As we age our skin becomes dry and loses the collagen that helps shape and support it resulting in the deepening of natural lines and wrinkles. Sun exposure, smoking, air pollution, gravity, stress and even excessive movements of our facial muscles can all age our appearance. The face’s underlying tissues that once kept our skin looking fresh, youthful and plumped up begin to break down. Dermal Fillers are comprised of an either naturally-derived or synthetic material that is directly injected into skin with the purpose of plumping that area to the point where the wrinkle, depression or fold is gone.
There are various types of Dermal Filler available, but today this term is primarily used in referring to non-permanent resorbable fillers. Despite their classification, temporary fillers have a lengthy duration time – anywhere from 4 to 18 months. Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Fillers are the most widely used fillers within this category and have a very high safety profile. Hyaluronic acid is a substance found naturally occurring in every organism. When we are born, there are plentiful amounts of Hyaluronic Acid in our body. However, as we get older, this store of hyaluronic acid diminishes, leaving the skin less well supported, and resulting in the development of lines and wrinkles.
Hyaluronic acid fillers are a natural skin-hydrating solution aiming to temporarily reverse the effects of ageing and other factors such as damage caused by the sun, smoking, stress and pollution. As Hyaluronic acid already exists in our body, it is very biocompatible and so rarely causes any reactions.
How Dermal Fillers Work
Dermal Fillers come in different viscosities and, in general, the “thicker” the product, the deeper it is injected into the dermal layer of the skin, helping to plump up the creases and sunken areas of the face. This injectable treatment works best on mid- and lower parts of the face, for restoring lost volume in the cheeks, chin and tear troughs (the area situated between the lower eyelid and upper cheek), enhancing the lips, treating deep laughter lines (nasolabial folds), smoker’s lines around the mouth, minor nose deformities, and sunken areas of the face. The dermal filler will immediately plump up the treatment area and over a period of 2-4 weeks, will continue to attract water and settle. For this reason best results are seen after the elapse of this time.
In expert hands Dermal Fillers work exceptionally well and dramatic improvements can be produced, resulting in an astonishingly smoother and rejuvenated look to what was previously a tired and ageing face.
Dermal filler treatments work best for restoring lost volume in the cheeks , enhancing the lips, treating deep laughter lines (naso-labial folds), smoker’s lines around the mouth, and minor nose deformities and sunken areas.
Another area that is most frequently treated using Dermal Fillers is the Tear Troughs, situated between the lower eyelid and upper cheek. As we age this area changes in appearance becoming longer, deeper and more shadowed. This is a normal part of the ageing process but gives the impression of being tired and less youthful looking. However, eye hollows can develop from a young age, being caused by a multitude of factors including genetic makeup, lack of sleep, stress and poor diet. But by the subtle use of Dermal Filler, dramatic improvements can be produced, resulting in an astonishingly rejuvenated look to what was previously a tired and aging face.
Dermal Filler Treatment
Prior to initial treatment, a thorough consultation with a qualified and experienced practitioner is necessary, during which all areas of concern should be assessed. The procedure, including possible risks, complications and after care should also be discussed with you and all your questions should be answered. At this time your practitioner should also advise you of the appropriate filler(s) suitable for addressing your rejuvenation needs.
The procedure typically begins by applying a topical anaesthetic cream to the skin which reduces the pain caused by the injection. Your practitioner then injects the chosen filler into the appropriate site, and may massage the area for few seconds to distribute the filler evenly and achieve the desired effect. With Dermal Filler treatment there is minimal recovery or downtime. Following the treatment, some temporary injection-related reactions may occur, including redness, pain, firmness, swelling, and bumps. These are usually mild to moderate in nature and clear up on their own within a few hours to a couple of days.
Risks & Complications
Potential risks and complications of Dermal Filler treatment are minimal, provided genuine quality fillers are used and the treatment is carried out by a qualified and experienced practitioner. Allergic reactions to the hyaluronic acid fillers are exceptionally rare since they are free from animal proteins and completely bio-compatible with the hyaluronic acid already in the human body.
How long will the results of your Dermal Filler treatment last?
Immediate improvement is visible following a Dermal Filler treatment. However, it may take up to 4 weeks for the filler to settle in place and achieve an optimum result.
Your practitioner may employ one of several types of Dermal Filler, which vary in longevity from a minimum of 3 months up to 18 months, and sometimes even longer in duration. The longevity of results with dermal fillers depends on a number of individual factors, such as filler composition, skin quality, hydration, metabolism and degree of muscular use within the treatment area, meaning that injections into areas of the face that move frequently during smiling, chewing, talking etc, do not last as long as those in other areas.
Sometimes the longevity of the fillers increases with the number of treatments – some research showing that repeated injections may help stimulate the body’s own natural production of collagen, which also helps reduce the number of lines and wrinkles. There is also some evidence indicating that less filler is needed over time to achieve the same look. Expectations in terms of results and longevity should be discussed with you at your consultation.
Advice from Dr Allen Rezai on What you should know about Dermal Filler Treatment
- A thorough initial consultation is essential. You should fully understand all aspects of the procedure and be given time to discuss your concerns and questions with the practitioner before undergoing treatment.
- Cheap is not necessarily best. Don’t base your decision on price alone. There are many varieties of Dermal Filler on the market. Make sure that you are aware of the type being offered and the reasons for it.
- Thoroughly research your Practitioner/Clinic. Word of mouth and recommendations from people you know are usually the most reliable guide.
- Injectable treatments should only be carried out in a clean, safe and appropriate clinical environment, so as to avoid infection and permanent physical damage. Treatments should be carried out in a clinical facility and NOT in a home setting or, for example, a nail bar or tattoo parlour.
- Do not get Dermal Filler treatment from sources outside a doctor’s office. Know what you are being injected with and ask your doctor if a FDA-approved Dermal Filler is being used and if it was purchased directly from the manufacturer or manufacturer’s representative. If a provider will not give you this information, do not let them carry out the procedure.
- Dermal Filler Treatment can be REVERSED if you do not like the result! Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers such as all Juvéderm® range fillers, Perlane® and Restylane® can be dissolved using a Hyaluronidase Injection. Opting for hyaluronic acid Dermal Filler provides the opportunity to reverse the procedure if you decide you don’t like the results.
- Use Sunscreen daily to help preserve the filler and protect against post-inflammatory pigment changes due to the needle sticks from injections.
- Keep hydrated – before and for a few weeks following the Dermal Filler treatment. If your body is dehydrated, the filler will be resorbed much faster than it otherwise would.