RHA Dermal Fillers
Since the approval of Restylane by the FDA in 2005 with Juvéderm following in 2006, dermal fillers have been a popular feature of the aesthetic world. In fact, after Botox, those two dermal fillers are the most popular cosmetic injectables around the globe.
But now you could call those “first generation fillers.” Recently a new series of fillers was approved by the FDA for use in the United States — Resilient Hyaluronic Acid dermal fillers, RHA fillers for short. They’ve been available in Europe for over five years, but recently received FDA approval for the U.S. market.
We’re excited to offer all three Teoxane RHA fillers at American Surgical Arts.
What are RHA fillers?
RHA stands for resilient hyaluronic acid, and this is the latest advance in dermal filler science. These fillers take all the great aspects of hyaluronic acid — naturally occurring substance in the human body; binds with nearby water molecules when injected; hydrates, plumps, and firms the skin — and improve upon them. RHA dermal fillers are designed for the dynamics of our facial movements, so the volume they provide looks more natural and adapts to movement without breaking down as quickly.
There are currently three available Teoxane RHA dermal fillers, RHA 2, RHA 3, and RHA 4. These fillers all received FDA approval in late 2017. Since then, Dr. Bidic and Dr. Gundlapalli have been researching these fillers and have recently added them for our patients from across New Jersey.
What is the difference between RHA fillers and regular dermal fillers?
Most people have heard of Juvéderm and Restylane, along with their respective families of dermal fillers. These fillers are made from hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the human body (and most other mammals) that is responsible for hydrating, plumping, and firming the skin. Hyaluronic acid does this by binding with nearby water molecules.
These fillers have provided great results, but sometimes don’t respond as well when the patient’s face moves with expressions and the like. That’s because hyaluronic acid breaks down rapidly and is metabolized in about 48 hours. To prevent this from happening, with first-generation dermal fillers the HA is crosslinked with suspended chemical proteins. These proteins make the HA in first-generation dermal fillers not as malleable with facial movements.
The difference between RHA and first-generation hyaluronic acid dermal fillers is that these new fillers have fewer chemical modifications and crosslinking in longer chains of HA. This makes RHA fillers closer to the natural hyaluronic acid that is found throughout the human body in their flexibility in usage, natural-looking results, and longevity of results. Basically, RHA fillers are closer to natural hyaluronic acid, so they are undetectable regardless of facial movements. That’s the improvement RHA fillers make over the first-generation HA fillers.
What brands are RHA fillers?
Teoxane is the brand name behind these new fillers. The three RHA fillers currently approved by the FDA for use in the US are RHA 2, RHA 3, and RHA 4. These Teoxane RHA fillers are marketed in in the U.S. by Revance.
What areas are RHA Teoxane fillers meant to treat?
All three RHA dermal fillers closely resemble the native hyaluronic acid present in our skin, so they adapt quite well to our tissue when injected. This allows exceptional results for patients at every angle all the way through the entire length of movement. In other words, they return volume and erase lines, but you don’t notice them when you make normal facial movements.
- RHA 2 works best on nasolabial folds, the colloquial “smile lines” that run from the nose down to the corners of the mouth.
- RHA 3 can be used for nasolabial folds and the commissures, the corners of the mouth.
- RHA 4 is most appropriate for deeper nasolabial folds and for deeper lines in the lower face and jawline. RHA 4 can also be used off-label in the midface to add volume to sunken cheeks.
Are RHA dermal filler treatments painful?
These new RHA fillers are injected in the same way as other hyaluronic acid fillers you’re familiar with are. We apply topical numbing cream to the areas where you will receive your injections, so you won’t have much discomfort.
How long before I see my results with RHA dermal fillers?
As soon as these RHA fillers are injected, the hyaluronic acid binds with nearby water molecules. This provides instant volume to erase lines or creases or return volume to sunken areas. There isn’t any waiting time as there is with Botox and Dysport neuromodulator injections.
Do I need to do anything to prepare before receiving RHA fillers?
No preparation is necessary. Just as with Juvéderm or Restylane, the sessions take just 30 minutes or so, and you can go right back to work or your normal activities immediately afterwards.
How long will RHA fillers provide results?
These new RHA fillers also extend the duration of their results over the first-generation hyaluronic acid fillers. Teoxane RHA fillers provide natural-looking results for up to 15 months.