Difference Between Collagen Dermal Fillers and Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Fillers

by Andy Cheng Director

Collagen dermal fillers are possibly one of the most well-received non-surgical treatments to turn back the aging clock. In 1981, Zyderm, a bovine collagen was the first agent to be approved by the FDA for non-surgical anti-aging treatment. Since then, many different types of dermal fillers with different contents have been developed, delivering remarkable anti-aging outcome for many people globally.

We speak with Dr. Siew Tuck Wah, Medical Director and co-founder of Radium Medical Aesthetics to tell us more about the different types of dermal fillers and their benefits.

What Are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers, also known as facial fillers or injectable implants, or wrinkle fillers are medical device implants to replenish lost volume of the face and create a smoother, fuller appearance by erasing fine lines and deep wrinkles.

Injectable dermal fillers are highly versatile. In the right hands of an experienced injector, the doctor can give a person a more rejuvenated, youthful appearance for a fraction of what a traditional facelift would cost. 

Dermal fillers are loosely categorized into 2 different types – Hyaluronic Acid (HA) and collagen or bio-stimulating fillers. 

What are Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Fillers?

HA dermal fillers are considered one of the most popular category of fillers because of their safety profile. HA is naturally found in our skin. It is a water-loving molecule that has the capacity to absorb water 100 times its weight. By doing so, it retains the moisture and volume of the skin, restoring the youthful, plump appearance that the skin lacks.

HA dermal fillers are very safe because the contents are made of the same contents as those found in our body. There is almost no chance of any adverse side effects with the use of HA fillers. Side effects are very rare but it can include redness, swelling, and bruising at the site of the injection. In some cases, the dermal filler may also appear as tiny bumps at the injection site. This problem should usually resolve within a couple of days.

Some of the most popular brands of HA dermal fillers aesthetic doctors use include:

  • Restylane
  • Belotero
  • Teosyal
  • Juverderm

Studies have shown that undergoing repeated treatments help to stimulate the body's own natural production of collagen. This means that less dermal fillers will be needed over time to achieve the same youthful appearance you desire.

What About Collagen Dermal Fillers?

There are some dermal fillers that are not made of hyaluronic acid. Just like HA dermal fillers, these collagen dermal fillers are absorbable materials that are used for the correction of moderate facial wrinkles and skin folds. They can also be used to augment the face, plump the lips, and reduce deep wrinkles and fine lines. The benefits include a longer-lasting effect and the ability to continue to exert its skin lifting and rejuvenative effects.

Two brands of bio-stimulating fillers commonly used by doctors in Singapore are Ellanse and Radiesse.

Ellanse fillers are made of a biodegradable synthetic material called polycaprolactone (PCL) – a bio-resorbable soft medical polymer. The PCL is suspended in a gel medium made of carboxymethylcellulose (CMC). 

When Ellanse is injected into the skin, the CMC provides a visible lift to deficient areas. However, the gel does not last very long, probably about 3 months or so. At the same time, the PCL polymer stimulates collagen production in the skin over time. It replaces the lost volume caused by the resorption of the CMC.

Just like Ellanse, Radiesse is a type of dermal filler that continues to exert its collagen-stimulating effects after the treatment. Radiesse is made of Calcium Hydroxyapatite (CaHA) microspheres suspended in a gel carrier of CMC. Just like Ellanse, CMC immediately adds volume to sunken areas of the face. Over the course of 3 months, the CaHA microspheres induce fibroblasts and neocollagenesis begins, stimulating the production of collagen in the body.

Although many people ae turning to longer-lasting dermal fillers for convenience and cost-savings, always remember that products with longer-lasting effects are more likely to cause side effects.

Not every dermal filler is suitable for every type of concern you want to address. The best outcome with the least adverse side effects come from getting the most qualified and experienced injector who are know your skin well and one who is familiar with different types of dermal fillers.   

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About Andy Cheng Advanced   Director

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Joined APSense since, August 5th, 2017, From Singapore, Singapore.

Created on Dec 9th 2017 06:23. Viewed 719 times.


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