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New facial filler targets tiny wrinkles without giving so-called 'pillow face' look

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In the world of cosmetic procedures, trying to look right can sometimes go wrong. But one Houston doctor thinks there's been a real breakthrough.

It's a phenomenon you may have noticed on some celebrities. That blown-up, doll-like face doctors have nicknamed it "pillow face."

"I think doctors inject a bit more volume than is ideal, and so they achieve a nice, smooth appearance but at the cost of destroying the overall volumetric balance of the face," facial plastic surgeon Dr. Todd Andrews said.

Those injectable fillers, which are meant to restore the fullness we lose with age, are often also used to smooth away wrinkles. The results can be puffy and unnatural.

But now there's a new facial filler promising another option.

Like some other fillers, Belotero Balance is made from hyaluronic acid, which occurs naturally in the skin. But unlike those others, it's designed to fill those little creases where other fillers fail.

"If you wanted to draw something very precise and you had a very fine pencil, you could do that very well. If somebody hands you a pencil that a kindergartner uses you're not going to be able to be as precise. And so I think that's the difference," Dr. Andrews said.

It's exactly what 68-year-old retail salesperson Pam Morse was looking for.

"I just think it's important to look your best if you're selling," Morse said.

She's had other facial fillers, but to avoid pillow face, she'd left the small wrinkles untreated. Now, she's giving Belotero Balance a try.

The procedure takes a few minutes, with about 15 injections.

"It's quite good for smoker's lines, for the small lines around the mouth," Dr. Andrews said.

The results will only last for about six months before Morse will have to fill them again.

At least for now, though, Morse says she's happy to have her laugh-lines filled without the puffiness.

"I really like it. I think it looks great," Morse said.

There are a handful of Houston doctors' offices using the new filler. Visit the Belotero Balance website for more information.
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