As we age, our faces lose subcutaneous fat, which gives us volume and fullness. As that fat is lost, our facial muscles get closer to the skin's surface, making creases more noticeable (e.g. marionette lines). An injectable like a dermal filler can restore this volume and fullness to the face, lessening the appearance of wrinkles and decreased facial volume. Plus, it can also give you the facial symmetry and lips you've always wanted, too!
If you're wondering if dermal fillers are right for you, here are a few things you need to know.
How Dermal Fillers Work
A dermal filler is a gel-like substance that's injected into the skin to temporarily fill in facial creases, wrinkles, restore lost facial volume, fix facial symmetry, and augment lips. It's completely different from Botox, which is an injectable that paralyzes the muscle that causes the wrinkle. (Curious about Botox? See our post - Injectables: Is Botox Right For Me?)
Depending on the dermal filler product used, results can vary from 6 to 12 months, or even longer. (More on that in sec.) Therefore, it's best to start off conservative and increase later. In fact, most patients will likely need more than one injection to achieve the desired effect. Also keep in mind the health of your skin will affect the results. One more reason to take good care of your skin!
Uses for Dermal Filler
Dermal fillers are commonly used to soften wrinkles and facial creases like nasolabial folds (e.g. marionette lines), augment lips, and enhance sunken cheeks. They can also aid in improving the appearance of recessed scars and improve contour deformities.
Since it is an injection, there is a risk for potential side effects. Common side effects include pain at the injection site, bruising, redness, swelling, tenderness, itching, or rash. If infection or severe allergic reaction occurs, contact your doctor immediately.
Types of Dermal Filler
There are several types of dermal fillers. The most common types are the following FDA approved dermal fillers: calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse), hyaluronic acid (Juvederm, Restylane), polyalkylimide (Aquamid), polylactid acid (Sculptra), and polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres (Bellafill). While each type fills, they are also different. Key differences are the degrees of softness, chemical makeup, immediate results, and how long they last.
As a result, different dermal fillers are better suited for certain targeted concerns. For instance, a "softer fill" would be used for lips whereas a "harder fill" for cheeks. Your doctor will determine which dermal filler is best for your desired targeted area.
WHO CAN LEGALLY ADMINISTER DERMAL FILLERS
Look for a provider who has a background in cosmetic medicine and training, with experience in performing dermal fillers. These include certified and licensed physicians, physician assistants, registered nurses (RN), and nurse practitioners. Schedule a consultation to go over questions and expectations beforehand.
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