On September 11, 2009, the FDA accepted a review application from Merz Pharmaceuticals, LLC for premarket approval of Belotero® Balance. This is the start of the approval process for marketing a product in the U.S.
Merz Pharmaceuticals is a German company and Belotero® Balance has already been approved in the U.K., Switzerland, Austria, and Russia. It is a dermal filler and is based on hyaluronic acid. At the Cosmetic Surgical Center, we offer several other dermal fillers based on hyaluronic acid: Restylane, Captique, and Hylaform.
Hyaluronic acid is a substance found naturally in the body and its great asset as a basis for facial fillers is that it bonds very easily with water. It attracts water so that wherever the filler has been injected will plump up with the extra water in the skin. That creates a smooth and more youthful appearance.
Although some news reports are speculating that Belotero® Balance could be a new rival for BOTOX®, the two products work differently. BOTOX® is not a filler. It does create more smoothness in the skin and a more youthful look, but it does that by temporarily paralyzing the muscle where it is injected. When that muscle cannot contract, the skin does not crease.
On the other hand, another drug was recently approved by the FDA that is a rival to BOTOX®. It is called Dysport™. It works in the same way as BOTOX® and is based on the same botulinum toxin. It is given in different doses however, and is not directly exchangeable with BOTOX®.
Both BOTOX® and Dysport™ are used for smoothing out frown lines and horizontal forehead lines. Belotero® Balance may also be approved for that use, and perhaps, like Restylane and other hyaluronic acid-based fillers, for treating laugh lines, nasolabial folds, and thin lips
Meanwhile, if you would like to know more about the different ways of rejuvenating your facial appearance that are already FDA-approved and proven to be effective, please contact our cosmetic surgery office today for a personal consultation with Dr. Rai.