• Juvéderm, an injectable facial filler, is used by cosmetic, dermatological, and plastic surgeons to soften deep folds and reduce wrinkles in {the} faces of patients. The substance is largely hyaluronic acid, a substance normally found in {the} skin, muscles, and tendons of mammals.
  • Approved in June 2006 by {the} U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Juvéderm’s prime use is removing nasolabial folds, or “smile lines,” creases of skin which run from {the} corners of {the} nose to {the} corners of {the} mouth.
  • It is also used as a lip augmentation agent, and to fill in hollow places and scars on {the} face. However, all hyaluronic acid facial filler products are eventually absorbed by {the} body, usually within six to nine months, causing {the} patient to undergo repeat injections to maintain {the} younger look. Juvéderm is also used by physicians to plump lips, which also lose fat and internal shape with normal aging.


Mechanism of action

  • Juvéderm works well for cosmetic and plastic surgery applications because hyaluronic acid can absorb up to 1,000 times its own weight in water, thereby adding new volume under {the} surface of sagging skin. Older faces take on more youthful aspects because hyaluronic acid is known to bind with collagen—{the} material that supports human facial skin—and elastin to move more basic nutrients into {the} skin.
  • When {the} University of Michigan organized a study on {the} dermal filler Restylane -- a close chemical sibling of Juvéderm—researchers found that hyaluronic acid stretches cells in skin known as fibroblasts in a way that causes {the} skin to create new collagen. The new collagen helps decrease {the} appearance of facial creases and wrinkles. An unexpected—and welcome—finding cropped up: hyaluronic acid also seems to stop {the} breakdown of existing collagen.

Potential risks and side effects

  • Patients, physicians and researchers say usual, expected side effects include temporary redness, pain and tenderness during injections and swelling and bruising at {the} injection sites. The more serious side effects include immune system reactions that result in facial lumps and bumps known as granulomas, bothersome reactions that are very difficult for physicians to treat.



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