What is Ellansé®?

Antje Hammond

What is Ellansé®?

Ellansé® is an injectable semi-permanent dermal filler which is used to treat the visible signs of ageing including lines and wrinkles. It works by stimulating your body’s own collagen production in the area being treated. It is not a filler for lips or contouring, but for skin rejuvenation.

Ellansé® was introduced to the UK in 2010 and consists of synthetic microspheres made from a medical grade polymer called Polycaprolactone or PCL which are suspended in a carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) gel. Polycaprolactone has a long history of being used in dissolvable sutures and other surgical equipment, such as orthopaedic implants.

Ellansé® is very versatile and can be used to treat any area where the skin has succumbed to age-related loss of volume and elasticity.

It is suitable for:

  • reducing wrinkles,
  • adding volume and contour to cheeks, chin and lower jaw,
  • filling under-eye hollows (tear trough), nose to mouth lines,
  • lifting drooping mouth corners,
  • rejuvenating skin on the neck, cleavage and hands,
  • softening the appearance of acne scarring.

There are four strengths of Ellansé® (S, M, L and E) available to choose from, depending on how long you want the effects to last. Ellansé®-S lasts up to 12 months, Ellansé®-M up to 2 years, Ellansé®-L up to 3 years and Ellansé®-E up to 4 years. L and E are used for deeper and more pronounced wrinkles as well as in areas where volume has been substantially depleted.

How does it work?

With age the body’s collagen production slows down and skin loses its elasticity resulting in lines, wrinkles and saggy, tired-looking skin. Ellansé® works by stimulating the body’s own collagen production. The CMC gives an immediate result, while the PCL delivers ongoing results which can last between one to four years.

How does that happen?

When Ellansé® is injected into the skin, the gel carrier immediately plumps up the skin for an instantly visible result which lasts about three months as it is resorbed by your body. What remains are the PCL microspheres which stimulate natural collagen production in your skin by a process called neocollagenesis. It dos this by prompting an inflammatory reaction in the skin that your body reacts to by producing more collagen.

The new collagen surrounds the ‘invaders’ and forms a type of scaffolding to support new tissue formation, with the added bonus of holding the microspheres in place and preventing migration. The resulting collagen production gradually increases and replaces lost volume in the area treated, improving skin volume and elasticity.

Over time the body will metabolise the Ellansé® as it is biodegradable.

What is it like?

Only one treatment is required which takes approximately 30-45 minutes.

The area to be treated is cleaned using antiseptic and a topical anaesthetic may be applied to minimise possible discomfort. Small quantities of Ellansé® are injected under the skin in the treatment area using a very fine needle.

Your doctor or healthcare professional may massage the area immediately after injection to distribute the filler more effectively or mould the area to achieve the desired result.

What is the downtime?

There is no downtime although there may be tenderness, swelling or redness around the injection site. This is a normal reaction which can occur with any injection and should gradually disappear over the next few days after treatment.

Applying an ice-pack may help with swelling. To reduce bruising try not to take aspirin prior to the treatment unless it is required by your medical practitioner.

Strenuous exercise and hot baths should be avoided for 24 hours after treatment and keeping out of the sun for a week afterwards is also recommended.

Make-up should not be applied for 24 hours after treatments to reduce the risk of infection.

What are the risks & side effects?

No allergy testing is required prior to treatment, as Ellansé® is entirely synthetic and not derived from animal, human or bacterial material which someone with allergies could react to.

With hyaluronic acid fillers there is a risk of migration under the skin away from the injection site which can lead to unevenness over time. With Ellansé®, this is unlikely as it works with the body’s own collagen and does not migrate.

In addition to the risk of bruising and swelling, many fillers carry a risk of blindness or necrosis (tissue death) if the filler is injected into a blood vessel.

Unlike other hyaluronic acid fillers which can be dissolved using a special enzyme called hyaluronidase, Ellansé® is not reversible and cannot be removed from your skin after injection.

If you are dissatisfied with your post-treatment look you need to be patient and wait for your body to metabolise the product over the course of one to four years, depending on the Ellansé® product you opted for.

Very rarely some tiny bumps may appear under the skin at the injection site, but generally these disappear after a couple of days.

Always choose a qualified medical professional who has been trained to inject this product.

Contraindications

If you have any infection in, or near, the area to be treated, it is best to wait until this has cleared up before proceeding with treatment. If in doubt, always check with your doctor before going ahead.

How much does it cost?

Your treatment costs will depend on which type of Ellansé® you choose and how long you want the results to last. You can expect to pay between £250 for one millilitre of Ellansé®-S to £600 for one millilitre of Ellansé®-E. How much is used depends on the area being treated.

Is it worth it?

Although treatment costs may be a little higher than other fillers, Ellansé® is more cost-effective as it has the advantage of giving sustained results for up to four years. In comparison, most hyaluronic acid fillers last approximately 6-18 months, so it may be worth investing a little more in a look that lasts without the need for top-up treatments.

With effects visible immediately after treatment and no risk of an allergic reaction, this is an option worth considering for people wanting a quick, non-surgical but durable solution to rejuvenate tired, ageing skin.

According to Ellansé®’s research around 75% of women who had had the treatment were willing to have it repeated.

If you are unsure about committing to four years of living with a filler you can always opt for any one of the lower strength Ellansé® products to see if you like the effect.

 

References

Consulting Room – Ellansé product summary https://www.consultingroom.com/Treatment/Ellanse

Ellansé https://ellanse.com/your treatment/

Aesthetics Journal. Case study: Rejuvenating menopausal skin https://aestheticsjournal.com/hub/Ellans%C3%A9

The Aesthetic Channel. Novel polycaprolactone dermal filler gains popularity in Europe http://aestheticchannel.com/modern-medicine-now/novel-polycaprolactone-dermal-filler-gains-popularity-europe

Dermatologic Surgery December 2014 / Volume 40 / Issue / p S134 – S136 Fillers and Neocollagenesis Carruthers, Jean D.A MD, FRCSC, FRCOphth, Carruthers, J. Alastair MBBS, MRCP, FRCPC, Humphrey, Shannon MD, FRCPC, FAAD https://journals.lww.com/dermatologicsurgery/Citation/2014/12001/Fillers_and_Neocollagenesis.3.aspx

 

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