In October 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved something called ArteFill, which is an injectable soft tissue filler which is primarily meant to be used on fine lines and wrinkles.
However, dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons have also found great success using ArteFill to treat mild-to-moderate acne scars.
If you have acne scarring, you may want to consider speaking with a dermatologist about using ArteFill to treat your scars. To help you with that decision, we’ve put together this page with some basic information about ArteFill including exactly what it is, how it differs from other collagen fillers, what the cost and risks are, and what others are saying about their experience with ArteFill.
Let’s get started by going into a little more detail about just what ArteFill is.
ArteFill is a collagen filler which is comprised of microspheres of a substance known as PMMA, or polymethylmethacrylate. These microspheres are suspended in bovine collagen, which allows them to bind to the natural collagen found in scar tissue.
Scar tissue forms when the collagen naturally found in skin has it’s structure altered due to tissue damage. By filling in the missing pieces of collagen with a filler (such as ArteFill), you give the skin back its natural support structure and reduce or eliminate the appearance of scar tissue.
Also in ArteFill is a type of local anesthetic, which simply helps “take the edge off” of the injections, so to speak.
The primary difference between ArteFill and other collagen injections available on the market is the length of time that it lasts. While other soft tissue fillers are gradually absorbed by the body over a period of 6 to 12 months, ArteFill injections are said to last a minimum of 10 years, and possibly forever.
This is a drastic difference, and is the main reason why one would choose ArteFill over another collagen filler.
Even more so, it is said that the microspheres of PMMA found in ArteFill actually stimulate your body’s own collagen production, which can help to replace collagen which is naturally lost as we age, preventing fine lines and wrinkles from forming.
The risks of ArteFill injections are similar to those of other soft tissue fillers, including temporary redness, swelling, and bruising of the skin.
The skin around the site of the injections may feel firm for some time after the procedure, however this will pass with time and the tissue will soften up.
The other risk, which is present with any cosmetic procedure, is the risk of being dissatisfied with the results. However, this risk can be reduced drastically by educating yourself as much as you can about the procedure, and by choosing an experienced doctor who will not only perform the procedure correctly, but also give you the proper expectations as to what the results will be.
ArteFill injections currently cost between $500 and $1000 per syringe, and multiple syringes may be needed for a complete scar treatment procedure.
The average total cost of an ArteFill injection procedure is approximately $2200, but this price can very drastically depending on where you get the procedure performed, and how severe your scarring is.
Also, keep in mind that many doctors and cosmetic surgeons offer financing or payments plans to help you with the cost of the treatment.
Not everyone is a candidate for ArteFill injections. It has not been tested on pregnant or breastfeeding women, nor on subjects under the age of 18. Also, ArteFill should not be performed of patients who still have active acne breakouts.
Before ArteFill injections are performed, an allergy test will be given approximately 1 month in advance, to see how your body reacts to the materials in ArteFill.
The other thing to consider is that the results of an ArteFill injection are permanent, whether you are happy with them or not. The only way to remove the filler material is through invasive surgery.
Approximately two-thirds of patients who have had ArteFill injections claim to be satisfied with the results, however it is not known how many of these patients were being treated specifically for acne scars, and how many were having the treatment performed for another reason.