Injectable Dermal Filler
Injectable Dermal Filler
Fillers are a popular and cost-effective alternative for facial rejuvenation treatments with no surgery necessary. The products are gel-like substances injected beneath the skin used to ultimately restore youthful volume in the face. Dermal fillers can plump thin lips, enhance shallow contours, soften facial creases and wrinkles, improve the appearance of recessed scars, and decrease the shadow of lower lids.
Facial lines begin to appear as we age due to our faces naturally losing subcutaneous fat. This causes facial muscles to work closer to the skin surface. Besides aging, additional factors that affect your facial skin include sun exposure, heredity, and personal lifestyle.
There are a variety of dermal fillers, and the products vary based on factors like chemical makeup and longevity of the substance. There are filler products for specific areas. Fillers are categorized by what makes up the substances, and each is formulated to have texture, density, and injection depth. For example, hyaluronic acid fillers are the most temporary and recommended for first-time patients.
Dermal fillers cannot achieve the same results as a surgical facelift. Please keep in mind that dermal fillers are temporary and ongoing treatments are needed for long-lasting results.
Four Types of Fillers We Offer
- Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a natural substance found in your skin, helping to maintain plumpness and hydration. HA fillers are soft and gel-like, leaving results that last from six to 12-months or longer. Most HA fillers are infused with lidocaine to minimize any discomfort with treatment. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved HA fillers: Juvéderm XC, VOLUMA, VOLBELLA, VOLLURE, Restylane, Restylane Silk, Restylane Lyft, Restylane Refyne, Restylane Defyne, and Belotero Balance.
- Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA) is a natural substance found in our bones. In a filler, the calcium particles are suspended in a smooth gel with the consistency of a CaHA filler being thick. CaHA fillers last for about 12-months, and it is reported to stimulate collagen production. CaHA is used for deeper lines and wrinkles. FDA-approved CaHA fillers: Radiesse®
- Poly-L-lactic Acid is a safe, biodegradable synthetic substance. It has been used for many years in medical devices (i.e., dissolvable stitches). Poly-L-lactic acid products or “collagen stimulators,” smooth fine lines and allow your skin to rebuild natural collagen. It is used to treat deep facial wrinkles, leaving results to last for more than two years. FDA-approved Poly-L-lactic acid fillers include Sculptra® Aesthetic.
- Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is a safe synthetic substance used in medication for the last century. PMMA forms a tiny ball that remains beneath the skin to provide continued support. Fillers with PMMA contain collagen to provide structure and firmness. FDA-approved PMMA fillers include Bellafill®.
Autologous fat injections (facial fat grafting) are the only injectable filler treatment that requires surgery, but results can last for many years. Your own fat is harvested from another area (autologous means “from the same person”), typically using liposuction. The fat is then purified and injected into the face to help restore volume to the cheeks, temples, lower eyelids, or other areas. Fat injections require specialized training to perform safely and achieve great results, and should only be performed by an experienced, board certified cosmetic surgeon.
PREPARING FOR TREATMENT
Dermal filler injections are typically non-surgical and take place during an office visit. Your treatment will begin with a consultation, where you will meet with your dermatologist to discuss your goals and any questions or concerns you may have about the procedure.
Just before the actual treatment, the area will be cleaned, and you may be given a topical anesthetic to numb the area before injection. Many filler products also contain lidocaine, a mild anesthetic, which is intended to help minimize discomfort during and after your treatment. Your provider will then inject a precise amount of filler strategically beneath the skin.
Depending on the product and the areas treated, you should be able to notice results immediately after receiving filler injections. Some patients experience mild bruising and swelling, but these are temporary and should subside over the days following treatment. You will be able to go back to your normal activities right after treatment, but your dermatologist may ask you to take the day off from exercise or other strenuous activity.
Recovery time varies for each patient, depending on which filler was used. The patient can resume most normal activities following treatment; however, it is recommended to not participate in strenuous exercise for 24 to 48 hours to reduce swelling and bruising. It will also prevent the migration of the product.
Your doctor will explain in detail the known side effects and risks as well as detailed post-treatment care with you at your appointment. Maintaining good skin health will improve longevity.
ARE DERMAL FILLERS SAFE?
It is highly recommended to make sure you are receiving FDA-approved and brand name fillers. These fillers are only available through a licensed physician, such as a board-certified dermatologist.
It is not common for participants to experience severe complications from dermal fillers. Risks and side effects vary depending on the specific type of filler used for treatment. Some side effects include:
- An over-filled appearance to treated areas
- Swelling or bruising
- Temporary redness or numbness
- Lumps or hard areas in the injection sites
If you are experiencing any side effects, icing or massaging can offer relief immediately following treatment.
Depending on the product used and the areas treated, you should notice results right away. The length of time the results last varies depending on the product used, the area treated, and the individual.
To maintain your results, your dermatologist simply repeat treatment, adjusting the amount and techniques as necessary to ensure optimal results.
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Do you give 100% guarantee?
No doctor can give 100% guarantee that the treatment or surgery would be beneficial for the patient. For that matter, no guarantee is given by any doctor or surgeon that the patient would be "cured".
Anyone considering a cosmetic procedure should ensure they are informed enough to understand the limitations and risks of any procedure. Remember, no procedure is 100% risk free and no surgeon can give a 100% guarantee of the results.
The only assurance which a doctor can give or can be understood to have given by implication is that he is possessed of the requisite skill in that branch of profession which he is practicing and while undertaking the performance of the task entrusted to him he would be exercising his skill with reasonable competence.
Unless the circumstances are exceptional, it is advisable to avoid surgery if you have recently experienced major life events such as moving house, changing job, losing a loved one, the break-up of a relationship or the arrival of children. Undergoing cosmetic surgery results in emotional changes as well as physical ones, so it’s wise to choose a time when there aren’t other stressful events going on in your life.
How many sessions do I require?
The healthier your skin/hair are when starting out, the easier it will take the treatment. The sessions must be spaced to allow adequate healing in between. Skin/Hair that are healthy enough to regenerate fairly quickly will be able to endure more sessions of a treatment in a shorter period of time.
While these aren’t the only factors involved, they are the most common. Don’t be surprised, however, if your doctor mentions another situation that could impact the length and/or number of sessions you may require. Every person is different, and your circumstances will be unique only to YOU.