Regarding non-surgical aging and volume loss solutions, injectable fillers are the mainstay. The past decade has seen the emergence of a plethora of non-permanent, semi-permanent, and permanent soft tissue fillers for correcting undesired cutaneous changes and improving facial contouring. Although widely used, these fillers often interfere with the natural look and feel while replacing the lost volume and counterbalancing the wrinkles and folds on your face. In such a situation, the Aquamid treatment can satisfy you completely. If you aim to look and feel fresher and better, rejuvenate your skin and contour your face with the subtleness of Aquamid. Here is the complete guide for you.
What is Aquamid?
Aquamid is a distinct soft-volume filler that has been extensively used for aesthetic and reconstructive purposes for the last 20 years. It was launched and marketed by Contura International A/S in Denmark until Speciality European Pharma Limited (London, UK) acquired it in 2013. The biocompatible, non-allergenic, and non-absorbable hydrogel is injected subcutaneously for volume restoration, soft tissue augmentation, and enhanced facial contouring. It re-establishes a youthful appearance by adding extra volume wherever needed, smoothing deeper wrinkles and folds away. This helps achieve a more excellent facial contour by creating a sharper nose, sensual lips, or higher cheekbones. Aquamid is also helpful for HIV+ patients as it rectifies the signs of facial lipoatrophy or fat wasting. Above all, the soft and subtle filler integrates with the patient’s body’s tissue, ensuring a natural look and feel.
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Composition Of Aquamid
Aquamid is the trade name for a unique formulation that includes a 2.5% cross-linked polyacrylamide gel network and 97.5 % sterile water (for injection purposes). It is homogeneous with no micro-particles in it. The transparent hydrogel is manufactured based on patented cross-linking technology, which involves the polymerization of the acrylamide monomers and N, N’-methylenbisacrylamide. The product’s molecular structure is exclusively tailored to offer maximum water exchange with tissue and seamless bodily integration with minimal pain and discomfort.
How Does It Work?
The polyacrylamide molecules in Aquamid remain’ swollen’ like a sponge instead of getting dissolved in the sterile water. Hence, the watery gel does not lose its water-holding capacity and stays elastic longer while maintaining dynamic equilibrium with the surrounding tissue. Once injected into the tissue, it retains its shape and remains in harmony with the body without migrating from the injection site. Furthermore, the gel becomes indistinguishable by integrating with the body’s tissue and starts following its natural behavior. This facilitates the exchange of fluids with surrounding cells while creating a natural look and feel.
Aquamid Vs. Traditional Fillers
1. Aquamid does not get absorbed in the body and, hence, offers long-lasting customer satisfaction. However, the results provided by traditional hyaluronic acid or collagen fillers last from 3 to 12 months only as they are reabsorbed through macrophage activation.
2. There are no micro-particles in Aquamid, so the gel’s filling effects are contributed. So, the treatment does not cause tissue hardening, fibrosis, or granulomas. On the other hand, traditional permanent fillers come with small particles suspended in carrier gels, which create a volume effect through chronic inflammation. This often puts you at risk of those complications.
3. Aquamid works as a proper’ or volume filler,’’ which provides immediate results based on the actual volume injected. Traditional fillers are essentially ‘structural fillers,’’ which show outcomes months after the treatment.
Is Aquamid Safe?
Aquamid has a proven track record of safety and efficacy, documented by more than ten clinical studies conducted and 575,000 treatments administered worldwide until now. It is manufactured in compliance with the European Medical Devices Directive. In 2001, it got its approval in Europe for facial augmentation and minor body contouring. It is also approved in several other countries, including Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. However, the treatment is yet to be available in the U.S. (1)
Applications Of Aquamid
The Aquamid treatment is suitable for a variety of common aesthetic indications:
1. Worry Lines
Only a tiny amount of filler is required to smooth out those ugly vertical facial lines called ‘worry lines’ or ‘glabella lines’ and look younger.
2. Nose Enhancement
Aquamid can remove all the hassles of rhinoplasty surgery and create a balanced appearance by enhancing your nose bridge and eliminating hollows or depressions.
3. Cheek Contouring
Restore and define your cheekbones with Aquamid and revitalize your overall appearance.
4. Naso-Labial Folds
You only need a little Aquamid to fill in your nasolabial folds or smile lines and look fresher, younger, and happier.
5. Lip Enhancement
The hydrogel is a perfect solution for fuller and more sensual lips as it evens out asymmetries and provides definition to them.
6. Chin Augmentation
You can get a more balanced face with Aquamid by reshaping your chin and augmenting it as required.
7. Jawline Contouring
Auqamid can help you make your uneven jawline straighter and stronger again, enhancing your overall profile.
Aquamid is used for treating deep wrinkles or folds. It does not work on fine wrinkles.
Ideal Candidates For Aquamid
If you have good general health with wrinkles, folds, and facial volume loss caused by aging, you are good to go for this treatment. However, Aquamid is not recommended for pregnant and lactating women. It is also not a good choice for women with active skin disease or those with cold sores. If you have had any resorbable filler treatment earlier, you must wait until it disappears entirely.
Aquamid Treatment Procedure
The Aquamid treatment method entails the following steps (2):
1. You are made to sit upright or semi-upright yet comfortably on the examination chair to allow your physician to see all essential facial details.
2. The target area is prepared thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol and antibacterial cleansers.
3. Your physician administers local anesthesia to minimize potential pain and discomfort.
4. Aquamid is injected into the subcutaneous tissue using a thin (27-gauge) sterile needle. Techniques like cross-hatching and fanning are used for contouring and adding volume.
The Aquamid treatment takes only half an hour. Retreatment (if required) should be carried out at least after two weeks.
Do not touch the treated area for at least 5-6 hours after the treatment. Redness, bruising, and slight swelling around the injection site are widespread and usually disappear within a few days. If there is soreness, warmth, and a tingling sensation even after a few days, it might be local infections, and you might need to contact your physician for antibiotic treatment.
Recovery And Downtime
The treatment has no downtime; you can return to your routine soon. But stay away from swimming, strenuous activities, and demanding exercises up to 3 days post-treatment. Avoiding extreme heat, cold, and sunlight is also needed for four weeks. You should also avoid all cosmetic procedures for at least six months.
Risks And Complications
Being non-toxic and non-allergenic, Aquamid does not cause severe complications. There are only temporary side effects, which include irritation, itching, redness, inflammation, tenderness, transient swelling, edema, and sometimes minor infections.
Duration Of Effects
Being a permanent filler, Aquamid offers long-lasting results. However, follow-up injections might be needed after a certain period as you will continuously lose your facial tissue fat as a part of your natural aging process.
Cost Of Aquamid
The average cost of each Aquamid injection can range from $650 to $750.
Aquamid provides a non-surgical aging and volume loss solution, offering a distinctive soft-volume filler for facial contouring. Comprising a cross-linked polyacrylamide gel, it stands out from traditional fillers by being non-absorbable, ensuring long-lasting results. Safe and effective, Aquamid integrates seamlessly with natural tissues, providing volume restoration and wrinkle reduction. Its applications range from worry lines to nose enhancement, cheek contouring, and more. With proven safety and lasting effects, Aquamid offers a subtle and natural approach to facial rejuvenation, catering to various aesthetic needs.
- “Aquamid“, Wikipedia
- “Emerging Permanent Filler Technologies: Focus On Aquamid,” PubMed Central