A tool in the facial rejuvenation toolbox, Belotero can resolve problems ranging from hollows under the eyes to loss of volume in the lips, as well as in-between issues like gauntness in the cheeks. Although it was only approved for use in the United States in 2011, it has quickly become a go-to filler due to its unique texture. Like many other facial fillers, Belotero is based on hyaluronic acid, a moisture-binding compound that occurs naturally within the skin. Most traditional fillers have a thicker texture, though, while the filler is composed of a thin gel that can be easily contoured without the risk of lumps or overfilling, making it a natural fit for thin-skinned regions such as under the eyes. Plumping up the skin around the lips or under the eyes can rejuvenate aging skin, leading to a younger, more alert look. It can even be used to smooth fine lines such as crow’s feet for a totally fresh effect.
Are You a Candidate for Belotero?
Ideal candidates for Belotero include men and women who are experiencing the beginning stages of aging around the nose, mouth, and eyes. Since Belotero has a thinner texture, it is primarily effective for mild-to-moderate wrinkling and volume loss, so it should be used primarily by patients looking for subtle but effective correction of early aging rather than severe wrinkling.
Belotero injections are a quick and easy process that will be performed right in Dr. Clevens’ office. In most cases, no pain relief is needed, but if you prefer, a local anesthetic can be used. Afterward, Dr. Clevens will apply Belotero to the necessary regions in a quick series of injections. The entire process will take no more than half an hour, and no recovery period is necessary. Many patients opt to do it during their lunch hour.
Risks and Concerns
Belotero is very safe. Complications are minimal, but most patients will experience redness and swelling at the injection site. Some may also have slight bruising or a small amount of discomfort. These side effects normally clear up within 1-2 days, and gentle massage and cool compresses can help them go away even faster.
Q. How much does it hurt?
A. Most patients report nothing but a slight pinching sensation during the injection and no real discomfort afterward. If you’re concerned, though, Dr. Clevens can use a local anesthetic before beginning the treatment to reduce discomfort even further.
Q. Do the results last long?
A. It depends on where the Belotero is injected. In areas that move a lot, such as the lips, it may last up to six months. In the under eye area or other places with less motion, the results can last up to a year or slightly longer.
Q. Are there different levels of Belotero available?
A. In Europe, Belotero is available in soft, basic, and intense forms for different purposes. Only the basic version is currently available in the United States. Fortunately, it is versatile enough filler that it can still be effectively used for most purposes.
Q. Will Belotero cause my under-eye area to turn blue?
A. The blue discoloration that you’re referring to is called the Tyndall effect, and it is a known side effect of many older hyaluronic-acid-based fillers. Fortunately, Belotero is immune to this effect since it uses a different method of processing the hyaluronic acid particles rather than simply suspending them in the gel.
Q. Is it possible to remove the filler if I change my mind afterward?
A. Yes. Hyaluronic acid fillers are easily dissolved with injections of a compound called hyaluronidase. Before making that decision, however, you should wait for at least a week to be sure that all swelling is gone and you’re seeing the final results of the treatment.