- Injectable Dermal Fillers Guide | ABCS
- How Can Dermal Fillers Enhance My Appearance?
- What are Fillers Made With?
- Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
- Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA)
- Poly-L-lactic Acid
- Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)
- Autologous fat injections (facial fat grafting)
- Choosing a Provider for Filler Treatments
- Which filler do I need?
- What to Expect During Treatment
- Pre-treatment consultation
- Your injectable filler treatment
- If you are having fat injections…
- How Long Do the Results Last?
- Find a qualified dermal filler provider near you
- What You Should Know About Wrinkle Fillers
- Everything You Need To Know About Dermal Fillers
- Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA)
- Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
- Poly-L-lactic Acid (PLLA)
- Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)
- 8 Things You Should Know Before Getting Injectables
- There are three main types of injectables
- Expect any procedure to be expensive
- Everything You Need-to-Know About Dermal Fillers
- Dermal fillers: The good, the bad, and the dangerous
- What are dermal fillers?
- Avoid black market dermal fillers
- Dermal fillers are safe and effective in the right hands
Injectable Dermal Fillers Guide | ABCS
Dermal fillers are gel- substances that are injected beneath the skin to restore lost volume, smooth lines and soften creases, or enhance facial contours. More than 1 million men and women annually have choose this popular facial rejuvenation treatment, which can be a cost-effective way to look younger without surgery or downtime.
How Can Dermal Fillers Enhance My Appearance?
While dermal fillers are casually known as “wrinkle fillers,” they can do much more than just smooth out wrinkles, although they are excellent at this too! Here are a few of the common issues dermal fillers can help address:
- Smooth out lines around nose and mouth (a.k.a. marionette lines, smile lines, and parentheses)
- Enhance & restore volume to sunken cheeks or temples
- Diminish vertical lip lines
- Plump & enhance the lips
- Smooth out a chin crease
- Improve symmetry among facial features
Back to top
What are Fillers Made With?
There are a variety of FDA approved filler products that cosmetic surgeons use. In general, fillers are categorized by the substance they are made from. A note for your safety: always make sure that you are receiving FDA approved, brand name fillers, which are only available through a licensed physician, such as a board certified cosmetic surgeon.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance that is already found in your skin. It helps keep skin plump and hydrated. HA fillers are typically soft and gel-.
The results are temporary, lasting 6 to 12 months or longer before the body gradually and naturally absorbs the particles.
Most HA fillers are infused with lidocaine to help minimize discomfort during and after treatment. FDA approved HA fillers include:
- Juvéderm products: Juvéderm XC, VOLUMA, VOLBELLA, VOLLURE
- Restylane products: Restylane, Restylane Silk, Restylane Lyft, Restylane Refyne, and Restylane Defyne
- Belotero Balance
Back to top
Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA)
Calcium hydroxylapatite is also a naturally occurring substance, found primarily in our bones. When used in a filler, the calcium particles are nearly microscopic and suspended in a smooth gel.
The consistency of a CaHA filler is typically thicker than that of a hyaluronic acid filler and typically last longer as well, about 12 months for most patients.
Calcium hydroxylapatite is also reported to help stimulate natural collagen production, and it is typically used for deeper lines and wrinkles. FDA approved CaHA fillers include Radiesse®.
Back to top
Poly-L-lactic acid is a biocompatible (meaning it is safe to use in the body), biodegradable synthetic substance. It has been used for many years in medical devices, such as dissolvable stitches.
Poly-L-lactic acid products are technically classified as “collagen stimulators,” as their main mechanism to smooth fine lines is by helping your skin rebuild natural collagen—the filler gel itself dissipates a few days after treatment.
Poly-L-lactic acid is typically used to treat deeper facial wrinkles, and results can last more than 2 years. FDA approved Poly-L-lactic acid fillers include Sculptra® Aesthetic.
Back to top
Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is a synthetic, biocompatible substance that has been used in medicine for much of the last century.
In dermal fillers, PMMA takes the form of a “microsphere” or tiny ball, that remains beneath the skin indefinitely to provide continued support.
PMMA fillers will also contain collagen, a naturally occurring substance in the skin that provides structure and firmness. FDA approved PMMA fillers include Bellafill® (formerly known as Artefill).
Back to top
Autologous fat injections (facial fat grafting)
Autologous fat injections 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.
Back to top
Choosing a Provider for Filler Treatments
When selecting a provider for injectable treatments, give your decision the same level of care and scrutiny that you would for a surgical procedure.
Non-surgical filler treatment is still a medical procedure that requires specific training, knowledge and skill to ensure safe treatment and natural-looking results.
Choose a provider with an extensive knowledge of facial anatomy, a well-developed aesthetic eye, and a surgeon’s skill and precision.
Whomever you choose, make sure your provider has a proven background in cosmetic medicine as well as training and substantial experience performing filler injections.
Ask to see before & after photos of a potential provider’s patients. If an R.N.
or physician’s assistant will be performing your injections, that person should be working closely under the supervision of a qualified physician, preferably a board certified cosmetic surgeon.
Back to top
Which filler do I need?
With so many dermal filler products on the market, it can be difficult to know which option is best for you without an experienced cosmetic surgeon’s guidance.
Each product is uniquely formulated to have a certain texture, density, and injection depth, which means that certain fillers work better for certain areas of concern.
While your provider will determine what product is best for you, the following diagram illustrates in general where cosmetic surgeons tend to apply certain products:
Click to enlarge
Back to top
What to Expect During Treatment
Dermal filler injections are non-surgical and typically completed during an office visit. Your initial treatment will begin with a consultation, during which you will meet with your cosmetic surgeon to discuss your concerns and goals.
During your consultation, your cosmetic surgeon will evaluate your area of concern and review your medical history.
While the risks associated with dermal fillers are minimal, you need to fully disclose your medical history prior to treatment, as certain allergies, skin and neurological conditions, or medications can jeopardize your safety or results.
For instance, you need to tell your cosmetic surgeon if you have been taking NSAIDs (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen) or blood thinners, as these increase the lihood of bruising.
Your injectable filler treatment
Just before the actual treatment, the area will be cleaned, and you may be given a topical anesthetic to numb the area prior to 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 cosmetic surgeon may ask you to take the day off from exercise or other strenuous activity.
If you are having fat injections…
Facial fat grafting is a surgical procedure and follows a different treatment protocol.
Typically, fat grafting is performed as an outpatient procedure, using general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation.
Up to 2 weeks of downtime may be required, depending on the extent of liposuction performed. Your cosmetic surgeon will go over what to expect with surgery and recovery during your consultation.
Back to top
How Long Do the Results Last?
How long the effects of dermal fillers will last depends on the product, the area of treatment, and the patient.
Generally speaking, the denser the product is and the more deeply it is injected, the longer it will last, although this is not a hard and fast rule.
To maintain your results, your cosmetic surgeon will simply repeat treatment, adjusting the amount and techniques as necessary to ensure optimal results.
Hyaluronic acid fillers tend to be the most temporary option, and therefore are often recommended for first-time filler patients. These will typically last from 6 to 18 months.
Injections to the lips will wear out a little faster than those to the nasolabial folds.
Certain HA fillers, such as VOLUMA, are formulated to last longer, but are usually limited to certain areas, such as the cheeks.
Synthetic fillers tend to last longer, as they are not absorbed by the body. They can be a great option for the right patient, but you’ll want to be ready to commit to results that will be there for several years—and choose an experienced, qualified provider whose aesthetic style you .
Fat injections are meant to last indefinitely; however, some of the injected fat is expected not survive. Initially, your cosmetic surgeon may overfill the treatment area, resulting in an initially fuller look that will gradually settle into a more natural appearance.
Back to top
Find a qualified dermal filler provider near you
With the help of an experienced, qualified provider, injectable fillers can provide natural-looking enhancements to help you feel more confident in your appearance. If you’re ready to learn more about your options, the next step is to meet with a board certified cosmetic surgeon for a consultation. You can use our ABCS Find-a-Surgeon tool to locate a cosmetic surgeon near you.
What You Should Know About Wrinkle Fillers
Injectable wrinkle fillers can give you a more youthful look for a fraction of what a traditional facelift costs. Most will fill hollows, lines, and wrinkles in less than 30 minutes with results that can last from 4 months to more than a year.
Injectable wrinkle fillers, un Botox injections that relax the muscle under a wrinkle, fill the line, crease, or area with one of several different substances. As a result, trouble spots nearly disappear.
Wrinkle fillers can also be used as “volumizers,” plumping and lifting cheeks, chins, jawlines, and temples; filling out thin lips, and plumping sagging hands.
The treatment is fast and easy. But all wrinkle fillers have a downside, including the risk of allergic reaction and the formation of tiny bumps under the skin. In some cases, those bumps may be permanent. And sometimes, a bluish skin discoloration known as the Tyndall effect happens.
The color change can last for several months, but there are treatments available. In very rare cases, skin cells may die if the wrinkle fillers are not used properly. There have also been a few reported cases of blindness, scarring from skin loss and nerve paralysis.
Typically, the wrinkle fillers that last longer are the ones more ly to cause side effects.
Not every wrinkle-filler is right for every type of wrinkle. The least risks and best results come from using the right one correctly. That's why you should only have fillers injected by a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon with ongoing, special training.
Here is a breakdown of available wrinkle fillers. It includes their basic ingredients, how they work, their pros and cons, and the best areas for treatment. Your doctor can help you choose the right one for you.
The most popular category of wrinkle fillers is hyaluronic acid. Each type works in a slightly different way with varying results.
Side effects are rare but can include redness, swelling, and bruising at the injection site. The filler may also show up under the skin as tiny bumps. This is a problem that often improves over time.
How long the results last varies from several months to over a year or two. Some research shows that repeated injections may help stimulate the body's own natural production of collagen. That will help reduce the number of lines and wrinkles. There is also some evidence that less filler is needed over time to achieve the same look.
Hyaluronic acid wrinkle fillers include:
- Belotero Balance
- Juvederm Voluma XC
- Juvederm XC
- Juvederm Ultra XC
- Juvederm Volbella XC
- Juvederm Ultra
- Juvederm Ultra Plus
- Juvederm Vollure XC
- Prevelle Silk
- Restylane Silk
- Restylane Refyne
- Restylane Defyne
This smaller category of wrinkle fillers includes lab-made substances that are not related to anything found naturally in the skin.
All the fillers in this group have similar side effects, such as redness, swelling, or bruising at the site of the injection. Other side effects include nodules or bumps under the skin that can be seen and felt and that, in rare instances, may require surgery to remove.
The benefits include a longer-lasting effect. And at least one filler offers semi-permanent filling of lines and creases. Remember, products with longer-lasting effects are more ly to cause side effects. And when not used correctly, synthetic wrinkle fillers may cause disfigurement.
Synthetic wrinkle fillers include:
Scientists made the first wrinkle fillers from a purified form of collagen extracted mostly from cows. Although it worked well and offered a natural-looking fill, the results didn't last long.
Most collagen injections began to break down as early as 1 month after treatment.
Because these wrinkle fillers were made from an animal source, they also had a higher rate of allergic reaction and required allergy testing beforehand.
New ways of processing the collagen have helped lower the risks. Plus, new forms of synthetic collagens are making these injections safer and more useful to a wider range of people. Although the results don't last as long as other wrinkle fillers, many believe the results are more natural looking.
Side effects of collagen injections include some risk of allergic reaction (mostly for those still using cow sources), as well as bruising and redness at the site of the injection.
Collagen injections include:
Fat is the most commonly used substance in this category. Your own fat is surgically removed from your thighs, buttocks, or stomach, treated, then injected.
You will need to have two procedures (one to remove the fat and one to inject it). Both procedures can be done in one visit. Additional fat purification steps done in the lab can be costly and time-consuming.
Results can be semi-permanent, although you may need a series of injections done over time.
Platelet-rich plasma injections (“vampire lift”) are another type of autologous wrinkle filler/volumizer. Blood is drawn from the arm, treated, then injected into the face. The effects can last 12 to 18 months.
Risks are similar to other wrinkle fillers, including bruising, redness, and swelling at the site of the injection. Because the fillers come from your body, these injections do not require FDA approval.
Wrinkle fillers are among the safest cosmetic procedures in use today. But there are things you can do to help ensure your treatment is safe:
- Don't let price be your guide. If you are offered a wrinkle filler treatment that costs far less than the standard treatment, it's ly some compromises are being made, either in the skill of the provider or the quality of the product. Never risk making a bargain with your face.
- All wrinkle fillers should be done in a medical setting with sterile instruments. Treatments done in homes, hotels, spas, or resorts are not being done in medical environments, regardless of who is doing them.
- Do not get injectable wrinkle fillers from sources outside a doctor's office. Know what you are being injected with, and ask your doctor if an FDA-approved wrinkle filler is being used and if it was purchased directly from the maker. There have been reports of everything from industrial-grade silicone to baby oil being used. If a provider won't give you this information, don't let them do the procedure.
- Use sunscreen daily to help preserve the filler and help protect against post-inflammatory pigment changes due to the needle sticks from injections.
SOURCES:Bruce Katz, MD, director, Juva Skin and Laser Center, New York City.Rhoda Narins, MD, professor of dermatology, NYU School of Medicine, New York City.Joel Schlessinger, MD, past president, American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery.Ellen Marmur, MD, director, cosmetic dermatology, Mt.
Sinai Medical Center, New York City.American Society of Plastic Surgeons: “How Wrinkle Fillers Work.”American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery: “Injectables at a glance.”American Academy of Dermatology: “Soft Tissue Fillers.”SmartSkinCare.com: “Hyaluronic Acid Fillers.”News release, Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp.
Artes Medical: “How Artefill Works.”
DISCLOSURES:Bruce Katz, MD, Medical advisory board of Bioform.Rhoda Narins, MD ,Medical board, consultant, and/or investigator for Q-Med, Artes, Bioform, Johnson & Johnson, Ortho-Neutrogena, Colbar, Merz, Medicis, Contura, Mentor, Stiefel, Allergan, Sanofi Aventis Dermik, and Genzyme.Ellen Marmur, MD, Medical education faculty for Bioform, Sanofi Aventis, and Allergan.
Joel Schlessinger, MD ,Researcher, advisory board, and/or consultant for 3M Pharma, Abbot Pharma, Allergan, Amgen, Barrier Therapeutics, Bioten, Centocor, Clay-Park Labs, Collagenix, Connetics, Dermik, Dow, ESC Medical, Fujisawa, Galderma, Genentech, Glaxo Pharma, Glenmark Pharma, Healthpoint, Immunex, Ipsen, Kythera, Medicis, Mentor, Merz, Novartis, Novum, Nucryst, Ortho Pharma, Penederm Pharma, Perrigo, Pfizer, QLT USA, Regeneratio Pharma AG, Sandox, Shering Plough, Stiefel Labs, UCB/Vitae, Artes, Glaxo, Health and Wellness Council of America, MJD Communications, Obagi, TheDERM.org, and Vaseline Petroleum Jelly (National spokesperson 2000-2001). Stockholder of Allergan, Excel Cosmeceuticals, Medicus, Mentor, Obagi, and TKL Graceway.
© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Everything You Need To Know About Dermal Fillers
Minimally invasive procedures including dermal fillers are becoming increasingly popular and accessible, but it can be hard to figure out exactly how they work, what all of the different products do, and which option is best to achieve the results you want. This guide will give you all of the information you need to understand the differences between hyaluronic acid fillers and collagen-based fillers, how long you can expect the results to last, and how each product achieves optimal results.
Dermal fillers work to restore lost volume in certain areas of the body and enhance areas, such as the lips or cheeks, by adding volume in a controlled way. A decrease in collagen is one of the biggest causes of fine lines and wrinkles and experts believe the breakdown begins when people are around 25 years old.
Dermal fillers are versatile, minimally invasive, and relatively low risk, which makes them a popular option for people who are looking to get the upper hand on signs of aging. They are not the same as neurotoxins Botox® and work in a completely different way, but they do treat similar skin complaints. Fillers are FDA approved to address the following concerns:
Dermal fillers come in various forms and can be made from different ingredients to serve a variety of purposes. These are the most common types.
Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA)
Calcium Hydroxylapatite is similar to a mineral and is naturally found in human bones. The most common brand of CaHA filler is Radiesse® and is used for enhancing volume in the cheeks (and other areas of the face) and plumping frown lines and nasolabial folds (deep lines from the nose to mouth).
The product is potentially suitable for vegans since it is made using biosynthetic processes and no animals or animal products are used in its production. Not only is this preferable for some people on an ethical basis, it can also reduce the chances of an allergic reaction.
CaHA fillers are renowned for being safe, producing a natural-looking result, and were initially used in reconstructive surgery.
Though they have a long history of safety, patients must still ensure that the person administering the product is properly trained and that the procedure takes place in a sterile medical setting.
Depending on how fast your body metabolizes the product, CaHA fillers Radiesse® should provide visible results for 12 to 24 months. It is common for results from your first filler procedure to last a little less time than subsequent procedures, but your practitioner will be able to give you an accurate estimate the condition of your skin, your lifestyle, and other factors.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
Hyaluronic acid is the most common type of filler used in the U.S. and is made from another substance that can be found naturally in the body in areas such as the joints, skin, and even eyeballs. Hyaluronic Acid fillers are produced under a number of brand names, including:
HA fillers are extremely versatile. They can be used on fine lines and wrinkles on most areas of the face (including crow's feet, smile lines, and worry lines) and can also be used to treat a wide variety of skin complaints including some types of scarring and redefining lips.
The substance is widely used in the medical profession and is the same product injected in the joints of those suffering from arthritis. The body produces HA naturally, but the formulations injected as fillers are extracted and processed before being used for cosmetic purposes.
Most HA fillers are also infused with the numbing agent lidocaine which helps minimize the discomfort caused by the injection procedure as well as reducing pain afterward. Results from HA fillers are temporary and generally last between six and 12 months.
That can be great if you’re unsure of whether or not you’ll the results, but it also means you need to be aware of the potential financial commitment of keeping up the results.
Poly-L-lactic Acid (PLLA)
Poly-L-lactic Acid is a biodegradable synthetic substance that is safe for use in the body. It is used to make a range of medical devices including dissolvable stitches. It is classified as a collagen stimulator because the main role of the substance is to help your skin rebuild collagen on its own.
The filler itself dissolves after a few days, but the results generated by the increased collagen production can last over two years. The treatment is usually carried out in several sessions because a single treatment may be insufficient to stimulate enough collagen to achieve the desired result.
It is generally used for lips and deeper wrinkles laughter lines and nasolabial folds.
The most common brand of PLLA filler is Sculptra® and its ability to stimulate collagen production makes it unique. Also un other fillers, results take longer to show.
The course of treatment is usually once a month for three months and, after the full treatment period, it can take up to six weeks for the full effects to be visible.
It is, however, considered a semi-permanent solution, so un other forms of fillers that will definitely need topping up on a relatively regular basis, those receiving PLLA fillers can expect longer-term results.
Polymethylmethacrylate fillers are a semi-permanent solution used to treat medium-to-deep lines, wrinkles, and furrows. The most commonly used PMMA brand is Bellafill® and is used to treat nasolabial folds, pitted scars from acne, and lips.
It is used for patients who are seeking a more permanent solution to their skin complaints, but it does take a fair number of injections to achieve the desired results.
Your practitioner will ly use a method called threading in the dermal subcutaneous junction which should prevent any visible signs of the injections.
However, the most significant drawback of PMMA over other filler products is the risk of the filler itself being visible under the skin.
To avoid this, your practitioner will most ly use less product on your first treatment, which means you will not see the full results you are expecting immediately, but more product can be added at a later date. It is a good option for those who are looking for a permanent solution to signs of aging, but the process is somewhat more lengthy than other more temporary dermal fillers.
An injection procedure is generally carried out after a consultation with a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon. During the consultation, the practitioner will not only discuss your skin concerns, but they will also look at how your face moves and your natural facial expressions to assess which treatment options are right for you.
During the procedure, the practitioner may apply a topical anesthetic (numbing cream) to the areas that will be injected. Some practitioners may also inject a local anesthetic. If you are concerned about pain during the procedure, discuss this option with your provider during your consultation.
They will then inject the filler below the skin with a needle or a catheter depending on the area and results desired. The procedure is quick and downtime is minimal. Some patients experience some bruising or swelling straight after the procedure, but it typically subsides after a couple of days.
Results are generally seen immediately, but full results can be seen a few days after the procedure. The length of time that results will stay visible depends on a few factors including where the filler is injected, which product is used, and your own metabolism.
Recovery from dermal filler injections generally takes up to a week with swelling and potential bruising being the two most common side effects. Your practitioner will explain any potential side effects specific to the injection site, but in general, dermal fillers are safe and effective.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there are some more severe, but rare, side effects including allergic reactions and infection at the injection site which should be considered.
There is also the potential for fillers to leave an asymmetrical result, but if they are injected by an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist, these risks are minimal. On the whole, fillers are a popular and effective way to preserve a youthful appearance.
8 Things You Should Know Before Getting Injectables
“Getting work done” is no longer the secret it once was. But if you’re considering going under the knife or needle, you deserve to be informed. In our series, Life in Plastic, we’re breaking down everything you need to know, from injectables to invasive treatments. Choose to change your looks or don’t—the point is, the choice is yours.
Getting poked in the face with needles didn't use to be something considered part of one's regular beauty routine, but in recent years that's been changing.
Whatever your personal opinion is on injectables Botox or Xeomin and dermal fillers, these minimally invasive cosmetic procedures are increasingly discussed on public platforms. A 2019 global report released by Allergan projects that the worldwide medical aesthetic market will be worth $26.
53 billion by 2024 and notes that the demand for facial injectables has been rising in particular. Granted, this is coming from the company that manufactures Botox and Juvederm, but those findings aren't surprising if you've been paying attention to Instagram beauty trends.
(That same study notes that 82 percent of U.S. consumers ages 21 to 35 are using Instagram as their biggest information source for aesthetic treatment.)
Among beauty editors, these treatments are discussed enough that they aren't really shrouded in mystery.
But outside of offices where you might spend your day paging through a new report on filler, there's a lot of confusion over the different types of injectables and what you need to know before getting each one.
To clear that up, we spoke to expert dermatologists who regularly administer them firsthand. So if you're one of many considering your first appointment, brush up on the below before you make that call.
There are three main types of injectables
The first category consists of neuromodulators, which are used to weaken and paralyze the muscles in the face. The most common one is Botox, but other options include Xeomin, Dysport, and Jeuveau. Dermatologist Timm Golueke, M.D.
, says this remains the most popular type of treatment in his clinic “because it's easy and you see the results.
” Most of his patients ask for it on their frown lines, although it's also commonly used to smooth wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes.
Then there are dermal fillers, which sit under the skin to provide volume and support in multiple areas of the face— lips, for instance.
The ones you'll see most commonly are hyaluronic acid (yes, the same ingredient often used in your favorite hydrating serums): Restylane, Refyne, Defyne, Juvederm, Vollure, Volbella, and Belotero. Others are non-H.A.
, which feature different consistencies and typically last longer (more on that below). These include Sculptra (poly-L lactic acid), Radiesse (calcium hydroxyapatite), Belafill, and silicone.
Finally, there's Kybella, a deoxycholic acid that dissolves small quantities of fat. It's currently approved for use beneath your chin.
Expect any procedure to be expensive
Whichever injectable you're considering, it won't come cheap. The best way to get an accurate estimate is to set up a consultation or call your doctor.
There's a huge range in price location, number of units used, and your chosen expert's fees (some may charge more for specialized techniques or targeted treatments). Also think about how large the area you're treating is.
We're basically talking in terms of pricey to even pricier—expect something from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Everything You Need-to-Know About Dermal Fillers
The Lowdown on Dermal Fillers
If you’ve been scouring the internet trying to decide on the best treatment for the signs of ageing, chances are you’ve stumbled across dermal fillers.
You’re probably aware of the basics; that these simple injections can be used to correct or enhance facial contours, plump up lips, soften the appearance of wrinkles and improve the tone, texture and hydration of the skin: but what you might not know are the facts surrounding the procedure.
So what are dermal fillers?
When a practitioner advertises dermal fillers, they’re talking about a substance that can be injected into the face to improve its appearance. At around the age of 25, the body stops producing collagen and elastin, the two proteins that work together to keep tissue firm and skin elastic, and the existing collagen in the body begins to break down.
Without these two proteins, the body begins to display the typical signs of ageing (things sunken cheeks, hollow eyes, deep lines and wrinkles) as the body no longer has a means of keeping tissue strong and skin supple.
Dermal fillers, the majority of which are made up of hyaluronic acid (a naturally occurring sugar chain molecule that attracts and binds water in the skin), can be used to work in harmony with the body’s remaining collagen and elastin, supporting these all-important proteins to give skin a more full and youthful appearance.
How long do dermal fillers last?
Dermal fillers can last anywhere between 6 to 18 months, depending on the type of hyaluronic acid used, as well as, how well it’s suited to the purpose and to the individual. There are over 160 different brands of hyaluronic acid available (you might recognise names such as Juvaderm®, Restylane® and Belotero®) and your practitioner should be able to advise you on what’s right for you.
Are dermal fillers safe?
According to Dr Arthur Perry, author of Straight Talk about Cosmetic Surgery, one of the reasons fillers are so popular is because of their safety.
Allergic reactions are nearly unheard of and infections are also extremely rare, as long as your injections are carried out by a healthcare professional with specialist training.
Side-effects of dermal fillers…
Dermal fillers do come with some side effects which tend to occur immediately after injection, but these are usually temporary and disappear within a few days. According to the FDA, normal side effects include redness, swelling, bruising, itching and tenderness, but on extremely rare occasions more serious side effects requiring early management can occur.
To minimise risk with dermal fillers, it is very important the practitioner has had specialist training, and is using safe products correctly. Should unwanted effects occur, that practitioner should be able to manage them safely.
If you’re interested in dermal fillers and would more information, be sure to download our factsheet which goes into further detail. If you decide to go ahead with a procedure, use our search engine to find a Save Face accredited practitioner so that you can be sure you’re in safe hands.
Alternatively, to read more of our blogs click here.
Dermal fillers: The good, the bad, and the dangerous
The four major structural components of our face are skin, fat, muscle, and bone. As we age, volume loss in these structures contributes to many of the visible signs of aging. Dermal fillers may help.
Over time, age-related bone loss in the face can lead to retraction of the jawline, descent of the nose, and loss of high cheekbones.
The facial muscles also decrease in volume and elasticity, and deflation and movement of facial fat further accentuates the signs of aging.
Finally, the skin stretches and loses elasticity — compounded by the loss of scaffolding provided by fat, muscle, and bone, this leads to wrinkles, sagging skin, and other familiar signs of aging.
Dermal fillers, an injectable treatment performed in a doctor’s office, can help smooth lines and replenish lost volume, restoring a more youthful appearance.
What are dermal fillers?
Dermal fillers are soft, gel- substances that are injected under the skin. They can address a number of common concerns including smoothing of deep under-eye circles, lifting of cheekbones, volumization of the lips, smoothing of lip lines and nasolabilal folds (the creases that run from the side of the nose to the corners of the mouth), and rejuvenation of the hands.
Dermal fillers can be composed of a variety of substances, some naturally occurring and some synthetic. One of the most common compounds used in dermal fillers is hyaluronic acid (HA).
HA is a naturally occurring substance found in our skin, and it plays a major role in keeping skin hydrated and volumized.
HA fillers, depending on their specific chemical makeup, can last from six months to much longer before being gradually absorbed by the body.
One of the main benefits of HA fillers, aside from their natural appearance when injected, is that they can be dissolved by a special solution in case of an adverse event, or if the person diss the appearance. Also, most HA fillers are premixed with lidocaine, a numbing agent, to maximize comfort during treatment.
Other available dermal fillers include those made from calcium hydroxylapatite, poly-L-lactic acid, polymethyl methacrylate, and autologous fat (fat that is transplanted from another part of your body). Calcium hydroxylapatite is a mineral- compound naturally found in human bones.
It has been used in dentistry and reconstructive plastic surgery for years with a long track record of safety. Poly-L-lactic acid is a synthetic filler that helps to stimulate collagen production.
This filler is different from other fillers because its results are gradual; volumization occurs over several months as it stimulates the body to produce collagen. Polymethyl methacrylate is a semi-permanent filler.
While it is more durable compared to other more readily biodegradable fillers, it has potential complications such as forming lumps or being visible under the skin.
Each of these substances has its own pros and cons, as well as a unique density, longevity, and texture, which means a particular material may be more or less suited to a specific area of the face or desired result.
Choosing the right type of dermal filler requires the guidance of an experienced, board-certified dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon with a thorough understanding of facial anatomy, and familiarity with the variety of available fillers and their respective injection techniques.
A medical professional will thoroughly evaluate any specific areas of concern, understand what you hope to get the procedure, and review what to expect before, during, and after the treatment to ensure the best cosmetic outcome.
Avoid black market dermal fillers
Dermal filler procedures can be expensive, which has prompted some consumers to turn to the online black market to purchase do-it-yourself fillers. In the last month, there have been multiple reports in media outlets and in the medical literature of dangerous complications resulting from self-injection of fillers by non-health professionals.
One risk is that fillers purchased online can contain a variety of nonsterile substances, such as hair gel. When injected, these substances can cause allergic reactions, infections, and the death of skin cells.
Another risk is that improper injection technique can lead not only to swelling and lumpiness, but also more serious side effects such as death of skin cells, and embolism leading to blindness.
The FDA has issued an official warning urging consumers to “never buy dermal fillers on the internet. They may be fake, contaminated, or harmful.”
Dermal fillers are safe and effective in the right hands
So where does this leave the savvy consumer interested in noninvasive treatments to reduce the signs of aging? Finding the right physician to perform your dermal filler procedure is key. Don’t be afraid to ask about training and certification to ensure you’re receiving care from a board-certified, experienced dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon.
With the right preparation and communication between you and your physician, you can achieve natural, beautiful, and safe results.
Follow me on @KristinaLiuMD