Aquamid: Natural, Permanent Injectable Dermal Filler
Injectable fillers, such as Aquamid, come in many different varieties. These devices, also called dermal fillers, aim to improve the texture and nature of skin, especially skin that is mildly scarred, that is wrinkled. They can also be used to add fullness to lips and to skin lacking defined shape.
Dermal fillers are usually made from a substance called hyaluronic acid (also known as hyaluronan or HA). This is a biopolymer, or polymer (a type of complex molecule) made from living organisms (hence, “bio”). An example of another biopolymer that is used regularly and widely is cellulose, the carbohydrate compound that is used in so many things — including paper, card stock, and other fibrous materials.
How Injectable Fillers Work
Injectable fillers, aka dermal fillers or soft tissue fillers, are injected in the skin in a doctor’s office (such as: a plastic surgeon’s office) in a quick, outpatient procedures. Doctors performing this procedure will likely test a patient to see if they are allergic to the filler that they plan to use.
Fillers can be injected in various places and at various depths. Where and how much filler you get injected will ultimately depend on what you want — a dramatic improvement in wrinkles, a bit of extra contouring to the face, or maybe scar treatment. For example, I might get a large number of skin injections to try and combat some recessed scars that I’ve had trouble getting rid of. These will be localized and specific, targeting the scars. On the other hand, someone looking to give their face a bit of shape and smoothness may get only a few injections.
Some fillers are permanent, and some are temporary. Aquamid is the former. Designed to feel “natural” and to provide long lasting effects, Aquamid provides volume and contouring similar to other natural or synthetic fillers. It is not absorbable, unlike some fillers. It does not use HA, but Polyacrylamide, a different type of polymer that is highly absorbent (the rest of Aquamid’s formula is water) and is gel forming. Aquamid has not, of yet, been cleared for use in the United States.
Types of Fillers
There are other types of fillers, as well. Some are synthetic, some are not; some are absorbable and temporary and some are permanent, like Aquamid. Synthetic and non-synthetic fillers (all of which must be cleared for use by the FDA) offer similar effectiveness, depending on the individual product.
An example of a synthetic dermal filler is Artefill or Artecoll, which is also permanent (non absorbable). This is made from buffers, PMMA, and bovine collagen. Its main target is helping “smile lines.” Radiesse and Sculptra are also synthetic, but are “semi-permanent,” as their formulas are absorbable but after over a year of remaining in the skin, and the effects of their use can possibly be seen even after they are absorbed.
Aquamid is on the other end of the spectrum. Although all fillers are useful depending on who is using them and for what, Aquamid offers more permanent effects, while claiming to be “natural.” Although not available in the US, it is used in other countries, such as Asia.