Unless you have been keeping yourself away from the beauty world for far too long, you must already know that collagen is the ‘miracle solution’ to achieve flawless, younger-looking skin. Being the main structural protein in the skin, collagen contributes to its strength and elasticity. But as we age, our skin loses its natural collagen-producing ability due to a number of factors. This turns the skin weaker, thinner, and saggy while inviting the signs of aging like dryness, wrinkles, smile lines, frown lines, crow’s feet, brown spots, etc. prematurely. So if you want to plump up your facial skin and make it look youthful again, add collagen to it through an injectable filler like Bellafill. Know everything about this anti-aging game changer from this article.
What Is Bellafill?
Bellafill (earlier known as ‘Artefill’) is the only FDA-approved injectable dermal filler that stimulates the body’s natural collagen to offer immediate and long-lasting results. It has also won a 2018 NewBeauty Award in the “In-Office Treatments: Just What The Doctor Ordered” category. The filler contains non-resorbable polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) microspheres in a base of bovine collagen along with 0.3% of lidocaine (local anesthetic). This composition ensures a naturally youthful appearance with maximum patient comfort (1).
The non-reversible regenerative product is used widely for smoothing out deep facial lines or wrinkles like nasolabial folds or ‘smile lines’ and treating moderate to severe acne scars. However, it also has some off-label uses in correcting wrinkled or sagging earlobes, reducing bags under eyes, and non-surgical augmentation of nose, chin, cheeks, and lips for an improved facial contour. It starts working immediately and lasts safely for up to 5 years, thereby eliminating the time, pain, and cost of on-going maintenance.
How Does Bellafill Work?
Available only through licensed physicians, Bellafill works as a dual-acting cosmetic dermal filler. A smooth bovine collagen gel solution is used as its base and the microspheres or tiny beads made of purified PMMA or polymethyl methacrylate (a biocompatible thermoplastic material) remain suspended in it. When injected into the skin, the PMMA microspheres remain intact but the collagen gel solution fills in the wrinkles and fine lines straightaway to provide instant volume and lift. As this gel dissipates over time, your body reabsorbs it while the fibroblasts migrate in and around those microspheres. Those tiny beads create a supportive base or ‘scaffold’ to allow those fibroblasts to develop as well as deposit your natural collagen around them. Thus, the PMMA microspheres stimulate collagen reproduction in the body itself and provide continuous support for lasting improvement. Precisely, Bellafill restores, replenishes, and re-volumizes the skin to help you maintain a smoother, stronger and younger look for many years.
Is Bellafill Safe?
In 2006, Bellafill got its first approval from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as a non-surgical treatment for nasolabial folds. In 2014, it was again approved by the FDA for treating moderate to severe, atrophic, distensible facial acne scars. Besides, multiple prospective dermal filler studies (conducted by Suneva Medical) and post-market surveillance have also established the long-term safety and efficacy of Bellafill (2). However, you need to undergo a skin test prior to getting Bellafill injected in order to ensure that you are not allergic to the bovine collagen.
Who Are Good Candidates?
Any individual of 21 years or older with good overall health should be considered as a right candidate for Bellafill unless you have any of the following:
- Active skin issues like acne, rashes, infections, etc
- A history of severe allergies
- Known allergies to bovine collagen or lidocaine
- Medical conditions that cause bleeding disorder and/or too much scarring
- It starts with the skin test recommended by the FDA, which is performed around 4 weeks prior to the actual treatment. Your doctor injects a very little amount of highly purified collagen gel into your forearm to check the reaction. If things are fine, the date of treatment is scheduled.
- On the day of treatment, the area(s) of the skin needed to be treated are marked by the doctor.
- He also applies a numbing cream to the target area in order to minimize your discomfort or pain.
- Then, he injects the filler slowly underneath the deep lines or wrinkles and right above the fat layer of the skin with the help of a very thin needle. The amount of solution and the pattern of injection can change according to the severity of the treatment (3).
Time And Session
Based on unique individual needs, a Bellafill treatment session takes anywhere between 15 and 60 minutes to be finished. You can always achieve the desired results with 1 to 3 sessions.
Swelling, itchiness, redness, tenderness, a little pain at the injection site, etc. are common for the first week after undergoing the treatment. They usually resolve on their own or you can also apply a cold compress. Make sure that you do not touch or rub the treated area for at least 6 hours after the procedure as this can migrate the filler out of place. From the next day onward, you can wash it gently with mild soap and water. Stay away from too much heat or too much cold for the first couple of weeks. If there are unusual reactions that persist for a month or more, inform your physician as soon as possible (4).
Recovery And Downtime
With Bellafill, there is absolutely no downtime. You can resume your normal daily routine right after leaving your doctor’s office. Nonetheless, you may need to visit him after 6 months or so for a follow-up check. This will help you enjoy the best possible results.
Risks And Complications
Being a cosmetic procedure, the Bellafill treatment comes with a few potential risks and complications. These include redness, rashes, itching, swelling, bruising, tenderness, discoloration, increased sensitivity, bleeding, lumps or bumps, asymmetry, infections, tissue damage, granulomas, etc. (5)
Though it claims to offer effects that last for up to 5 years, those are actually permanent and non-reversible.
Each syringe of Bellafill costs around $1,000 and you may need multiple syringes as per your treatment objectives.
- “Bellafill Cosmetic”, Bellafill.com
- “Shaping The Future of Regenerative Aesthetics”, SunevaMedical.com
- “What Is Bellafill and How Does It Rejuvenate My Skin?”, Healthline.com
- “Bellafill Dermal Filler”, EnhanceMyself.com
- “Bellafill: Patient Labelling”, Accessdata.FDA.Gov