Dermal fillers are non-invasive or minimally invasive treatments used to counteract the effect of aging. Aging skin becomes increasingly dry over time, dehydrating easily and losing its elasticity. This, combined with the effects of gravity, causes lines, wrinkles, and sagging of the skin. Dermal fillers were developed to restore skin on the lips, chin, cheeks, the jawline, the area under the eyes, and the nose to a more youthful appearance.
The Facts on Fillers
Fillers can restore volume
Dermal fillers make lines and wrinkles less noticeable by restoring volume to your face. They can plump out thin lips, soften lines, remove wrinkles, and make the appearance of scars less noticeable. Specifically, fillers can:
- Plump up lips and make them appear full and youthful;
- Smooth out deep lines that run from the nose to the mouth;
- Smooth out thin lines around the edges of your lips;
- Add contour to the shape of your cheeks;
- Fill out the area underneath the eyes;
- And make scars less noticeable.
Cosmetic injectables can revitalize the skin
Hyaluronic acid (HA) dermal fillers can revitalize the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that naturally occurs in the deeper layers of the skin. It can keep skin smooth and plump because it can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water.
Dermal filler products contain a form of stabilized HA which is administered through injection with very thin needles. These products are designed to resemble your body’s own natural HA and can improve the features by enhancing facial volume, softening lines and wrinkles, re-establishing facial balance, and restoring fullness to lips.
Soft tissue fillers can redefine facial contours
Soft tissue fillers can reduce the appearance of aging, which happens when the jawline becomes less defined. Facial contour enhancement of the cheeks, jawline, and chin is one of the most popular uses of fillers to achieve a natural and subtle improvement to the general appearance of the face.
What happens when you don’t maintain treatment?
Dermal fillers are relatively fast and easy. Unlike plastic surgery, however, they are a temporary solution. If you want to maintain the results, you must go back regularly for repeat injections. If you don’t maintain treatment, your skin will revert to its previous condition before the treatment started.
The amount of time between injections will vary from person to person and the product that is used. You might need to return for a second injection within 6 months after the initial 1. Dermal filler results usually last between several months and 2 years.
Limits on filler amounts per year
In general, the best possible result of a successful filler treatment is a fresher-looking appearance. Certain facial contours define the face and should not be obliterated with fillers. The aim should not be to completely remove all lines—that’s just unnatural.
Please note that “reconstructing” the face with fillers has its limitations. If you overdo it, you will distort your appearance.
What if your doctor suggests a different filler than what you were expecting?
You may have a dramatic change in mind, but a thoughtful plastic surgeon or a professional dermatologist might advise differently.
Your doctor will interview you to find out if you are being realistic about the outcome of the treatment results—do you expect to look several years younger, do you want a complete change, or would you prefer to simply enhance some of your features? You may also not fully understand the treatment or be aware of possible side effects. All these factors may cause your doctor to recommend a different filler.
If you did your homework and chose your doctor carefully, it’s best to follow his or her professional advice.
How long does the procedure take?
If you would like to change your overall skin appearance, you need regular maintenance treatments. As discussed earlier, different types of dermal filler vary in the longevity of their effects. Some of the most common intervals include between 6–12 months. Each treatment can take up to 30 minutes, depending on the number of areas being treated. Some treatments may be shorter or longer.
Trusting your doctor: style and expertise
Don’t fall victim to the most effective marketing campaign. Pretty words and promises are not an indication of a person’s real expertise.
As a point of departure, make sure that the person you decide to consult is in fact suitably qualified. Practitioners should belong to professional organizations where you can check their credentials.
When you have identified a number of qualified people, let yourself be guided by the person whose work impresses you. Look at photos and talk to friends and other clients who experienced similar procedures to find out whose work would best suit your specific needs.
Risks of dermal fillers
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, severe complications from dermal fillers are uncommon. Potential risks depend on the specific filler used and the relative permanence of the filler substance.
- Acne-like skin eruptions
- Damage to the skin that results in a wound and possible scarring
- Bruising, bleeding from the injection site, and/or swelling
- Palpability of the filler under the surface of the skin
- Infection at the injection site
- Skin necrosis (ulceration or loss of skin from disruption of blood flow)
- Skin rash with itching
- Skin redness
- Under- or over-correction of wrinkles
These risks are rare when the filler is administered by a licensed injector. Dermal fillers are generally well tolerated. Your doctor will discuss your medical history, including any allergies, your current list of medications, and your expectations prior to treatment to ensure you receive optimal results.