What is Belotero Balance®?
Belotero Balance® is a dermal filler approved by the FDA in 2011 for the correction of moderate-to-severe facial wrinkles and folds. Similar to Restylane® (Medicis) and Juvedérm® (Allergan), Belotero Balance® is a hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler. The soft, smooth consistency of this cohesive gel makes it useful for filling in the more challenging fine lines and wrinkles with less risk of superficial lumpiness or swelling, compared to similar products when injected more superficially. This product seems particularly suited for areas such as the tear troughs or fine vertical lines (“smoker’s lines”) around the mouth and lip area.
Hyaluronic acid is a natural, sugar-based substance that is produced by the body and found in the dermis of skin, joints, eye, and other places.
What should I expect for my initial visit?
Our doctor will sit down with you to determine if this treatment is an appropriate choice for you. We have many different types of dermal fillers and other treatments to choose from. Each and every filler has it’s own set of unique properties or characteristics, and should chosen to best address your particular need(s). Depending on the area to be treated, we have the option to numb the treatment area with topical cream, local anesthetic or “dental block” procedure, which is simple and presents little or no discomfort.
How long will it last?
Restylane® (20mg/ml) or Juvedérm® (24mg/ml), and Belotero Balance® (22mg/ml) are all cross-linked hyaluronic acid fillers that are similar, but slightly different based on proprietary methods of manufacture. In the treatment of nasolabial folds, one can expect a treatment to last at least 6 months based on a randomized, double-blind, active-controlled, multicenter study. Anecdotally, as seen with comparable cross-linked hyaluronic acid fillers, one might expect results to last much longer than this depending on the degree of correction at the time of treatment.
What should I expect after treatment?
Unlike neurotoxins that take days to weeks to reach maximum treatment benefit, dermal filler results are immediate. Hyaluronic acid fillers such as Belotero Balance® are hydrophilic, meaning that they are water loving or attract water. The trauma from the procedure can cause swelling, which is to say there may be some fluid (edema) in tissue that is retained by the presence of filler. Although most people are very happy immediately after treatment, there is the chance of mild swelling or an occasionally bruise. For this reason, if you’re planning on attending an important social event (e.g., wedding, reunion), it may be prudent to give yourself at least 1-2 weeks recovery time. You may apply make-up over the treatment area if desired.
We recommend that you not touch the treatment area for at least six hours, as this may create additional swelling or bruising.
If you were given an anesthetic for the procedure, you will experience some post-procedure numbness, which will subside.
You may apply ice or cold compresses to the treatment area to minimize swelling or discomfort. You can also take Tylenol® for pain, but this is rarely needed.
If I start treatments with dermal fillers will I look worse when I stop?
This is a question we get asked every now and then. The use of neurotoxin or dermal filler products can be thought of as curative and preventive. Since we minimize the creasing of skin, the overall condition of the fold, wrinkle or crease actually improves with treatment. Should you decide not to maintain corrective treatments, the skin condition at the site of treatment will slowly regress, but is expected to look better for a while than it would have without treatment. Of course the passage of time and the aging process will continue as usual, but you should not expect to look worse (compared with baseline aging).
Peer-reviewed medical journal articles support the idea that these treatments stimulate ones own collagen production, and is consistent with what we see in patients we have treated over the course of time. Some fillers such as Sculptra® , Artefill® and Radiesse® are designed to be bio-stimulatory. Although hyaluronic acid (H.A.) fillers are traditionally thought of as volume replacers, the “injection of cross-linked hyaluronic acid stimulates collagen synthesis, partially restoring dermal matrix component….” (Archives of Dermatology, In Vivo Stimulation of De Novo Collagen Production Caused by Cross-linked Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Filler Injections in Photodamaged Human Skin, February 2007)