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Dermal Filler Highlight: Radiesse

Radiesse is a synthetic filler made from calcium hydroxylapatite microspheres instead of hyaluronic acid. It has the same restorative and volume-adding capacity as hyaluronic acid, but has some key differences and advantages as well.

Radiesse’s calcium hydroxylapatite microspheres can be used to treat most of the same areas as hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers, including moderate to severe wrinkles and lines in the face and volume loss in the face and hands. However, due to its consistency, it is not advisable for use in the lips.

These calcium-based microspheres fill in the spaces in the skin similar to other dermal fillers, adding volume and creating a support structure in the skin. However, it also has the added effect of stimulating collagen growth in the area. Over time, while the calcium hydroxylapatite breaks down, it leaves a lattice of collagen in the area, maintaining the volumizing effect in the area.

Radiesse has a more viscous consistency and is well suited for moderate to severe wrinkles and fold and for adding volume to sunken areas. It can also be used for eyebrow lifts, cheek augmentation and other procedures that need a firmer dermal filler. The downside to its firm structure is it is more difficult to mold or correct once it is injected.

Calcium hydroxylapatite also has the advantage of lasting longer in the body than hyaluronic acid. That and since it leaves behind collagen, the effects of Radiesse stay for longer, meaning you will need fewer treatments to maintain it.

Since calcium is also naturally part of the body, Radiesse has a good tolerability with minimal risk for reactions or side effects. If there are any side effects, they should disappear within 5 to 10 days from the procedure without any intervention. Radiesse products also have an option for added lidocaine to further reduce any discomfort from the procedure. A cold compress may be used on the injection area to reduce any pain or swelling.

Radiesse is not approved for use on patient who are experiencing the following:

  • bleeding disorders
  • allergies to the ingredients
  • pregnant or lactating

Though side effects are uncommon, most of these are from the injection procedure itself and should dissipate within a few days.

  • bruising
  • swelling
  • discoloration
  • rash
  • light bleeding
  • pain around the injection site

These are more severe complications that are rare, but should be reported to your physician if any of them occur.

  • Allergic reactions
  • Infection
  • Tissue necrosis due to occlusion of or injection into blood vessels.

Administration of these products should take less than an hour with no need for significant recovery time. You should avoid strenuous activities like exercise as well as the use of makeup for the first 24 hours. 

You should be able to see the effects of these products immediately after the procedure and these can last up to 2 years.