What are dermal fillers?
As we age, our faces naturally lose subcutaneous fat. The facial muscles are then working closer to the skin surface, so smile lines and crow's feet become more apparent.
The facial skin also stretches a bit, adding to this loss of facial volume. Other factors that affect the facial skin include sun exposure, heredity, and lifestyle.
Dermal filler injections are a type of nonsurgical cosmetic procedure. Dermal fillers plump up wrinkles, smooth lines and restore volume to your face. Your healthcare provider injects these substances just under your skin.
People choose to get dermal fillers to enhance their facial features or gain a more youthful appearance. This elective treatment usually takes less than half an hour, and recovery time is minimal. Results are seen right away and last months to years depending on the type of filler and the location.
There are several kinds of dermal fillers. Your healthcare provider will discuss your options with you. As with any cosmetic procedure, there are risks, including infection, bleeding, and bruising. Health insurance plans generally don’t cover elective cosmetic procedures such as filler injections.
What dermal fillers can do
Add volume to sagging skin
Make your facial features more symmetrical
Plump up cheeks
Smooth wrinkles and creases in your face
Plump thin lips
Enhance shallow contours
Soften facial creases and wrinkles
Reconstruct contour deformities in the face
Decrease or remove the shadow of the lower lids
Dermal fillers can be very helpful in those with early signs of aging, or as a value-added part of facial rejuvenation surgery.
What dermal fillers can't do?
For some clients, surgery such as a facelift, brow lift, or eye lift may be the best approach. Minimally invasive rejuvenation treatments, such as soft tissue fillers, cannot achieve the same results but may help delay the time when consideration of a facelift becomes appropriate. It is important to remember that dermal fillers are temporary treatments for facial aging and that ongoing treatments will be needed for long-term results.
HYALURONIC ACID (HA) DERMAL FILLERS
Hyaluronic acid fillers are comparatively safe to use since the compound is similar to the one that your body produces naturally. In addition to giving your skin a smooth appearance, HA also works to lubricate your joints.
Hyaluronic Acid is one of the most popular injectables because it is known to stimulate the production of natural collagen. This factor makes HA more effective especially since the compound acts like a sponge to absorb fluid and shows smoother skin.
You can expect that the effects of HA fillers may last from 6 to 12 months. Certain brands like Voluma XC may continue to show results for up to two years. And, if for some reason, you’re not too happy with the treatment, your dermatologist can reverse it with the help of hyaluronidase.
The main brand names for Hyaluronic Acid injectables are:
Juvéderm Ultra XC (also contains lidocaine to minimize discomfort, is effective as one of the types of fillers for lips
Juvederm Voluma XC/ Juvederm XC/ Juvederm Volbella XC
Perlane or Perlane-L
Restylane-Lift/ Restylane Silk / Restylane / Restylane-L (also effective for the lips)/ Restylane Refyne/ Restylane Defyne
SYNTHETIC DERMAL FILLERS
In response to the rising demand for injectables, you’re now likely to find various types of synthetic fillers that promise to remove the signs of aging. Each of these fillers uses a different chemical and works in unique ways to give your skin a youthful appearance. Given that these fillers are synthetic in nature, you may want to be prepared for the possibility of side effects. Further, if you aren’t quite happy with the results, you may need to get surgical help to reverse the procedure.
1. CALCIUM HYDROXYLAPATITE – AVAILABLE AS RADIESSE
The calcium hydroxylapatite filler was first developed for use in facial reconstruction and dental fields. Marketed under the name Radiesse, the product is created biosynthetically though it mimics a compound that your body produces naturally. It has a rare possibility of causing any allergic reactions or side effects and works by promoting the growth of new collagen. Once inserted into the skin, the Radiesse compound stays in place and is unlikely to shift to a different location. As for how long the injectable lasts, you can expect to see the effects for up to 12 months after the treatment.
2. POLYLACTIC ACID – AVAILABLE AS SCULPTRA
Like Radiesse, Sculptra is one of the types of dermal fillers that stimulate the development of new collagen in the skin. The main element in the filler is polylactic acid (PLLA) and you may need to come in for multiple sessions timed four to six weeks apart. Given that the compound is biodegradable, you’ll need regular touch-ups for the effects to last. Your dermatologist will determine the number of sessions you need depending on the extent of the lines and wrinkles that are visible.