What are Collagen Stimulators?
Collagen stimulators (also known as biostimulators or collagen stimulator fillers) are different from other dermal fillers as the active ingredient works to stimulate the body’s collagen production to restore facial volume and improve skin structure.
As we age the face loses volume and structure due to fat loss, ligament laxity and changes to the bony skeleton of the face. Collagen stimulator fillers can work to replace this lost volume and revitalise and rejuvenate the entire face. These treatments do not target specific areas or fill specific deficits like traditional dermal fillers and are used for a natural and long lasting result.
Due to strict Australian TGA rules regarding advertising prescription medications we are unable to name the brand of collagen stimulator used. This product contains poly-L-lactic acid which has been used in medicine for decades (over 30 years). It is also the same active product as in the Silhouette Soft Thread Lift. The product is biodegradable and biocompatible with a low risk profile. Once injected into the skin these micro particles work to stimulate collagen production over time, restoring structure and support of the skin and improving overall facial volume.
Collagen stimulator restore and enhance and will not drastically change your appearance. The results are long lasting up to 3 years when following the initial treatment plan.
What areas can be treated?
Collagen stimulators are best used for a total facial rejuvenation and volume restoration. It can improve volume in areas of skin depressions and creases such as nasolabial folds and marionette lines, replace volume and improve contours in the cheeks and temples and can also be used for large areas of volume loss (lipoatrophy).
What does the treatment involve?
The treatment is safe and uncomfortable. Prior to any treatment a thorough consultation and treatment planning with Dr Kate will determine your suitability to the treatment. It is important to note that collagen stimulator treatments provide a gradual result (over 3 months) with multiple initial treatments to give the best result. This treatment is for those who want a subtle and natural rejuvenation as there is no immediate ‘filling’ effect like with traditional dermal fillers.
During the treatment the solution will be injected into the areas of concern – either with a needle or a blunt microcannula. The average amount for an initial treatment is 2-3 vials of collagen stimulator. The procedure is comfortable and topical anaesthesia will be applied.
There will be an immediate correction and improvement in facial appearance due to the volume of the solution being injected and this is often a good indication of what the end result of treatment will be. This will resolve within a few hours to days as the water in the solution reabsorbs. Once the collagen stimulator has been injected a tissue inflammatory response is initiated which boosts natural collagen production.
After the treatment Dr Kate will massage the area firmly to ensure distribution of the product and many patients find they can go about their day without any down time.
How long does the treatment last?
Following the initial effect which slowly resolves the collagen production takes approximately 8 weeks. Results are usually evident at this time with the maximal result at 6 to 8 months. The results are gradual and natural.
During your consultation Dr Kate will determine how many treatment you may require. Generally 2-3 treatments are needed for optimal results and many patients find after this they only need one treatment every 2-3 years. The number of treatments will depend on your age, severity of volume loss and desired results.
A second treatment is required at 6-8 weeks usually of the same amount of product or a bit less with a third treatment often needed 6-8 weeks after the second (usually only 1 vial at this stage). By completing a full treatment course results are expected to last 24-36 months.
What happens after my treatment?
The aftercare following collagen stimulators is vitally important and not following the after care regime can affect the results of the treatment.
Immediately following the treatment there may be some generalised tenderness and discomfort which can be improved by a cool compress and paracetamol. Bruising is an expected effect of any injectable procedure and can be minimised by avoiding blood thinning medications and alcohol. This will be discussed at length at your initial consultation with Dr Kate. Avoid sun exposure, heat inducing activities and makeup for 24 hours after treatment.
The most important part of the after care is massage. You are required to firmly massage the treatment area for 5 minutes, 5 times per day for 5 days after the treatment. This is to minimise any adverse effects and to evenly distribute the product.
Is the treatment safe?
Collagen stimulators have been in Australia since 2002 and have a long safety record. There are expected side effects with any cosmetic injectable treatment such as local swelling, redness, tenderness and bruising which are self limiting and will not affect the end result of the treatment.
Rare complications may include lumpiness or nodule formation (primarily from not massaging during the week after treatment), the formation of granulomas and infection.
Like other dermal filler injections collagen stimulators cannot be given to women who are pregnant or breast feeding, have taken a course of Roaccutane in the last 3 months, have a history of auto-immune diseases or multiple allergies. No allergy testing is required prior to treatment.
Dr Kate will discuss all risks and contraindications prior to performing any procedure.