Biostimulator Injections

Biostimulator injections & facial aging

Biostimulation is the term used to describe a method to stimulate your immune system to produce collagen. Injectables are employed to awaken your collagen producing cells known as fibroblasts, in turn preventing further collagen loss. Think of biostimulators as agents to mitigate facial aging. Biostimulator injections are different from dermal fillers which correct volume loss.

SummaryBiostimulation Summarised

  • This term refers to the stimulation of cells that produce collagen
  • Injectable provide low levels of biostimulation, in turn reducing future age-related collagen degradation
  • The type of collagen stimulating injectable depend on factors such as the degree of dermal hydration, background sun damage, volume loss & age
  • Biostimulation is important around perimenopausal as collagen loss accelerates around this time (about 30% reduction in 5 years)

What are biostimulator injections?

This group of injectables herald a new frontier in anti-aging medicine. They help stimulate cells known as fibroblasts to continue producing collagen & elastin, in turn slowing down the aging process. Think of biostimulatory injectables as preventive treatments.

Here is an analogy. Patients visit dentists for two main reasons-

  1. Treatment of a symptom- the most common is a toothache. This is akin to visiting a dermatologist for correction of volume loss, or wrinkles. A dentist will drill or extract, I will inject to correct age related volume deficit, or prescribe a series of laser treatments to remove wrinkles & or improve laxity.
  2. Prevention. Dentists will clean & scale, add fluoride & encourage flossing, & brushing. This can prevent decay & hence reduce the chances of symptomatic treatment. In my work, this is akin to biostimulatory injectables. The aim to prolong the need for me to correct a symptom (volume loss, collagen loss, aging).

how biostimulator injections work

Why invest in biostimulators?

Think of these injectables as prevention. They form the second form of defence after skin care such as antioxidants & sunscreen.

Dermal fillers, anti-wrinkle injections, lasers & energy devices, used appropriately can reverse aging, whilst biostimulators slow down the aging process. Prevent before treating.

biostimulator injection cost

What results can you expect?

Ignore, for now, the marketing of these injectables by parent companies. The true aim of biostimulators is to keep your collagen producing cells viable & active as you age.

Primary aims: Mitigation of collagen loss with resulting wrinkles, skin laxity & loss of elasticity. Hence in the true definition, these injectables are used to slow down the aging process. For mature patients, tissue hydration is important. This will be discussed in detail shortly.

Secondary gain: Collagen stimulation of various degrees to provide objective skin tightening & firmness. In some patients we see a reverse of aging, namely less wrinkles & lifting of key areas such as the lower face & neck area. Skin tightening depends largely on your immune system & how much collagen you can produce.

Tertiary results: improvement of skin quality, meaning better skin texture, less fine lines & a reduction in pore sizing.

biostimulator injections before and after

Davin’s viewpoint on biostimulators 

This is a relatively new concept in Australia with the recent trend after the release of Profhilo to the market in 2022. Fast forward to 2023 & there are over half a dozen biostimulators in Australia.

The purpose of biostimulatory injectables are three-fold.

  1. To provide low level background biostimulation to mitigate the loss of collagen over time. Important concept to understand as, by definition, mitigation is something that you do not see. Factor in a 30% reduction in collagen during the perimenopausal years & commencement of injectables during this time can, in the best case, prevent or at the very least reduce an inevitable reduction of collagen.
  2. Provide collagen production that is in excess of age-related collagen loss, or a ‘positive yield’
  3. Provide skin hydration due to a reduction in hyaluronic acid. HA levels, much like collagen levels, will decrease in time. This is especially true in patients who are sun damaged.

With choice comes confusion as clinicians & patients struggle to understand what the best type of biostimulatory injectable is to use.

Here is my take on things. Ideally, providing the budget allows for it, two types of biostimulators are required, at least for patients over the age of 40. Firstly, a hyaluronic acid based injectable to help hydrate the skin. Again, I emphasize this is very different from a hyaluronic acid-based filler (cross-linked) as dermal fillers provide tissue projection via volume displacement – replacement. Tissue hydration, in patients who are dermally ‘dehydrated’ will reduce wrinkles & some laxity, but this is not true fibrosis, or volume replacement.

The second type of biostimulator is concentrated at the true meaning of stimulation aimed at the fibroblast. If volume replacement is required, the choices include PLLA or CAH. Factor in 3-6 sessions based upon the deficit. If biostimulation is required with minimal volume gain, then PCL should be considered. Factor in 2-3 sessions, spaced 4 to 10 weeks apart.

Where do devices come in? Ideally devices such as low-level radiofrequency (Pelleve, NuEra, Venus, TriLift) can be incorporated into your program. These devices are aimed at providing some form of fibroblast stimulation, without the pain, expense, or downtime of high level biostimulation.

As for the diet & collagen?  Evidence is lacking, however if you are inclined to take collagen supplements, they can be a good way to provide a placebo effect & can be beneficial for your joints. A diet high in antioxidants (legumes, leafy greens, fish, nuts, berries, botanicals), can provide a marginal improvement in photoaging.

*For appointments in our Sydney office, please contact Tracee at Dr Van Park’s clinic in the Eastern Suburbs. Kate, or myself are available for injectables.

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