Dermal fillers are gel-like substances that are injected beneath the skin to restore lost volume, smooth lines and soften creases, or enhance facial contours. More than 1 million men and women annually have chosen this popular facial rejuvenation treatment, which can be a cost-effective way to look younger without surgery or downtime.
How Can Dermal Fillers Enhance My Appearance?
While dermal fillers are casually known as “wrinkle fillers,” they can do much more than just smooth out wrinkles, although they are excellent at this too! Here are a few of the common issues dermal fillers can help address:
- Smooth out lines around nose and mouth (a.k.a. marionette lines, smile lines, and parentheses)
- Enhance & restore volume to sunken eyes, cheeks or temples
- Diminish vertical lip lines
- Plump & enhance the lips
- Smooth out a chin crease
- Improve symmetry among facial features
What Are Fillers Made With?
There are a variety of FDA approved filler products that cosmetic surgeons use. In general, fillers are categorized by the substance they are made from.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance that is already found in your skin. It helps keep skin plump and hydrated. HA fillers are typically soft and gel-like. The results are temporary, lasting 6 to 12 months or longer before the body gradually and naturally absorbs the particles. Most HA fillers are infused with lidocaine to help minimize discomfort during and after treatment. FDA approved HA fillers include:
- Revanesse Versa
- Juvéderm products
- Restylane products
- Belotero Balance
Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA)
Calcium hydroxylapatite is also a naturally occurring substance, found primarily in our bones. When used in a filler, the calcium particles are nearly white microscopic and suspended in a smooth gel. The consistency of a CaHA filler is typically thicker than that of a hyaluronic acid filler and typically last longer as well, about 12 months for most patients. Calcium hydroxylapatite is also reported to help stimulate natural collagen production, and it is typically used for deeper lines and wrinkles. This white gel is an excellent choice to reduce the appearance of the dark circles under the eyes. FDA approved CaHA fillers include:
Poly-L-lactic acid is a biocompatible (meaning it is safe to use in the body), biodegradable synthetic substance. It has been used for many years in medical devices, such as dissolvable stitches. Poly-L-lactic acid products are technically classified as “collagen stimulators,” as their main mechanism to smooth fine lines is by helping your skin rebuild natural collagen—the filler gel itself dissipates a few days after treatment. Poly-L-lactic acid is typically used to restore volume throughout the face , and results can last more than 2 years. FDA approved Poly-L-lactic acid fillers include:
Choosing a Provider for Filler Treatments
When selecting a plastic surgeon for injectable treatments, give your decision the same level of care and scrutiny that you would for a surgical procedure. Non-surgical filler treatment is still a medical procedure that requires specific training, knowledge and skill to ensure safe treatment and natural-looking results. Choose a plastic surgeon with an extensive knowledge of facial anatomy, a well-developed aesthetic eye, and a surgeon’s skill and precision.
Whomever you choose, make sure your provider has a proven background in cosmetic plastic surgery as well as training and substantial experience performing filler injections.
Which Filler Do I Need?
With so many dermal filler products on the market, it can be difficult to know which option is best for you without an experienced cosmetic surgeon’s guidance. Each product is uniquely formulated to have a certain texture, density, and injection depth, which means that certain fillers work better for certain areas of concern. While your provider will determine what product is best for you, the following diagram illustrates in general where cosmetic surgeons tend to apply certain products.
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