We are all familiar with the dreaded signs of ageing. As we get older, our facial muscles lose elasticity and volume, leading to thinning cheekbones and the appearance of lines and wrinkles. The loosening of our facial ligaments as we age can also lead to the lowering of eyebrows and the retraction of the jawline. However, there is a solution. Dermal fillers, also known as face fillers, can add volume to the face, fill in wrinkles, lift cheekbones and eyebrows, smooth under-eye circles, and volumize lips. But what exactly does this cosmetic procedure involve, and how do you know if it is right for you? Read on to find out.
What Are Dermal Fillers?
Dermal fillers are small injections of gel into the soft tissue of your face. Typically, they are applied to the skin around the mouth, cheeks, jawline, and under eyes, where wrinkles and sagging are most prominent. You can also request lip fillers, which are injected directly into the lip tissue to increase the volume of your lips.
The treatment normally takes between 20 to 30 minutes to administer, and — depending on the type of filler that is used — you can usually see the revitalising effects of the treatment upon leaving the clinic.
As with any form of injection, the treatment can be slightly uncomfortable, but an anaesthetic cream is used to numb the skin to reduce discomfort. This cream is left to sit on your face for approximately ten minutes before injection. Additionally, ice packs are applied to the skin a couple of minutes prior to injection, which serves both to reduce discomfort and lessen bruising.
After your appointment, you should avoid wearing make-up, participating in intense physical activity, or exposing yourself to lots of direct sunlight for 24 to 48 hours. You should avoid the treatment entirely if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or suffering from an active infection that is near the area that you would like to be treated.
The Difference Between Botox and Dermal Fillers
You have probably heard of Botox, and you might be wondering what the difference is between the two procedures. Although both treatments aim to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, they work very differently, so it is important that you do not confuse the two.
Botox minimises the appearance of lines by ‘freezing’ the facial muscles; it stops the small muscles in your face from moving so they can’t cause wrinkles to appear. By contrast, dermal fillers inject substances into the skin which add volume to your facial features without ‘freezing’ your muscles.
In order to know how dermal fillers work, you need to know which type of face filler is being used:
What Are the Best Dermal Fillers?
In this post, we will discuss four different types of injectable filler: hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxyapatite, poly-L-lactic acid, and polymethylmethacrylate beads.
The most popular type of dermal filler is hyaluronic acid. Your body produces this substance naturally; it is found in your skin, joints and cartilage. It gives your skin moisture and elasticity. However, your body’s natural supply of hyaluronic acid gets depleted as you get older, which leads to the loss of volume in your skin and the emergence of wrinkles. Juvederm and Restylane are two popular brands of hyaluronic acid filler.
Dermal fillers which use hyaluronic acid inject this natural substance back into your skin to increase its volume and elasticity. When injected, hyaluronic acid attracts water to the skin, which hydrates and plumps it, adding shape to your face. As hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the body, there is no risk of an allergic reaction.
Another advantage is that if you decide that you are unsatisfied with the effects of the procedure, hyaluronic acid fillers can be removed easily. An enzyme treatment is injected into the same area of your face that the filler was applied to, which dissolves the product entirely. It is important to note, however, that hyaluronic acid fillers do not last forever. After approximately six months, your body will break down the substance, and you will have to repeat the procedure to maintain the effects. Annual or biannual touch-ups at your cosmetic clinic will be enough to preserve the look.
Alternatively, your dermal filler could be made with calcium hydroxyapatite. This is a mineral-like compound that is naturally found in our teeth and bones. When used in a dermal filler, the calcium particles are suspended in a gel-like solution, which is then injected into the skin.
The filler restores the facial shape, volumizing cheekbones and lifting eyebrows. Calcium hydroxyapatite is particularly effective at treating deep furrows around the mouth and jaw, such as nasolabial folds, chin lines and marionette lines. You will be able to see the effects of this filler upon leaving the clinic.
However, your body will absorb the substance and metabolise the calcium over time, so you will need to get the treatment again. Nevertheless, the effects will last longer than those induced by hyaluronic acid; calcium hydroxyapatite lasts for roughly one year to eighteen months.
Other dermal fillers are made with a biodegradable synthetic material called poly-L- lactic acid. Radiesse is an example of a popular brand of this type of filler. As this substance is manmade, the results last for much longer: roughly speaking, these fillers can last for up to two years.
Poly-L-lactic works differently from other dermal fillers, as it stimulates collagen production. Collagen is a protein that helps maintain elasticity in the skin; it is in your bones, muscles and blood. It also helps the skin to retain the moisture that it needs to stay soft and smooth. As we age, our bodies generally stop producing collagen, which leads to wrinkles and deflated dry skin.
Poly-L-lactic prompts the body to produce collagen again, leading to smoothed wrinkles and volumized skin. As a result, this dermal filler generally takes longer to work than other treatments, as it can take several months for the body to react to the poly-L-lactic and start producing collagen. The results will last longer when they do begin to appear, however.
Due to the length of time that it takes for poly-L-lactic acid to produce results, it is recommended that you wait a significant amount of time before you book a second treatment. This is to allow you to see the full effects of the first treatment, thereby avoiding the possibility of overcorrection. One of our specialists will advise you on the appropriate amount of time to wait before you book a second treatment.
Dermal fillers can also be made using polymethylmethacrylate beads, such as Sculptra. The results of this treatment are semi-permanent, as the beads cannot be absorbed by the body. This is because the beads are made of plastic, which is a synthetic, rather than a natural, substance. Although the effect of this treatment lasts longer than the others, there are potential side effects, such as the formation of lumps under the skin. To avoid unwanted complications, ensure that your clinician is well trained and experienced.
Common After Effects of Dermal Fillers
All types of dermal filler can cause redness, swelling, itchiness or tenderness in the face after application. These symptoms will disappear after a few days. To reduce swelling, apply ice packs to the areas which were injected with filler. This will constrict the blood vessels in your face, preventing inflammation.
If you are interested in having dermal fillers, it is important that you book a consultation with an experienced practitioner before the procedure.
At Aventus Clinic, a specialist will get an understanding of your needs before performing a comprehensive assessment to decide upon a suitable course of treatment for you.