Calcium Hydroxylapatite: A Complete Guide
As we grow older, the skin, fat, bones, and muscles in our faces become thinner and start to sag due to the normal aging process. There is reduced collagen and elastin in the skin, causing it to become less dense and resilient. The changes associated with the aging process lead to the formation of moderate to severe fine lines, folds, wrinkles, nasolabial folds, and marionette lines. They also cause volume loss requiring soft tissue augmentation. Dermal fillers can improve the appearance of moderate to severe skin aging by reducing, repairing, and even reversing some of the changes associated with the aging process. In this article, we give you the lowdown on calcium hydroxylapatite CaHA, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved dermal filler that can take the years off your face.
What is injectable calcium hydroxylapatite?
Calcium hydroxylapatite CaHA, brand name Radiesse, is a widely used biocompatible injectable dermal filler that is effective for facial rejuvenation and hand rejuvenation. Calcium hydroxylapatite CaHA is a sterile, gel-like, latex-free soft tissue filler that has a well-established long term safety and efficacy record with a low incidence of side effects. A calcium hydroxylapatite filler treatment can give you a natural looking youthful appearance by reversing the effects of the aging process. It can correct moderate to severe wrinkles and folds. It can also help you achieve correction of nasolabial folds, marionette lines, and other facial soft tissue augmentation.
Injectable calcium hydroxylapatite CaHA is a unique filler product because it does two things. First, the CaHA replaces volume loss which is useful for things like correction of nasolabial folds. Second, it stimulates collagen production to correct moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds and marionette lines. Collagen is a protein that is the main building block of several tissues in the body, including the skin. With age, the amount of collagen production in the skin diminishes, leading to the formation of moderate to severe facial wrinkles. By replacing collagen, injectable calcium hydroxylapatite CaHA gives your skin a plumper, younger, fresher look. The CaHA dermal filler provides immediate replacement of volume loss for facial soft tissue augmentation. It also provides longer-lasting volume enhancement through collagen production.
What is calcium hydroxylapatite best used for?
The development of moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, volume loss, collagen and elastin breakdown, tissue laxity, skin sagging, localized fat loss, and bone loss all play a role in making the facial skin appear aged. The physical properties of injectable calcium hydroxylapatite, i.e., its high viscosity and elasticity, make it an extremely versatile dermal filler. Calcium hydroxylapatite CaHA can be used to address many aspects of facial rejuvenation, including filling lines, tightening the skin, lifting sagging tissues, adding volume, and contouring.
In the upper face, volume restoration with injectable calcium hydroxylapatite CaHA dermal filler can help improve sunken temples through collagen production. The CaHA treatment can also be used to lift the outer edges of the eyebrows which sometimes droop with age. Some patients may be candidates for a combined treatment with Radiesse filler and Botox to relax the muscles that pull the eyebrow down.
In the mid-face, injectable calcium hydroxylapatite CaHA dermal filler can lift sagging tissues, improve the tear trough, reduce lower lid lag, and restore volume loss in the cheeks to give patients a more youthful appearance.
In the lower face, injectable calcium hydroxylapatite dermal filler can help to treat deep nasolabial folds and marionette lines. CaHA dermal fillers can also help better define the jawline and disguise jowls in patients.
When is injectable calcium hydroxylapatite appropriate?
CaHA dermal fillers are used to treat wrinkles, fine lines, nasolabial folds, marionette lines, chin lines, and the pre-jowl sulcus. Injectable calcium hydroxylapatite soft tissue fillers can also be used for hand rejuvenation. Calcium hydroxylapatite is also used in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection to correct HIV associated facial lipoatrophy (loss of facial fat).
Where is calcium hydroxylapatite NOT injected?
Calcium hydroxylapatite soft tissue fillers have a good safety record for nearly two decades. The risk of side effects from these soft tissue augmentation products is low. However, the safety and effectiveness of CaHA dermal fillers has not been established in some areas of the face. Consequently, Radiesse products are not offered for lip augmentation, fine lines under the eyes, and fine lines around the mouth.
There has been some debate about the safety record and efficacy results of hydroxylapatite Radiesse for treatment of the cheeks, i.e., external injection versus internal injection through the mouth. Experts say there is no clear advantage to injecting calcium hydroxylapatite dermal filler through the mouth to augment the cheeks. The internal injection technique carries a risk of infection from oral bacteria which can be dragged along with the needle to the dermal filler injection site. Because of the lack of safety and efficacy results, this technique is usually not recommended.
How does Radiesse stimulate collagen?
Radiesse is an injectable calcium hydroxylapatite filler. It is biodegradable, meaning it is a temporary dermal filler material that degrades over time. Other dermal fillers like hyaluronic acid and PLLA are also biodegradable. Calcium hydroxylapatite Radiesse fillers consist of synthetic microspheres suspended in an aqueous carrier gel. The CaHA gel carrier in the dermal filler gradually dissipates, leaving the calcium hydroxylapatite microspheres at the injection site. The microspheres act like a scaffold to support skin structure. The microspheres also activate fibroblasts in the skin. Fibroblasts are cells that synthesize collagen, the protein that gives the skin its youthful appearance. Over time, both the calcium hydroxylapatite CaHA gel carrier and the microspheres in the dermal filler are broken down by the body.
Calcium hydroxylapatite dermal filler material has physical characteristics that give it the ability to provide volume and lift. Compared to other dermal fillers like hyaluronic acid, Radiesse has a high viscosity which allows it to remain in place. This makes it less likely that calcium hydroxylapatite Radiesse dermal filler will migrate from the injection site to surrounding tissues. Radiesse CaHA filler also has high elasticity, which gives it a greater lifting capacity compared to other dermal fillers.
How long does Radiesse soft tissue augmentation last?
After a Radiesse calcium hydroxylapatite CaHA dermal filler treatment, there is an immediate volume correction as well as continued improvement over the ensuing months. New collagen growth occurs as early as one month after the Radiesse CaHA filler injection and continues for at least 12 months. The average duration of results from Radiesse calcium hydroxylapatite CaHA dermal fillers is 12 to 18 months, according to a study published in an aesthetic surgery journal. However, some patients note that Radiesse CaHA dermal filler results can last for as long as 24 months. A longer duration of CaHA dermal filler results can be achieved with a touch-up at 12 months follow up. At this time, a smaller amount of the calcium hydroxylapatite CaHA dermal filler product is injected compared to the first time.
What is necessary before considering injectable calcium hydroxylapatite?
It is important that patients consult a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon for Radiesse calcium hydroxylapatite CaHA dermal fillers. At the initial consultation for calcium hydroxylapatite treatment, the doctor will examine your skin and obtain a detailed health history. They will understand your concerns and talk to you about the best way to address them, either with Radiesse calcium hydroxylapatite CaHA products or other dermal fillers like hyaluronic acid HA. The consultation is necessary so that you have realistic expectations from the calcium hydroxylapatite CaHA filler treatment.
The consultation also ensures that patients are not taking any medications, such as blood thinners, that can increase the risk of bleeding with Radiesse calcium hydroxylapatite CaHA dermal filler treatment. Patients who take these medications can usually have the CaHA dermal fillers after temporarily stopping the blood thinners for some time.
The doctor will also ensure there is no skin infection that can lead to complications from the Radiesse calcium hydroxylapatite facial rejuvenation treatment. Patients who have skin infections may be asked to wait for the CaHA filler treatment until the infection resolves.
Who is not a good candidate for calcium hydroxylapatite?
Injectable calcium hydroxylapatite Radiesse treatment is not recommended for patients with active skin infections, oral herpes, or other infections. Use of calcium hydroxylapatite is not advisable in patients with blood clotting problems or bleeding disorders. They may be advised to avoid CaHA treatment. Also, those with uncontrolled diabetes may not be good candidates for CaHA or other dermal filler treatments like hyaluronic acid HA.
An allergy to calcium hydroxylapatite microspheres or similar products, an allergy to lidocaine, or multiple severe allergies are contraindications to treatment with dermal fillers. People with an increased susceptibility to scarring or keloid formation are not considered ideal candidates for CaHA dermal fillers. Lastly, pregnant or breastfeeding patients may be advised to wait before getting CaHA dermal fillers.
Are calcium hydroxylapatite injections painful?
Your doctor will apply a numbing cream or give you an anesthetic injection to reduce discomfort from the Radiesse calcium hydroxylapatite filler. You may also apply ice before and after the soft tissue fillers are injected to ease swelling and discomfort.
What to expect after calcium hydroxylapatite injections?
Radiesse calcium hydroxylapatite soft tissue filler treatment is an office procedure that typically takes around 30 minutes. You can return to your normal routine immediately after the calcium hydroxylapatite injections, but your doctor may advise you to avoid strenuous activity for a day. You will also be advised to minimize sun and heat exposure to the treated area for 24 hours or until the side effects like swelling and redness have resolved. Your doctor will talk to you about avoiding application of firm pressure on the area where the calcium hydroxylapatite filler was placed.
What are the potential complications or side effects of calcium hydroxylapatite fillers?
Most patients tolerate Radiesse fillers well. There may be some minor swelling, itching, redness, and bruising at the filler injection site, but this typically resolves in a few days. Occasionally, calcium hydroxylapatite fillers can lead to more serious adverse events like allergic reactions, numbness, formation of blisters or cysts, and infection. Side effects like skin infection can be prevented by carefully cleaning the skin before the treatment. There is the rare case report of blindness due to vascular occlusion.
You can reduce your risk of side effects from injectable calcium hydroxylapatite fillers by choosing an experienced dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or specialist to perform the treatment. They can advise you whether you will benefit more from CaHA microspheres or another filler product like hyaluronic acid (HA). They will also be able to tell you what to expect in terms of improvement for specific concerns, for example, marionette lines, treatment of nasolabial folds long term, fine lines near the eyes, or concerns about hand rejuvenation.
How much does Radiesse cost?
Prices for fillers like Radiesse calcium hydroxylapatite CaHA can vary greatly depending on where you live, the location and extent of the treatment, and the expertise of your doctor. In general, Radiesse injectable calcium hydroxylapatite treatment costs around $750, but the cost can vary depending on how many injections you need.
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