How Fillers Actually Stimulate Collagen Production

Hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers like Restylane® and Juvederm® boast many youth-preserving benefits, from smoothing facial lines to restoring lost volume. But, did you know that these fillers also actually stimulate your body’s own collagen production? 

That’s right… fillers aren’t just occupying empty space! Not only do they stimulate collagen production, but they do so robustly according to a study published in 2007 in the Archives of Dermatology. Researchers were shocked when they realized just how much new collagen was present in areas where fillers were injected within just a couple of months after treatment.

How did they figure out that there was new collagen in the areas treated with HA fillers? Well, the company that manufactures Restylane® actually donated syringes of their product for the study! Researchers injected study participants with the filler, then did punch biopsies at four and 13 weeks post-treatment to analyze the skin’s composition. The results were astonishing!

Not only was the filler present in the skin samples, but there was also a hearty amount of newly produced collagen. Much more than the researchers were expecting to see, in fact. So, how did all of this new collagen get produced? Researchers believe the answer involves cells known as fibroblasts.

When we’re young, we have long and strong strands of collagen that make up our dermal structure. Fibroblasts cling to and stretch out along these collagen strands, making new collagen to replace the old as it deteriorates.

But as we age, this process becomes less efficient. Excessive sun exposure is the #1 culprit in damaging this collagen renewal process, but some are due to just normal wear and tear on the collagen strands and fibroblasts. As a result, the fibroblasts become less stretched out and their collagen production is extremely slowed, or in some cases, completely stopped.

So, how do fillers fix this problem? Researchers felt that if they could find a way to stretch out those fibroblasts again, perhaps the body’s natural collagen production would restart. They discovered that fillers act like collagen strands under the skin, recreating a web-like structure similar to the one created by your own natural collagen! Just as they hoped for, researchers observed the fibroblasts stretch out along the filler, just like they do along collagen strands, and collagen production began again!

Restylane® and Juvederm® are the biggest names in dermal fillers today, but other contenders such as Belotero®, Radiesse®, and Revanesse® are making their way in the industry as well. If you live in the Tampa Bay area and you’re ready to try HA fillers, trust the skincare experts at Ultimate Image Cosmetic Medical Center to help you restore a youthful, natural look. Call us at (727) 799-7000 or contact us online to set up your HA filler appointment today!