The days of proms and bonfires are distant memories for Rose and Jack Herschorn, but they never stopped feeling like teenagers — except when they looked in the mirror.
"We feel in our heads very youthful, so we want our faces to reflect that," Rose Herschorn said.
She and her husband wanted a permanent fix to the lines that showed their years of laughter and frowns, so they bowed out of the Botox lines and went for a final fix with Artecoll, a not-yet-approved anti-wrinkle injection.
"It was a big decision for me," Rose Herschorn said. "I'm ecstatic."
Jack Herschon shared his wife's enthusiasm when it came to their more youthful appearance.
"Now when I look in the mirror I don't feel that I have aged," he said.
Erasing the Years
Artecoll, the new anti-wrinkle injection that promises to permanently remove laugh lines and furrowed brows, might soon be available to everyone who's looking for a final fix.
A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel Friday suggested the agency approve the new injectable wrinkle remover.
Dr. Douglas Hamilton, who has been conducting clinical trials on behalf Artes Medical, the maker of Artecoll, says the injections provide patients with the no-fuss treatment they've been looking for.
"This is a big big plus for patients," Hamilton told Dr. Lisa Callahan of New York City's Hospital for Special Surgery on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America. "There is a torrent of interest in this. I have patients literally from around the country calling and asking about it."
Artecoll is made up of tiny spheres of polymethylmethacrylate, or PMMA for short, suspended in bovine collagen. The material is injected directly into a deep layer of skin. The body then naturally forms its own collagen around the little beads, filling out problem areas.
PMMA is a polymer that has been used for more than 50 years in medical devices ranging from contact lenses to bone implants.
Better-known injectable wrinkle treatments such as collagen or Botox last only a few months, but Artecoll promises permanent results.
Potential Risks Include Lumps on the Face
In their review, FDA panel members said it was crucial that physicians be specially trained in injecting the permanent material. They also said patients should be informed of potential risks, which can include lumps on the face.
FDA reviewer Binita Ashar said 16.3 percent of patients treated with Artecoll experienced an "adverse event," such as lumping or redness. Artes Medical said lumps were treatable with cortisone shots.
Beauty experts say the improvement can be dramatic, but if it's approved for widespread use, they recommend consumers exercise a healthy dose of caution when deciding whether or not to use Artecoll.
"The wonderful thing about a temporary filler is that if you don't like it, it goes away," said Joan Kron, Allure magazine's beauty editor. "With a permanent filler you always run the risk of not liking it and not being able to get rid of it."
Kron said Artecoll is just in time to benefit from the public's injection fatigue when it comes to collagen and Botox — which only last a few months.
The FDA advisory panel voted 4-1 to recommend Artecoll's approval, giving the product a major boost toward the market, since the FDA usually follows its advice.
For some patients in Europe, where the product has been available for years, Artecoll's effects have lasted up to 10 years, company officials said.
Artes Medical says it expects a final FDA decision in the coming months. If approved, Artecoll would be sold in the United States under the brand name Artefill.