Erasing Smile Lines

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Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 9:36am

Patients can now use their own cells to help erase wrinkles.

You may have heard of Restylane, Radiesse and Juvederm, popular fillers used to plump wrinkles and sagging skin.

Now there's a new product that does the same thing, but it uses your own cells to erase those pesky smile lines.

Laviv is an FDA-approved therapy that injects millions of the skin-plumping cells into fine lines and wrinkles, giving the skin a rejuvenated look.

"There's no reaction to what you're injecting because it's your own cells containing your own proteins and you're making your own collagen," notes dermatologist Dr. Gilly Munavalli.

Clinical trials show Laviv lasts at least as long as artificial fillers, about six months, but doctors warn this is not a quick fix.

It takes three months for lab technicians to make the patient's personalized collagen concoction.

The cells are then injected over a series of three treatments about three to six weeks apart.

It then takes several weeks for nature to take its course and fill in the sagging skin.

Experts say there are minor risks associated with the procedure.

"You can develop some bruising, some swelling at the site of the injection, but that usually only lasts a few days," says Dr. Diane Berson, a professor of Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

It also isn't cheap.

The total cost is $3,500 to $4,500.

Doctors say that could be cheaper than trying multiple fillers that don't give patients a tailored result.

Some experts say Laviv works well when used off-label to treat acne scars and fill in "smoker's lines" around the mouth, but so far the product has not been approved for those uses.
 

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