Add Volume to Smooth Wrinkles and Plump Lips
Every smile is beautiful, but some people wish their lips weren’t so thin or their mouth wasn’t bordered by age-revealing wrinkles. The solution to both those problems is available in a filler that joined the reliable and popular Juvéderm® line in 2016: Volbella®. Boston-area plastic surgeon Christopher Davidson, MD, added the injectable to his menu of services soon after it became available, giving his patients another option for smooth skin and full, luscious lips.
What Is Volbella®?
Similar to related dermal fillers used elsewhere on the face, such as Juvéderm® for nasolabial folds and deep creases, Volbella® is a gel specifically formulated to add volume where it is injected. The FDA approved Volbella® for use in treating perioral rhytids—the technical name for wrinkles around the mouth—and lip augmentation.
The primary ingredient in the gel is hyaluronic acid, a molecule found naturally throughout the body, where it holds onto water for maintaining healthy moisture levels, especially in the skin. Environmental damage and the effects of time cause hyaluronic acid to break down over time, and an aging body produces less than what was lost. Combined with a similar breakdown of collagen and elastin, the process can lead to the formation of wrinkles and lines, as well as sagging tissue as volume is lost.
In making Volbella®, manufacturer Allergan cross-links the hyaluronic acid molecules to give the gel a smooth texture that allows it to flow easily into the treatment area and provide new volume for subtle, rejuvenating results—as opposed to a sudden and apparent boost. The same process is used to create Voluma®, injected to restore volume to the mid-face area and lift sagging cheeks.
The Ideal Volbella® Candidate
The consistency of Volbella® makes it ideal for anyone older than 21 seeking a treatment that will reduce the appearance of linear lip lines and provide naturally smooth-looking skin.
The injectable’s volumizing benefits are particularly suited for people who either had full lips that have thinned over time or whose lips have always been smaller and less-noticeable than desired. Patients bothered by this feature, as well as by the development of perioral lines, can talk to Dr. Davidson to learn whether Volbella® will best suit their ultimate cosmetic goals.
Volbella® Treatment Details
Volbella® is injected with a very fine needle and contains a small amount of lidocaine to minimize discomfort. The injection process itself can take as little as 15 minutes. Visible results are immediate, though they may “settle” somewhat as any minor swelling reduces in the treated area over the days following a session. The volumizing effects can last for up to a year, providing 12 months of smoothed-out wrinkles and fuller, rounder lips.
Women and men seeking to match the rest of their face to a newly smoothed-out mouth area have several options, including other dermal fillers, as well as BOTOX®, which doesn’t add volume to wrinkles, but relaxes the muscles that form them on the forehead and to the side of either eye. A microlaser peel or laser resurfacing can also provide more youthful-looking skin.