Dermal fillers have become one of the most popular non-invasive cosmetic treatments. But they’ve also gotten a bad rap from doctors who go too far and create exaggerated features, like the unpopular “duck lips.” Learn how, in the right hands, dermal fillers can create subtle enhancements that revitalize your face and complement your facial features.
Dermal fillers provide volume, lift, or definition to various areas of the face, such as the cheeks, lips, under the eyes, the chin and jawline and nasolabial folds (the lines that go from your nose to the corners of your mouth). Fillers are injected into the skin, usually into the soft tissues of the face, although they are also used in the neck and hands. The injections smooth out and lift the skin so that wrinkles and folds are evened out and volume is restored to areas, like the cheeks, where the body’s natural fat pads have fallen. Dermal fillers can also help to reduce acne scars. The plumping action of fillers can bring greater definition to areas like the chin or jawline. Many men seek dermal fillers to create a more chiseled and masculine look for their face.
Dermal fillers have a variety of benefits that explain why they have become a preferred aesthetic procedure. Fillers are injected -- they don’t require any cutting, anesthesia, or other surgical procedures. They can be used in place of chin implants or surgical nose jobs. Fillers also provide rapid results -- a treatment typically only lasts 15-20 minutes and results will be apparent within a couple of days. There is little to no downtime. You may have a little bruising or swelling at the injection site, but this should dissipate in a couple of days. Some people like the fact that dermal fillers are not a permanent change -- if you don’t like the results, you can either get the procedure reversed (in the case of hyaluronic fillers) or wait until the body naturally absorbs the injected substance.
Dermal fillers are made from a diversity of substances, including hyaluronic acid (Restylane, Juvederm), collagen, calcium hydroxylapatite gel (Radiesse), poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra), polymethyl methacrylate beads and fat taken from your own body. Some people think that botox injections are also fillers. But botox is a neurotoxin that relaxes muscles used for repetitive movement, like those between the brows. Hyaluronic acid is by far the most widely used dermal filler. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the body that traps and stores moisture inside of your tissues. It functions to lubricate and cushion your joints and keep areas of your body, like your eyes, moisturized. Hyaluronic acid is a common ingredient in moisturizers and facial creams. Depending on the product used, results from hyaluronic acid treatments can last from 6-18 months. After that time, your body naturally absorbs the filler. You will want to talk with your provider about which type of filler best fits your desired outcome. Some fillers work well with the more delicate tissues around the eyes, while others function better to volumize lips or fill in acne scars. Your provider can also help you set good expectations as to how long a filler will last, as the durability can be anywhere from a few months to a few years.
You want the results of your filler treatment to be effective, but not obvious. The good news is that dermal filler products and techniques have improved over time. But you should still be careful when choosing a provider. Only use a licensed and trained provider -- a board-certified dermatologist or a facial plastic surgeon. You don’t want to risk getting lumps under your skin, having an injection hit a blood vessel, or get a treatment that results in asymmetrical facial features. Ask for before and after pictures of actual clients during your initial consultation. Ideally, you will want to use a provider that has significant experience with a broad range of dermal fillers, so you have a number of options to choose from. Make sure to have a thorough conversation about what will happen during the procedure, the expected downtime, and the anticipated results. With a quality provider, you can be assured of a safe treatment that creates attractive and natural-looking enhancements to your body.
Get in touch with Vanguard Dermatology in the greater New York City area. The board-certified dermatologists have the experience and knowledge to guide you through the process of choosing the best dermal filler and to provide the treatment so that you get results you want.