Published September 14, 2022
Some people will say that smile lines are proof that we’ve lived a life of laughter. Though they’re not wrong, smile lines are also proof that you are getting older. This is why a lot of people are turning to cosmetic treatments to get rid of or at least minimize the appearance of their smile lines.
While there are lots of cosmetic procedures that can treat smile lines, nothing is as specialized as artefill.
What is Artefill?
Artefill is a permanent injectable filler made from polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) microspheres floating in bovine collagen and lidocaine, a type of anesthetic. It’s often used to treat nasolabial folds, commonly known as smile lines. It also offers a long-lasting solution to those wanting to get rid of fine lines, folds, and wrinkles.
If you’re not familiar, PMMA is a type of synthetic resin often referred to as transparent thermoplastics. In layman’s terms, it’s also known as acrylic, acrylic glass, and the brand name Plexiglass.
Since it’s a type of plastic, these synthetic microspheres aren’t absorbed by the body. As a result, it creates some sort of a permanent scaffolding from which your tissues can grow. These new tissues fill in the fine lines and wrinkles on your face leaving it much smoother, plumper, and younger.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Artefill in October 2006 for the treatment of nasolabial lines and folds, although the treatment was rebranded as Bellafill in 2014.
Currently, Artefill is accessible in the United Kingdom and Australia. Between 1994 to 2006, a previous version called Artecoll was also marketed outside the United States.
Additionally, studies have shown that Artefill can also be very useful in treating mature, and mildly depressed “rolling” acne scars.
Pros and Cons of Artefill
Not sure if you should get artefill? No worries. We’ve listed down its pros and cons to help you decide:
- Artefill has a five-year shelf life—significantly longer than collagen or hyaluronic acid fillers, whose enzymes degrade after approximately a year.
- Because your body’s own collagen will act as wrinkle fillers, the results tend to look natural.
- The results are almost immediate since the microspheres aren’t absorbed into the body.
- The procedure and the injectable filler are all approved by the USFDA which means that it’s safe and does not pose any major health risk.
- It requires no downtime. Patients can go back to their usual activities right after the procedure.
- The standard procedure involves a skintest before the injection is administered. This helps avoid any unwanted allergic reactions.
- It’s widely available across the US.
- Most patients get their desired results after just one to two sessions.
- Artefill is not recommended for use on parts of the face with thinner skin, such as the crow’s feet or eyelids.
- Because it contains bovine collagen, vegetarians and vegans, as well as those allergic to bovine collagen, should avoid it.
- It can cause lumps and inflammations which can be difficult for doctors to treat.
- The procedure involves an injection which might not sit well with people who fear needles.
- People with severe scarring and skin issues may not qualify for artefill.
Remember that artefill is a synthetic material. So there’s bound to be some risks and side-effects that you’ll have to contend with. Some of the possible side effects of an artefill injection are:
- Rash or itching for more than 48 hours after the treatment
- Persistent redness and swelling
- Skin sensitivity
- Lumps and bumps on the injection site (especially if the one doing the procedure isn’t that skilled)
- Risk of tissue overgrowth which may cause your face to become lopsided
In general, these side effects are rare and in most cases, avoidable.
On average, an artefill treatment costs around $2,150, but it can range anywhere from $300 to $4,500. The cost will vary depending on your provider’s competence and level of experience, the location of their clinic, and the amount of filler utilized.
How is Artefill Used?
Artefill injections are injected by a physician directly into the chosen treatment area. At the moment, it is only approved for use in the nasolabial folds. Unlike collagen-based fillers, Artefill does not require an excessive injection to address wrinkles. Due to the filler’s nature, the effects of an Artefill injection are instantaneous and do not diminish rapidly.
What Happens During Artefill Treatment?
Prior to your treatment, your practitioner may conduct a skin test to rule out a bovine collagen allergy. Additionally, you will be asked about any drugs you are taking, if you are pregnant, and if you are prone to scarring.
Your practitioner may numb the treatment region with a topical anesthetic before injecting Artefill into the lines or folds, gradually increasing the amount of filler to get the desired effect.
The entire procedure should take between 30 minutes and an hour, depending on the number of areas to be treated.
What to Expect During Artefill Recovery
Mild bruising is normal for up to three weeks and modest swelling for three to ten days.
You can reduce swelling by abstaining from alcohol for several days prior to and during your treatment and avoiding strenuous workouts, saunas, hot tubs, and other high-heat situations until the swelling diminishes.
Apart from the swelling and bruising, there is no downtime – you can resume your daily activities right after your procedure.
How Long Will Artefill Results Last?
You’ll notice instant improvements, which will continue to improve for three to six months as the PMMA microspheres stimulate collagen production. Moreover, the effects of the procedure can last up to five years. There have even been some reports of artefill results lasting up to ten years.
Can Artefill Be Removed?
Yes, artefill can be removed. If the synthetic microspheres are only embedded skin deep, they can be removed through microdermabrasion. But if it had been embedded deeper and tissues have started growing around it, then the PMMA microspheres can only be removed through plastic surgery.
Final Thoughts on Artefill
In general, Artefill has a very high rate of satisfaction for both patients and physicians. Its effects have been shown to be long-lasting. It’s called a permanent injectable wrinkle filler for a reason after all.
Though artefill procedures are generally on the more expensive side of the dermal filler spectrum, it produces long-lasting effects. This makes it highly cost-effective.
All in all, when performed by qualified practitioners, it’s an effective treatment if you want to keep your youthful glow for much longer.
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About The Author
Judy Ponio is a professional writer and SEO specialist. She works hard to ensure her work uses accurate facts by cross checking reputable sources. She is the lead author for several prominent websites covering a variety of topics including law, health, nutrition, and more.