WHAT IS IT?
Dermal fillers are a group of non-toxic substances that are injected under the skin at various depths to smooth out fine lines, deep wrinkles, nasolabial folds, and acne scars, volumize and define lips, contour the chin and nose, or plump up sunken cheeks or temples for a full, lifted appearance.
Belotero (Merz Aesthetic) is one of the lightest dermal fillers available. Sometimes called the “starter filler,” it is ideal for someone who wants to reduce fine lines around the lips, corners of the mouth, and minor marionette lines (the lines from the corners of your mouth down toward your jawline).
Belotero is made with a hyaluronic acid gel. “Hyaluronic acid is a sugar that’s found naturally in your skin and makes your joint spaces feel slippery. Its function is to absorb water, deliver nutrients, and act as a cushioning agent. So when you inject it into your skin, it acts like a sponge and expands to fill in wrinkles and folds and support sunken areas,” explains Dr. Debra Wattenberg, who specializes in cosmetic dermatology in her New York City boutique clinic, SkincareRX, and is an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital. The extra water brought to the skin’s surface also imparts a fresh, glowing radiance and a soft, supple skin texture. These injections induce a robust production of collagen, which helps to further firm and plump your skin and reduce wrinkles over time.
There are other brands of dermal fillers comparable to Belotero, such as Juvederm Ultra and Restalyne, and they all have slightly different compounds and consistencies and are designed to be administered at various depths in your skin. It’s really up to your cosmetic doctor to choose which ones are best to address your needs, but in general, Belotero is one of the lightest formulas. “Belotero is thinner than many of the other fillers, so it can be injected very high up in the skin without the risk of causing bumps, lumps, or much of a bluish cast, called a Tyndall Effect, which happens with thicker fillers. That’s why Belotero is primarily used to treat those first shallow fine lines, especially around the mouth where the skin is very thin,” explains Dr. Wattenberg. In many cases, a combination of two or more dermal filler brands applied to different areas will be most effective for optimal facial rejuvenation.
In contrast to some other dermal fillers available on the market, Belotero does not come premixed with lidocaine, but many doctors will mix in a similar numbing substance.
A few words of caution: “If a hyaluronic acid based dermal filler gets inadvertently injected into a blood vessel, it can cause some significant side effects such as skin breakdown, ulceration, or necrosis of the skin. Thankfully, a quick injection of hyaluronidase, an enzyme, can immediately reverse those negative effects,” explains Dr. Wattenberg. It’s important you go to a qualified cosmetic doctor who can quickly diagnose this type of situation and administer the antidote. Browse The Book for the best experts in your city. Improper injections can also result in an infection.
WHO IS IT FOR?
Belotero treatments show results on all skin types and skin colors, but are ideal for those seeking to smooth fine lines and folds, and plump areas with minor skin depression or fat loss. Belotero offers subtle results, so those wishing to fill deep-set wrinkles should consider more vigorous treatments, such as Juvederm Ultra Plus or Perlane.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use dermal fillers. Anyone who has recently used blood thinners or has a bleeding disorder should also avoid dermal fillers. You should also be cautious if you’ve had previous bad allergic reactions that have required in-hospital treatment.
WHAT DOES THE TREATMENT FEEL LIKE?
Belotero treatments are fast and relatively painless. Typically, a topical anesthetic is first applied to eliminate any discomfort. Once that takes effect, the dermal filler, a thin gel-like substance, is injected into the target area using a tiny, fine needle.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
10 to 30 minutes
ARE THERE IMMEDIATE SIDE EFFECTS?
There is no downtime associated with Belotero treatments. Immediate visible side effects are minimal and may include temporary redness, tenderness, swelling, or bruising at the injection site, which can easily be concealed with makeup. In rare cases, small bumps may appear under the skin at the injection site. If they don’t dissipate within a week, check back in with your doctor.
WHAT ARE ANTICIPATED RESULTS?
Everyone can experience different results. A dose in one woman can result in a dramatic change, while it may have a very minimal impact on someone else. The effects of Belotero should be immediately visible, with continuous correction as new collagen regenerates. The area of injection should instantly appear smoother and fuller, with more volume and definition than before receiving the treatment.
RECOMMENDED COURSE FOR OPTIMAL RESULTS?
One injection of Belotero tends to last 4 to 6 months, so 1 to 2 treatments per year will help maintain results. Over time, you may actually need less frequent visits and smaller doses thanks to the long-term benefits of creating new collagen.
WHO SHOULD GIVE ME THIS TREATMENT?
You should only visit an actively board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Dermatologists should be certified by the American Board of Dermatology (ABD). Plastic Surgeons should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Both of those boards are part of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), a non-profit organization that is considered the gold standard of physician certification. Consult the Charlotte’s Book Premier Provider directory to find a doctor who meets these standards and specializes in this treatment. For more information about how we choose our providers, please read Credentials We Abide By.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Expect to pay a minimum of $700 depending on how many injections you need.
To decrease your risk of bruising after treatment avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E, or St. John’s Wort for 1 week prior to your treatment. Apply ice to the treated area for a day or two after getting injected.
Doctors often use dermal fillers in conjunction with an injectable like Botox as a surefire way to smooth smoker’s lines and plump up thin lips. What better way to reward yourself after finally kicking the habit?
If a rash or pimple pops up in the area that you want to treat on injection day, postpone your treatment until it heals completely. A dermal filler injection could delay healing or make your skin problems even worse.
Disclaimer: As always, this information is provided to you for educational and/or informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an endorsement of any particular product, treatment, or procedure. This information is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about any procedure or treatment, users should always consult their doctor or other qualified health care professional. Please visit our Terms of Service to view our full disclaimers.