AUSTIN -- In the never-ending war on facial wrinkles just about everyone has heard of Botox, which inhibits the chemical that allows muscles to contract. However Botox isn't for everyone. Wrinkle fillers are injectable alternatives, but they too have their flaws, until now.
A local, facial, plastic surgeon says a new wrinkle filler, Belotero, fills those hard-to-treat wrinkles without the visible side effects.
Polly Newman of South Austin is proud to be 52. She's just not as proud of some of the age lines that come with it.
"Because I've got lots of lines," she said with a laugh. "I don't like getting old."
Doctors say as we age lines and wrinkles develop as the production of natural support structures diminish, structures like HA -- hyaluronic acid. HA's primary function is to bind and store water which creates volume in the face. It's sort of the body's internal moisturizer. Until now Newman has not been happy with many of the wrinkle-fighting products on the market.
"I've wanted to do something about the lines above my mouth and my upper lip," said Newman. "I've been too afraid to try the original fillers because I thought it would be too puffy."
"The other hyaluronic acids tend to be particulate," said Edward Buckingham, a facial plastic surgeon at Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery. "When you inject them, they can be a little more lumpy. That can be a good thing, but more specifically they scatter light. If you inject them too superficially you get what's called a Tyndall Effect, which is a little bluish hue under the skin, which clearly isn't desirable."
Buckingham says Belotero is extremely effective in filling the harder to treat superficial lines around the eyes, upper lip and lower cheek areas that have been treated unsuccessfully with other gel fillers.
"I've done and tried to take the other fillers and even dilute them down a little bit and try to fill these little fine lines around the eye," said Buckingham. "It always leaves you with this visible fullness. Now with this product you can take it right out of the syringe, place it right in those (hard to treat) lines, and it literally it feels like you are taking a pencil eraser and just erasing the line."
Newman was extremely pleased with the results of her first treatment.
"I think it's amazing," she said. "I think it's a little bit puffy right now on the upper lip, but as far as I can tell, most of the wrinkles are gone. It's very exciting."
One syringe Belotero treatment costs $585. Subsequent treatments are slightly less. The manufacturer claims depending on what part of the face receives the injection, one treatment can last up to a year.