Juvederm is an injectable filler composed mainly of a natural sugar called hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronate or hyaluronan. This carbohydrate polymer has been nick named, the “goo” compound, which is commonly found in the extra cellular matrix. It is also a major constituent of synovial fluid found in joints. Hyaluron enables the fluid to function as a lubricant and contributes to its viscosity. Additionally to the joints, hyaluronic acid is also found in the skin, muscles and tendons.
As a cosmetic injection, Juvederm is used to fill in the deep creases in the skin, particularly the parenthesis around the mouth, also known as nasolabial folds. It can also fill in recesses in the skin’s surface formed by acne scar tissue.
Since lips tend to lose their volume with age, Juvederm injections can be used as a lip enhancement to make them more plump and full.
Here are before and after pictures of a Los Angeles patient who received Juvederm for lip augmentation:
Here is a video of another Los Angeles patient undergoing a lip enhancement procedure using Juvederm:
In 1934, Columbia University researchers, Karl Meyer and John Palmer studied hyaluronic acid by isolating it from a cow’s eye. They found that the compound plays a major role in hydrating the skin and maintaining its volume.
More recent studies compared Juvederm to an existing collagen filler known as Zyplast. 146 subjects had Juvederm injected into a smile line on one side of the face and Zyplast injected into the other side. The duration of the research lasted 24 weeks. Subjective and scientifically objective rating standards were used to assess the corrections resulting from both brands. Based on these indices, Juvederm significantly outperformed Zyplast. Additional studies assessed the safety factors associated with Juvederm prior to its approval by the FDA in 2006
In its natural form, hyalauronic acid is a liquid which is metabolized by the body within half a day. It requires a specialized cross-linking process to convert it into a gel. This is accomplished by binding the acid chains inherent in it’s chemical structure. As a gel, Juvederm is able to last 6-9 months before being absorbed by the body.
Hyalauronic acid acts as a water absorbant, making it ideal for cosmetic procedure applications as it adds both hydration and volume to thin sagging skin. Juvederm also binds with collagen and elastin which are natural components of the skin. This binding action further enhances the rejuvenation process by providing nutrients and additional firmness.
Hyalauronic acid stretches fibroblast cells which are responsible for synthesizing collagen and creating the extracellular matrix. Stretching the fibroblasts prompts the creation of new collagen, which further reduces the appearance of wrinkles. At the same time, hyalauronic acid inhibits the breakdown of collagen.
Juvederm should not be administered to patients who are allergic to bacterial proteins. And also it should be avoided in those who are hypersensitive to drugs and proteins. Other restrictions include histories of anaphylaxis, a type of allergic reaction.
In addition to possible allergic and immune reactions, other side effects include:
Juvederm is able to give remarkable, natural looking results. It is ideal for patients who want subtle improvements without invasive forms of treatment. The effects are not permanent. Injections need to be administered regularly.
Click here to read about an alternative to Juvederm.