Over the years a variety of filler agents have been successfully used. Each filler is a different material and the duration of filling may vary between the different substances.
Bovine collagen (Zyderm® and Zyplast®) was approved by the FDA 2 decades ago. It was the first filler agent to become very popular in the United States. Typically it is used for smile lines and other wrinkles, lip enhancement and scar correction because bovine collagen is derived from cow collagen, skin tests on the arm are required in an attempt to determine collagen allergy. Results, after treatment, typically last 2-6 months.
Human collagen (Cosmoderm® and Cosmoplast®) is used much like bovine collagen. Typically human collagen is used for smile lines and other wrinkles, lip enhancement and scar correction. These materials are among the more popular filler agents for lip enhancement or for the patient who likes collagen, but prefers not to have bovine collagen. In contrast to bovine collagen, human collagen treatment does not require skin tests. Results typically last 2-6 months.
Among the newer filler agents are those containing non-animal stabilized hyaluronic acid . This sugar-like material is highly popular in Europe and Canada. Recent FDA studies have been undertaken for 2 different hyaluronic acids (Restylane® and Hylaform®). Generally skin tests are not required. The material is soft and is very popular for the treatment of smile lines. Results typically last 3-8 months.
Radiance® is a filler agent made up of calcium material called calcium hydroxylapatite. This material is approved by the FDA for vocal cord injections and has also been used for the treatment of wrinkles. It is unique among fillers in that results can last up to 2 years. This agent is very popular for those patients with deeper smile lines who want longer lasting results.