Age can bring many positive things -- experience, wisdom, self-awareness -- but it also brings some visual reminders of the years gone by, like wrinkles and sagging skin. People may not mind getting older, but most don't want to look older, and they'll do anything they can to avoid it.
Making lines and droopy skin disappear used to be the domain of dramatic measures like face-lifts and tummy tucks, but now many people who want to avoid surgery turn to less invasive procedures like Botox and collagen injections. Radiesse, a semipermanent dermal filler, is another nonsurgical product that people can use to decrease the facial signs of aging.
Also known as skin fillers, dermal fillers are injected under a person's skin to reduce wrinkles and lines on the surface. Collagen, hyaluronic acid and fat are all commonly used as dermal fillers. Fillers are less invasive than a face-lift, but they also don't last nearly as long -- some no longer than a few months [source: Mayo Clinic].
Radiesse in particular can smooth out deep wrinkles and lines around the nose and mouth. It can also add contours to areas of the face that have lost their shape due to sagging skin, such as the cheeks and jaw line [source: Mayo Clinic]. But what really sets Radiesse apart is that it stimulates the growth of new collagen, the protein in your skin that gives it a smooth texture and youthful elasticity. Radiesse is made up of synthetic calcium hydroxylapatite suspended in a gel [source: FDA]. As the gel is absorbed by the body, it leaves the calcium hydroxylapatite behind. But your body's natural collagen eventually fills in the space that the gel left behind.
This may sound good, but it's not all there is to know about Radiesse. Read on learn whether or not these treatments are actually effective.