Artecoll, an injectable wrinkle remover already heralded as the next Botox, was endorsed by an advisory panel of the Food and Drug Administration on Feb. 28. Formal approval may come later this year.
It promises semi-permanent wrinkle fill, as opposed to Botox's three-month plump job. It's already in use in Europe and Canada. Should it come to the United States, it will be marketed under the name Artefill.
It is a mixture of cow collagen and microscopic spheres made of plastic material that has long been used to make dental prostheses and artificial eye lenses. When the mix is injected, your body absorbs the cow collagen and encapsulates the spheres with your own collagen.
Injecting Artecoll is said to require more surgical and aesthetic skill than Botox, partly because of the permanence of the treatment. Some patients experience itching, rash or lumping afterward, but these rarely last more than a few days.
According to Artes Medical, the San Diego company that makes the product, most patients will need one or two touch-up treatments after one to three months. As time passes and untreated adjacent areas begin to show wrinkles, treatment of those areas may become desirable. Though the company has not announced U.S. pricing, treatments are expected to cost about $800 each.