What are dermal fillers?
Dermal fillers help to diminish facial lines and restore volume and fullness in the face. As we age, our faces naturally lose subcutaneous fat. The facial muscles are then working closer to the skin surface, so smile lines and crow’s feet become more apparent. The facial skin also stretches a bit, adding to this loss of facial volume. Other factors that affect the facial skin include sun exposure, heredity and lifestyle.

What dermal fillers can do:
Plump thin lips
Enhance shallow contours
Soften facial creases and wrinkles
Improve the appearance of recessed scars
Reconstruct contour deformities in the face
Decrease or remove the shadow of the lower lids
Don’t confuse dermal fillers with other injectables like Botox or Dysport, which are wrinkle relaxers. Although, like fillers, these products are injectables, they work very differently—by temporarily paralyzing muscles that cause crow’s feet, forehead furrows, and the “eleven” lines between the eyebrows. They don’t fill, plump, or enhance an area. They can, however, be used along with fillers.

What dermal fillers can’t do:
Nonsurgical rejuvenation treatments, such as soft tissue fillers, cannot achieve the same results as surgical procedures like facelifts and brow lifts, but may help delay the time when consideration of a facelift becomes appropriate. It is important to remember that dermal fillers are temporary treatments for facial aging and that ongoing treatments will be needed for long-term results.

There are many dermal filler products on the market. Dermal fillers differ in chemical makeup, longevity and have varying degrees of softness. Softer fillers are used in the lips, for example, while sturdier fillers might be desired to enhance cheekbones. Your injector will determine with you the best type and volume of filler needed for your particular areas of concern.

Hyaluronic acid:
Restylane-L, Restylane Lyft, Restylane Silk, Restylane Kysse, Restylane Defyne Juvederm Ultra XC, Volbella XC
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring sugar found in the body that gives the skin moisture, volume, and elasticity. HA acts like a sponge to attract water into the skin. As a result, it plumps up the area in which it was injected. It also boost the skin’s own production of collagen so fewer touch-ups may be needed and less material necessary when they are. Most HA fillers are infused with the anesthetic lidocaine to minimize discomfort during and after treatment. If you don’t love your result, fear not, fillers that contain HA can be partially or completely removed with hyaluronidase, an enzyme that breaks down HA.

Recovery time varies for each patient and for each type of filler injected. You can resume most activities right away, but it is generally recommended that you avoid intense physical activity for the first 24-48 hours to minimize swelling and bruising. Your initial appearance after treatment with any dermal filler may include: an “overfilled” appearance to treated areas, swelling or bruising ranging from mild to severe, temporary numbness or redness, palpable lumps or hard areas at the injection sites, hypersensitivity reaction that can seem like an allergic reaction with hives and swelling. Most conditions can be alleviated with topical icing and massage and will improve within a matter of hours or just a few days. Some reactions may require more aggressive treatment with medications or injections.

The results of soft tissue augmentation using dermal fillers are apparent immediately after and will last from 6 to 18 months depending on the filler used and the patient injected. Depending on the material, some are thinner and more “flowy,” others thicker, so they can potentially last longer. Maintaining good overall health and maintaining healthy and strong skin with appropriate products and skin treatments will improve the results and longevity.

Severe complications from dermal fillers are uncommon. Potential risks vary depending on the specific filler used and the relative permanence of the filler substance. These may include: acne-like skin eruptions, asymmetry, bruising, bleeding from the injection site, swelling, damage to the skin that results in a wound and possible scarring, infection at the injection site, lumps, palpability of the filler under the surface of the skin, skin rash with itching, skin redness, under- or over-correction of wrinkles, blindness, a bluish discoloration (Tyndall effect) and skin necrosis (ulceration or loss of skin from disruption of blood flow).

Your injector will carefully explain:
Your course of treatment
The type of filler recommended in your case and why
Expected results
The longevity of the result

Cost is always a consideration in an elective procedure or treatment. The cost of dermal filler injections may vary based on the expertise and qualifications of the person performing the treatment, the type of product used, time and effort the treatment requires.