Dermal Fillers

If you'd like to restore youthful fullness to your face, enjoy plump lips, enhance shallow contours or soften those facial creases and wrinkles, dermal fillers may be the answer.

  • Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers have been called "liquid facelifts" because they offer many of the benefits of a surgical facelift without the downtime.

Although they can't help with excess sagging skin, these soft tissue fillers can add more volume and provide immediate results at a lower cost than surgery. These treatment aren't permanent, however, and they must be repeated and maintained.

Some dermal fillers are used in conjunction with other skin rejuvenation treatments such as injections of botulinum toxin.

Procedure

First, surgeon will listen to your desired results and then evaluate your facial appearance and skin tone, examining the areas of your face to be augmented with a cosmetic dermal filler.

Next, the surgeon will mark strategic points on your face as guides to the appropriate injection sites for the filler.

Your injection sites will be cleansed with an antibacterial agent. Then a topical anesthetic will be used to numb the area, particularly if you are sensitive to injections. In some cases, the dermal filler includes an anesthetic in the mixture.

The actual injections will take just a few minutes total, and just seconds per site.

The marks will be washed away and you will be offered an ice pack to reduce any minor and temporary discomfort. At this point you may apply makeup, but be careful not to apply pressure to the treated areas. Doing so may result in movement of the dermal filler.

A special note about scars and deep lines: these areas will often require multiple injections to achieve your desired results. If a deeper injection is required, you'll be offered a local anesthetic to remain comfortable. Common sites for deeper tissue fillers are the nasolabial folds and marionette lines, or to enhance fullness in the cheeks.

There is no downtime with dermal fillers. You can resume most activities right away. Remember not to rub the treated area so that the filler material remains undisturbed. You'll likely experience swelling or a bit of bruising, which should fade within a few days.

If you opt for human fat as a filler, you'll notice an "over-filled" appearance at first. It should resolve within a few hours or, in some cases, a few days. For some people, however, this over-filled appearance could last for a few weeks.

Fillers that are derived from non-human sources require a pre-treatment allergy test.

Complications from fillers are uncommon. The risks include:

  • Acne
  • Antibodies, or rejection of filler material, may reduce the effectiveness of future injections
  • Asymmetry
  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Fillers that contain microscopic granular substances, particularly, calcium hydroxylapatite, may clump as a result of facial movement or your natural aging process. As time progress, these clumps can turn into lumps or nodules. Surgery can remove the lumps
  • Infection at the injection site
  • Itching
  • Migration of filler material away from the original site
  • Necrosis (skin death)
  • Redness
  • Skin rash
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Swelling
  • Temporary numbness
  • Temporary paralysis of facial muscles
  • Under- or over-correction of wrinkles

It's important to realize that dermal fillers are not permanent. Even the semi-permanent variety eventually require re-treatments. The way your face continues to age and how your body absorbs fillers will determine the timing of repeat treatments.

If you decide not to re-treat, your appearance will return to its original condition. Wrinkles and scars will return, and plumped lips will lose volume.

If you want to reduce facial wrinkles and lines, hyaluronic acid may be a good choice as a dermal filler because of its compatibility with the human body.

In fact, this substance is found in almost every single living thing. In humans, it acts as a network that transfers essential nutrients from the bloodstream to skin cells.

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in your body. High concentrations are found in soft connective tissues and in the fluid surrounding your eyes. It's also in some cartilage and joint fluids, as well as skin tissue. It is extracted and reformulated and now has become one of the most popular kinds of injectable fillers. If the term sounds familiar, it's because the same substance is often injected into the aching joints of people with arthritis to ease pain and provide extra cushioning. Brand names include Captique, Esthélis, Elevess, Hylaform, Juvéderm, Perlane, Prevelle, Puragen and Restylane. Hyaluronic acid is not derived from animal sources.

Hyaluronic acid

When this gel is injected, it acts like an inflated cushion to support facial structures and tissues that may have lost volume or elasticity due to normal aging. It also brings water to the surface of skin to keep it looking fresh and supple.

In the last few decades, various synthetic forms of hyaluronic acid have been developed and used to correct disorders in the fields of rheumatology, ophthalmology, and wound repair. More recently, synthetic forms of hyaluronic acid are being manufactured for use in face augmentation.