Is An Allergy Test Needed for Bellafill?
Posted: 6:00 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016
By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: I am in my 60’s and allergic to several antibiotics as well as mold and dust. I am interested in Bellafill for my sunken cheeks and hollow temples. I know Bellafill contains collagen. I had collagen injections 15 years ago with no problem. I’d like to get the treatment before mid-December. Do I really need to have a Bellafill allergy test and wait the full 30 days to see if I have a reaction?
Answer: While there is a skin test to assess for allergic reactions to Bellafill, after having performed over 2,000 syringes of Bellafill, I have not yet seen an allergic reaction to Bellafill. Such reactions are very rare.
While my patients are given the option of having the skin test, the vast majority waive it and proceed straight to Bellafill treatments. In fact, in over 20 years in practice, I have come across more reactions to Restylane and Juvederm, neither of which have an allergy test, than to Bellafill.
Bellafill contains both bovine collagen and the Bellafill crystal, which is inert and its main purpose is to stimulate collagen. The bovine collagen in Bellafill is what gives you immediate results. If an allergy were to occur, it would be temporary, and due to the bovine collagen which goes away in 2-3 months. By the time the bovine collagen is gone, the Bellafill crystal has already mounted your body’s own natural collagen response and continues to do so for 5 years.
What’s key with Bellafill is injector skill and accurate placement. Unlike temporary fillers like Restylane and Juvederm, Bellafill is a specialty filler that should only be employed by an expert injector who understands the complex 3 dimensional facial aesthetics and anatomy of facial volumization. Because it lasts 5 years, there is little room for error in injection placement.
This Thanksgiving weekend, I will be in Monaco at the 4th World Congress in Plastic Surgery. I’ve been invited as keynote speaker to discuss “Avoiding Errors in Facial Volumization.” I will then head to Bangkok, to educate cosmetic doctors on the same topic. I hope to return with valuable insights to share with my loyal readership.
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