a filler that will eventually be absorbed. Because Bellafill cannot be dissolved, the only way for it to be reversed is a procedure that physically removes the material from the face.
3. What Are the Benefits of Bellafill?
Ever since Dr. Qazi has started offering Bellafill treatments at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic, it has become a popular procedure for patients of all ages. Both men and women can benefit from this procedure.
The biggest draw of Bellafill is that it is long-lasting if not permanent; this allows patients to retain their youthful look without it fading due to the filler being dissolved. Patients who have done fillers for years to maintain their look are thrilled to have a filler that doesn’t require a top up every 6 months.
Bellafill is also desirable as a filler because it can treat stubborn conditions that other treatments can’t. For example, acne scars don’t always respond to resurfacing procedures, especially atrophic scars. Because Bellafill creates volume with added collagen, it is one of the best ways to fix depressed acne scars. Once you have had your procedure, those acne scars will be gone for good.
Unlike other fillers, Bellafill is also sturdy enough to be a long-term solution to nasolabial folds. Also called laughter lines and smile folds, nasolabial folds can be tricky to treat due to the constant movement of the mouth. Because Bellafill cannot be absorbed by the body and is unlikely to migrate, it can withstand years worth of smiles while still fending off those unsightly lines.
4. Who Can Get Bellafill?
Bellafill is approved for use in adults over the age of 21. It is designed for patients who have moderate to severe acne scars and nasolabial folds. At this time, Bellafill is only FDA-approved for use on the face.
Anyone interested in Bellafill must:
- Be aware that the filler cannot be dissolved with hyaluronidase
- Be okay without the use of a filler made from animal products
- Have no history of allergic reaction to bovine products or lidocaine
- Not have a tendency for form thick, raised scars
- Not have a blood condition or a medical complication that will interfere with proper healing
- Pass a pre-injection allergy test of Bellafill
The best way to learn if Bellafill is right for you is to schedule a consultation. When you meet with Dr. Qazi at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic, he can determine if you are a good candidate.
Patients who are under 21 may be advised to try an age-appropriate alternative treatment, such as subcision, laser resurfacing, or RF microneedling. Dr. Qazi may also suggest an alternative treatment if your facial fines are not severe enough for the threshold at which Bellafill is recommended.
Additionally, patients who are new to dermal fillers may want to consider trying a different type of filler before they commit to Bellafill. It can be beneficial to try out a look with a dissolvable filler to ensure that the look fits you and that you feel like yourself.
5. How Long Does Bellafill Last?
You may have seen claims that Bellafill lasts only 5 years. You could also have seen claims that it lasts forever.
The 5 year claim comes from the fact that the FDA can only guarantee 5 years of results because they have only done safety studies at the 5 year mark. The reality is that Bellafill can last far longer; in fact, 5 years is the minimum.
The reason Bellafill is so long-lasting is because of its structure. Once injected, the bovine collagen can be incorporated into the body because white blood cells are able to recognize and break down this type of collagen. However, the microspheres in Bellafill are too large for white blood cells to break them down. This causes the microspheres to become anchored to the surrounding tissues, preventing migration. Over time, organic collagen and new cells will develop around the filler.
Unlike hyaluronic acid-based fillers, Bellafill cannot be absorbed by the body. This means the filler won’t be dissolved, metabolized, or worn off. Due to liability and truth in advertising reasons, the FDA cannot claim longer than 5 years of results for Bellafill. However, when you think it through, if the filler isn’t going anywhere then neither are your results.
The only caveat is that Bellafill won’t dissolve, but it won’t stop you from developing more acne scars or other facial creases. Your results are only as good as how well you care for your skin.
6. How Many Treatments of Bellafill Do I Need?
Patients at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic in Orange County have seen immediate results after a single Bellafill treatment. In some cases, it may be necessary to have 2 total appointments, but rarely more than 2.
This is one reason why people love Bellafill. Whereas Juvederm requires a re-up appointment every 6 months, Bellafill patients may never need a follow-up for their fillers because Bellafill does not dissolve.
Choose Bellafill at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic!
Bellafill may sound too good to be true, but it really is true! If you are ready to be free of acne scars and nasolabial folds, give Bellafill a try. The results are very long-lasting, so you will not need a follow-up appointment after you have achieved your desired results.
For more information about Bellafill, including what Bellafill is made of, contact Qazi Cosmetic Clinic and schedule a no-obligation consultation.