How Well Do You Know Your Injectables?

Facial Fillers & Injectables San DiegoAt Dr. Kearney’s we work with a bunch of different injectables. People can lump them all together thinking they’re all “kind of like Botox.” In reality, there are two types of injectables, dermal fillers, and neuromodulators. And, while their end goals may be similar, they go about their business in completely different ways.

Since Dr. Kearney offers various options for both types of these injectables, here’s some information to clear up any misunderstanding.

Neuromodulator 101

The name gives these injectables away. It sounds like something to do with the nerves, and it is. You can think of “neuromodulator” as a fancy term for the muscle relaxer. The goal of these products is to stop a particular muscle from contracting. It does this by inhibiting the nerve communication, the reason these injectables are named neuromodulators.

Neuromodulators are all about the wrinkles that are caused when we make certain facial expressions such as squinting or frowning. These expressions are formed mainly by the upper third of the face. Try it. Squint and feel the muscles of your forehead contract and create lines and wrinkles. When these muscles contract, they create a wrinkle on the surface skin.

Neuromodulators are made from the botulinum toxin type A. Yes, that is the very same bacteria that cause botulism. During WWII research on this toxin showed that when it was injected in very miniscule amounts into a muscle the toxin temporarily stopped the muscle from contracting. They found that the botulinum toxin blocked the nerve in the muscle from sending a message to the brain to contract the muscle. Without the message, the brain didn’t send out the word to contract the muscle. Botox was born.

Botox was originally approved to address things such as involuntary eyelid spasms, where the patient can’t control a certain muscle. Then in 2002, the FDA approved it for the treatment of facial wrinkles such as crow’s feet and the 11s (the lines between the eyebrows). The rest is history, as Botox is now one of the world’s most famous brand names and is a year in and year out the world’s most performed cosmetic procedure.

Dr. Kearney offers the neuromodulators Botox and Dysport.

Dermal filler 101

Now dermal fillers. Dr. Kearney uses a variety of dermal fillers, everything from Juvederm to Sculptra. A dermal filler is true to its name — it fills the wrinkle from beneath. When skin is sun damaged or has lost volume, there is a depression on the skin surface. This can be a wrinkle or a depressed area such as the cheeks. Dermal fillers are injected directly beneath the wrinkle or area with decreased volume. The filler “fills” space and pushes the skin back upward, erasing the wrinkle and filling volume.

Dermal fillers are either “natural” or “synthetic.” Natural fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane are comprised primarily of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in humans that is responsible for keeping the skin hydrated and plump. It does this by binding with water molecules under the skin’s surface.

Synthetic fillers are made of synthetic materials. Sculptra, for instance, contains poly-L-lactic acid that triggers the body to produce collagen, which returns structural support to the skin, eliminating wrinkles and lines. Bellafill contains polymethyl methacrylate microspheres that add a structural framework that supports the skin above. It also triggers collagen production.

Dr. Kearney uses both Sculptra and Bellafill, along with other dermal fillers.

Now that you’re an injectable expert, do you have some areas of your face that could use them? Call Dr. Kearney at 858-677-9352 and let’s see which could work for you.

Comments are closed.

After careful consideration and at the request of our state, and concern for the health and safety of our patients, we are cancelling all non-essential appointments and surgical procedures starting on 3-20-20. Please take note below of the ways that we are available to you over the next couple of weeks:

  • Appointments:Dr. Kearney will still be seeing a small number of post operative appointments over the next couple of weeks as well as any patients that require immediate attention or medical care, by appointment only. We are calling and emailing all patients who currently have appointments scheduled in the next 2 weeks to notify them and reschedule
  • Phone: We will be working remotely and able to answer questions as well as schedule future appointments and surgeries by calling our main number: 858.677.9352. Please note, however, that we will have reduced hours over the next couple of weeks so be sure to call during these times: M-F 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. If you have an urgent matter outside of these hours and need to speak to Dr. Kearney please call 619-270-4935.
  • Answering machine: Please do NOT leave important messages on the after hours greeting during the next 2 weeks as they may not be checked in a timely manner. Instead, we ask you to call or email during the above hours and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
  • Email: We will have access to email and our patient scheduling system and will be available to check and respond to emails M-F from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. If you reach us outside of these hours please allow 24-48 hours for a response. You can continue to email the patient coordinator you’ve been in contact with or simply use [email protected]
  • Virtual consultations: Can’t come in for an appointment right now? No problem! Dr. Kearney is able to offer phone consultations during the next couple of weeks. Simply email us at [email protected] or call 858-677-9352 during the above hours and we will let you know the simple steps to take.

We apologize for any inconvenience the above changes may cause and are hoping things return to “normal” as soon as possible. Please stay safe and healthy and let’s all try to remain as positive as possible during this time of uncertainty.

We appreciate all of you and look forward to seeing you again very soon!


Dr. Kearney and staff