Dermal Fillers

What are dermal fillers?

Dermal fillers are soft, gel-like 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 nasolabial folds (the creases that run from the side of the nose to the corners of the mouth), and rejuvenation of the hands.

What are dermal fillers used for?

  • To erase wrinkles
  • To augment lips
  • To enhance volume
  • To restore the youthful 3-dimensional contour of the face

What types of dermal fillers are there?

Dermal fillers can be composed of a variety of substances, some naturally occurring and some synthetic

  • Hyaluronic acid fillers

– Naturally occurring substance found in our body

  • Collagen injections

– Made of highly purified cow or human collagen

  • Calcium hydroxyapatite

-This filler uses calcium (in the form of microscopic particles) and adds it to a gel that is then injected

  • Poly-L-lactic acid

-This biodegradable acid helps stimulate the skin’s own collagen production, instead of “filling” wrinkles

  • Polymethyl methacrylate

–  It consists of tiny balls (called microspheres) and collagen that plump up skin

  • Autologous fat injections

– Fat that is transplanted from another part of your body such as the buttocks, and is injected into facial areas for filling.

Benefits of Hyaluronic acid fillers(HA)

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is the most common compound used in dermal fillers. HA is a naturally occurring substance found in our skin. Benefits of HA include:

  • HA 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
  • HA fillers can be dissolved by a special solution in case of an adverse event, or if the person dislikes the appearance
  • Most HA fillers are premixed with lidocaine, a numbing agent, to maximize comfort during treatment

What areas do dermal fillers treat?

  • The nasolabial folds (lines from the end of the nose to the end of the lips)
  • Perioral area (wrinkles around the lips)
  • Wrinkles of the cheeks
  • Marionette lines (lines from the corners of the mouth to the jawline, accentuating the downturn of the mouth)
  • Lip augmentation which provides definition to lips which have become thin and wrinkled
  • Volume replacement for “tear-trough deformity” (hollow under-eye circles), hollow cheeks, cheek-lift, brow-lift
  • Sculpting and strengthening the jawline by lessening the effect of jowls and sagging.

How long will the effects last?

  • It depends on how your body reacts and which hyaluronic acid is used, but most dermal fillers effects will last up to 10 to 12 months or even longer
  • Are dermal fillers safe

Dermal fillers have been proven safe if administered by trained medical professionals. Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are produced by human genes inserted into a bacterium for reproduction. Hyaluronic acid is a highly “conserved” protein, meaning that its genetic composition is almost exactly the same in 97% of animal species. This gives an extremely low incidence of allergic reactions, hence there is no need for pre-treatment skin testing. There is little risk of a foreign-body reaction with hyaluronic acid fillers and they are completely reversible with time.

What risks are associated with dermal fillers?

The following mild side effects tend to occur around the injection site and can be immediate, but usually clear within 7 to 14 days:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Bruising
  • Itching
  • Rash

There are rare and less reported but more severe side effects that occur if the filler is injected in the wrong area

Post-treatment care

  • Avoid strenuous exercise, hot baths or anything that would increase the blood flow to the treated areas
  • Avoid hats, helmets, sweatbands, or anything that will compress or cause friction to the treated areas
  • Wait at least 4 hours prior to applying makeup or lotion to the injection sites
  • Regular activities may be resumed the following day
  • Apply ice to the treated areas for about 20 minutes and three times a day
  • If headache is experienced paracetamol can be used
  • For welts, redness, or itching oral antihistamines can be used
  • Limit exposure to sunlight if there is swelling or redness after the injections
  • If sun exposure is unavoidable, use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater
  • Avoid other laser treatments to the area of fillers for at least 2 weeks following the injection