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The effects of aging and the environment on our skin are well documented, and most of us can see the evidence on our own face. Many people want to know what they can do to try to correct some of the damage, but not everyone is ready to consider surgical options. Thanks to advances in cosmetic surgery and science, now you don’t have to.

Non-surgical, minimally-invasive options are available, and these options have shown great success in altering and improving the appearance of our skin.

Injectables are a popular choice for this type of concern. Most people have heard of Botox, but it’s far from the only option. Another popular choice is Juvederm, specifically Juvederm Ultra XC and Juvederm Ultra Plus XC. Let’s talk about what they are and what they can do for you.

Juvederm is a different kind of injectable than Botox. Botox is derived from a bacterium and works on an intramuscular level. Juvederm, however, is not bacterium derived, nor does it affect muscles. It is a class of injectable known as a dermal filler — it works with the soft tissues to “fill” the area under the skin, resulting in a more pleasing and youthful appearance.

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Juvederm is a hyaluronic acid — a substance naturally found in the human body, mostly in joints and the fluid of the eyes. For cosmetic and medicinal purposes, hyaluronic acids are harvested from rooster combs or created in a laboratory. Since 2006, Juvederm hyaluronic acid has been approved by the FDA and is now used for a variety of cosmetic purposes — such as smoothing out facial wrinkles (including deeper and more established wrinkles that Botox doesn’t affect), plumping lips, treating acne scars and blemishes and even reducing wrinkles in the hands. Results can last up to 8 to 12 months before repeated treatments are needed.

Juvederm Ultra XC and Juvederm Ultra Plus XC are both hyaluronic acid dermal fillers, but they are used for slightly different things. Juvederm Ultra is considered best for fine to moderate lines and wrinkles, while the Ultra Plus formulation can be used for deeper lines, such as nasolabial folds or “marionette lines.” Both Ultra formulations also contain a local anesthetic right in their makeup. The included lidocaine prevents the discomfort sometimes associated with injectables and dermal fillers.

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They are also slightly different in their makeup. Juvederm Ultra Plus is thicker due to being more highly cross-linked, a chemical bonding process. Because of the higher cross-linking, Juvederm Ultra Plus is also more stable and can be injected deeper into the skin layers to treat different or deeper wrinkles than Juvederm Ultra.

The results of either formulation are very good after only one treatment. There is a slight difference in how long the results last, however, and when you will need to come back for another injection. On average, the effects of Juvederm Ultra last 9 months to one year, while Juvederm Ultra plus averages a full year.

So which one is best for you? That can depend on many factors, including your skin and what you are trying to accomplish. The best way to find out which Juvederm Ultra product is right for your needs is to come in and discuss it with one of our accomplished plastic surgery professionals. They will help you determine which dermal filler — or any of our other procedures and options — and will help you get the results you want.

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