As we age there are structural changes in the face caused by loss of soft tissue volume as well as gravity and bone loss. However, there are changes in the skin itself which becomes thinner, less elastic and lacks hydration. Profhilo is designed specifically to improve hydration by moisturising from within – ‘the injectable moisturiser’ and secondly to stimulate the cells that make collagen and elastin, substances which normally get depleted with age – ‘the collagen stimulator’. It is particularly as a collagen stimulator that is helpful following facelift surgery to maintain the results by keeping the skin envelope as youthful and firm as possible.
Profhilo is an injectable Hyaluronic Acid (HA) and is the same substance used in fillers like Restylane or Juvéderm. It is a naturally occurring sugar molecule which is found in youthful skin, so it is completely natural. Hyaluronic Acid has two helpful properties, firstly it attracts water which hydrates the skin internally and secondly it stimulates the collagen producing cells which are naturally found in the dermis of skin (fibroblasts). Stimulating collagen and elastin production occurs after repeated Profhilo treatments which enhances elasticity and skin quality. It is successful in 80-90% of patients who complete a course of treatment.
Profhilo is a Hyaluronic Acid (HA) gel and therefore similar to fillers like Restylane and Juvéderm but with distinct differences. Profhilo contains the highest concentration of HA of any injectable, so it has the greatest capacity to attract water and hydrate the skin from within. Secondly it is free of cross linking between the molecules so has an extremely low viscosity, meaning it can spread under the skin rather than staying localised which fillers do. This avoids causing any distortion as it does not add volume locally but spreads under the skin to hydrate over a large area and also stimulate the cells making collagen and elastin which improves skin quality.
On the day of treatment patients usually come 45 minutes early so that local anaesthetic cream can be applied to the face or neck which makes the injections more comfortable. The treatment injections themselves take 20-30 minutes and they are all performed by Mr Grover himself as he does not delegate this to a nurse. The initial treatment requires two sessions separated by approximately 1 month. The improvement in the skin quality is usually seen 2-3 weeks after the second set of injections and lasts for approximately 4-5 months. It is advisable to have a top up treatment every 4-5 months for maintenance.
Profhilo is injected just under the skin using very fine needles in pre-determined points. It is relatively painless, especially after having the local anaesthetic cream although you might still feel a short sting as the product is injected but this is short-lived.
Some patients may experience a little redness and swelling for 12-24 hours at the injection sites. If you are conscious of some mild redness or swelling it may be as well to take the rest of the day off and avoid social engagements for a day or two.
As with any sort of injection there can be some bruising and minor swelling although this is not severe and usually settles within 2-3 days. As Profhilo is not derived from animals there is little chance of any allergic reaction. Despite this, very rarely there can be an allergic response in 1 in 200 patients which may require treatment with anti-inflammatory medication. More serious complications are extremely rare.
Facelifting helps reverse the effects of gravity but the canvas itself (the skin) ages and Profhilo can help to slow down this change. Rajiv has performed original work showing that injection of hyaluronic acid beneath the skin has immediate effects on hydration but also improves the elastic qualities which are lost with age. By taking precise scientific measurements of skin elasticity, he showed that after facelifting the elastic qualities of skin could be enhanced by regular hyaluronic acid injections beneath the skin.