You may have heard terms like "marionette lines" or "parenthesis" used to describe someone's facial features. These are nicknames for the nasolabial folds, the lines on your skin that run from the edge of your nose down to the corners of your mouth. Like other creases in your skin, nasolabial folds deepen with age. And -- also like other wrinkles -- dermal fillers like Juvederm are an increasingly popular way of making them disappear.
Juvederm, like Restylane, Perlane and Elevess, is a hyaluronic acid wrinkle filler. Hyaluronic acid is a chemical already found in the human body, although the hyaluronic acid in dermal fillers is created outside the body [source: Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety]. Juvederm is a gel made of hyaluronic acid that is injected directly into the skin. The gel then fills wrinkles caused by aging, smoothing the skin and giving it a youthful appearance.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Juvederm in 2006, and many doctors have seen an increase in its usage since then [sources: Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety, Singer]. In general, Juvederm Ultra and Juvederm Ultra Plus work well on wrinkles in the nasolabial folds and other areas on the lower half of the face and can also help plump up the lips or cheeks [source: Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety].
If you are considering using Juvederm or any other dermal filler, make sure to discuss your options with a doctor you trust. Dermal fillers are generally safe when administered correctly, but even with one that's FDA-approved, like Juvederm, there's a chance of side effects [source: Singer]. A doctor can also give you the background on how effective various fillers are to help you decide which one to choose.
Read on to find out how well Juvederm works -- and how long it lasts.
Effectiveness of Juvederm
When he injects the Juvederm, a doctor is literally filling in your wrinkles and creases with a gel. Some other hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are manufactured as small particles mixed into a gel-like substance [source: WebMD]. Compared with these fillers, one advantage of Juvederm is that the gel is more likely to spread evenly beneath your skin [source: Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery].
If you're worried because your wrinkles and creases vary in their degree of severity, Juvederm's probably got you covered -- it comes in three different strengths: Juvederm 18, Juvederm 24 and Juvederm 30. The higher the number, the deeper the gel is injected into your skin. Each formula is targeted for specific kinds of wrinkles, so be sure to discuss these options with your doctor. The formulas differ in density, and, wrinkles aside, you might use a different one depending on whether you're tackling acne scars or plumping up cheeks.
No matter what Juvederm formula you use, though, none of them are designed to last forever. Typical treatments, depending on the strength, dosage and your physical makeup, last between six months to a year [source: Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety]. By that time, your body safely absorbs the Juvederm. Since it is made of components that are naturally present in your body, Juvederm is not an unwelcome substance, and its absorption shouldn't cause complications [source: Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery].
Now that you know what Juvederm can do, move on to next page to learn more about the price tag involved.
Cost of Juvederm
Cosmetic medical procedures can be expensive and usually are not covered by health insurance providers. While dermal filler treatments may seem steep, they still cost far less than a face-lift -- and they're less invasive.
Juvederm is sold by the syringe. The price of a syringe can range anywhere from $300 to $1,000. However, that price can change depending on supply and demand in your area [source: Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery]. Usually one syringe of Juvederm can produce the results you're looking for, but occasionally a higher dosage is needed. Some doctors may offer a discount on the second syringe, so you should explore these options before beginning treatment.
Keep in mind that one Juvederm treatment should last anywhere from six to 12 months, and therefore is not a done deal. In order to maintain your results, you will have to return to your doctor for more injections. This is important information to factor in when planning your budget for such treatments.
Generic dermal fillers may be cheaper than Juvederm or its name-brand competitors. Using an off-brand dermal filler, however, could come with increased safety risks and fewer improvements. In other words, you might actually spend the same amount of money using an "off-label" product, because you'll need more injections to get the same results. Be sure to consult your doctor before trying to cut costs by using a cheaper product.
You may decide the safer route is to choose Juvederm over a generic filler, but there's still a chance you'll experience a few side effects. Read on to find out what those could be.
Juvederm Side Effects
According to some plastic surgeons, Juvederm is so safe that it's rare for patients to experience problems after an injection [source: Singer]. In fact, many claim that negative effects of Juvederm are more likely to be caused by misuse than a problem with the product itself [source: Doheny]. Receiving an injection that does not go deeply enough into the skin could also cause negative reactions. Although there are very few cases of Juvederm side effects, the most commonly reported ones are swelling, lumps forming underneath the skin and gel spreading to unwanted areas of the face [source: Singer, Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery].
It's also important to use Juvederm only on approved parts of the body. Juvederm treatments near the eyes, for example, can carry the greatest risk of side effects because of the thinness and sensitivity of the skin in that area [source: Singer]. Some experts believe that the nasolabial fold is the best place for a Juvederm injection [source Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety].
Side effects may not occur immediately; they could happen weeks or even months after the procedure. However, if you pay attention to FDA warnings, and make sure that your doctor follows FDA-approved guidelines for administering the injection, you most likely should not experience any problems.
To learn how to care for yourself after a Juvederm injection, move on to the next page for more information.
With this procedure, you won't have to worry about missing out on your day-to-day life to get rid of wrinkles. Juvederm injections only take about half an hour [source: WebMD]. They also require very little follow-up care, but you should be cautious about a few things:
- Stay away from certain spa procedures after your treatment.
- Don't go tanning -- it's best to avoid the sun and not spend time in artificial tanning booths.
- Avoid excessively steamy baths and saunas [source: Middleton].
- Do not touch or poke the area where you received your Juvederm injection.
- Wearing make-up and using daily facial products is fine, but be careful not to press too firmly when applying [source: Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety].
- Try not to make any exaggerated facial expressions. It's okay to show your emotions, but the hours immediately following a Juvederm treatment are not the best time to watch a comedy or tear-jerker at the movie theater.
In addition to avoiding certain behavior after a Juvederm injection, you should also gently apply an ice pack or other cold compress if any bruising, swelling or redness occurs. If any prolonged irritation occurs directly following treatment, discuss it with your doctor immediately.
If you're satisfied with the results of your first treatment, the next step is to make a second appointment. Keep in mind that Juvederm injections need to be repeated every six months to a year to maintain the look you want. In very little time, you could be on your way to a younger-looking face.
For more information, visit the links on the next page.
- Anti-Aging.org. "Juvederm." November 28, 2008. (Accessed July 20, 2009)http://www.anti-aging.org/content/juvederm.asp
- Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery. "Juvederm." June 2008. (Accessed July 20, 2009)http://www.yourplasticsurgeryguide.com/injectables-and-fillers/juvederm.htm
- Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery. "Patient Financing for Plastic Surgery." June 2008. (Accessed July 20, 2009)http://www.yourplasticsurgeryguide.com/checklists/financing.htm
- Doheny, Kathleen. "Panel: Toughen Dermal Filler Warnings." WebMD Health News. November 18, 2008. (Accessed July 19, 2009)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/news/20081118/panel-toughen-dermal-filler-warnings?page=2
- Middleton Cosmetic Surgery Clinic. "Juvederm." (Accessed July 20, 2009)http://www.middletoncosmetic.com/Juvederm.html
- Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety. "Wrinkle Fillers." (Accessed July 20, 2009)http://www.injectablesafety.org/wrinkle-fillers/
- Singer, Natasha. "Questions on Using Fillers Near Eyes." The New York Times. November 20, 2008. (Accessed July 20, 2009)http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/20/fashion/20skin.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=juvederm&st=cse
- WebMD. "Wrinkle Fillers: What You Should Know." May 14, 2008. (Accessed July 19, 2009)http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/wrinkle-fillers-what-you-should-know