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The Wrinkle Wars

The FDA approved a new wrinkle filler called LaViv that is made from patients' own cells. But is it worth the hassle and expense?

October 7th, 2011

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The Wrinkle Wars

A decade ago, if you had wrinkles, they could be filled only with collagen made from cows, or maybe with your own fat.  Alternatively, you could stretch those wrinkles with a facelift, sand them down with dermabrasion, blast them awaywith a laser, or melt them with chemical peels.

All of those “wrinkles cures” had many problems. So, the FDA approval of the very safe and simple technique of hyaluronic acid injection seven years ago shook the wrinkle world upside down. 

The first hyaluronic acid approved was Restylane. Hyaluronic acid is an ingredient that your body seems to ignore after injection because is it naturally found in your own skin. That fact became the death knell for collagen, because collagen was seen as foreign by your body and it was attacked and dismembered quickly.

And sometimes the war against the cow collagen confused your body and the barrage against the injected stuff resulted in an attack against your own collagen. That caused a disease called rheumatoid arthitis. 

MORE: Guide to Filling Wrinkles

Since Restylane was ignored by your body, it happily sat there and filled your wrinkles for a year or even longer. Shortly after Restylane hit the U.S., other hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvederm and Prevelle were introduced. These were followed by other more durable fillers like Radiesse, made of calcium hydroxylapatite and Sculptra, made from a type of sugar called polylactic acid.

More recently, a plastic containing filler called Artefill was approved. It lasted, well, as long as you last… You may think that a permanent filler sounds great, but if there are problems with that filler, the problems may also be permanent.

By last year, nearly 2 million people had these various new fillers injected into wrinkles all over their faces. And now that there were safe, durable fillers, the one that started it all, cow collagen, lost so much market share that it was no longer profitable. And so it was gone.

So, you might be surprised to learn that a new collagen was just FDA approved. It’s called LaViv, and this one may be a game changer.

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