Collagen is hailed as a ‘miracle solution’ for youthful skin. It is vital as the primary structural protein, providing strength and elasticity. However, aging diminishes the skin’s natural collagen production, leading to sagging, wrinkles, and other signs of premature aging. To rejuvenate facial skin and counter these effects, injectable fillers like Bellafill, containing collagen-stimulating microspheres, offer a transformative solution. This article delves into the details of Bellafill, an anti-aging breakthrough in cosmetic procedures.
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 bovine collagen base and 0.3% lidocaine (local anesthetic). This composition ensures a naturally youthful appearance with maximum patient comfort (1).
The non-reversible regenerative product is used widely to smooth out deep facial lines or wrinkles like nasolabial folds or ‘smile lines’ and treat moderate to severe acne scars. However, it also has some off-label uses in correcting wrinkled or sagging earlobes, reducing bags under the eyes, and non-surgical augmentation of the nose, chin, cheeks, and lips for an improved facial contour. It starts working immediately and lasts safely for up to 5 years, eliminating the time, pain, and cost of ongoing 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. 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, 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 and deposit your natural collagen around them. Thus, the PMMA microspheres stimulate collagen reproduction in the body and provide continuous support for lasting improvement. Precisely, Bellafill restores, replenishes, and re-volumizes the skin to help you maintain a smoother, firmer, and younger look for many years.
Is Bellafill Safe?
Bellafill achieved its initial FDA approval in 2006 as a non-surgical remedy for nasolabial folds. Subsequently, in 2014, the FDA approved its application in treating moderate to severe atrophic facial acne scars. Rigorous studies conducted by Suneva Medical, including prospective dermal filler studies and post-market surveillance, have solidified Bellafill’s long-term safety and efficacy. A prerequisite for Bellafill injections is a skin test to confirm the absence of allergies to bovine collagen. (2)
Who Are Good Candidates?
Any individual of 21 years or older with good overall health should be considered a suitable 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 disorders and too much scarring
- It starts with the skin test recommended by the FDA, which is performed around four weeks before the treatment. Your doctor injects minimal, 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 to minimize 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 skinny needle. The amount of solution and the injection pattern 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 consistently achieve the desired results with 1 to 3 sessions.
Swelling, itchiness, redness, tenderness, a little pain at the injection site, etc., are typical for the first week after treatment. They usually resolve independently, or you can also apply a cold compress. Ensure you do not touch or rub the treated area for at least 6 hours after the procedure, which can migrate the filler out of place. You can wash it gently the next day with mild soap and water. Stay away from too much heat or cold for the first few weeks. If unusual reactions persist for a month or more, inform your physician as soon as possible (4).
Recovery And Downtime
With Bellafill, there is no downtime. You can resume your regular daily routine after leaving your doctor’s office. Nonetheless, you may need to visit him after six 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 lasting up to 5 years, they are permanent and non-reversible.
Each syringe of Bellafill costs around $1,000, and you may need multiple syringes per your treatment objectives.
Bellafill, an FDA-approved injectable dermal filler, utilizes non-resorbable polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) microspheres in a bovine collagen base to stimulate the body’s natural collagen production, providing immediate and long-lasting results. Acting as a dual-acting filler, it offers instant volume and lift through collagen gel while the PMMA microspheres stimulate collagen reproduction, creating a supportive base for lasting improvement. Despite potential risks and complications, Bellafill is deemed safe and provides results lasting up to 5 years, with each syringe costing around $1,000.
- “Bellafill Cosmetic”, Bellafill.com
- “Bellafill: What You Need to Know,” RealSelf.com
- “What Is Bellafill and How Does It Rejuvenate My Skin?“, Healthline.com
- “Bellafill Dermal Filler,” EnhanceMyself.com
- “Bellafill: Patient Labelling”, Accessdata.FDA.Gov