Dermal filler treatment can smooth out facial folds and wrinkles, add volume to the lips, and contour facial features that have lost their volume and fullness due to aging, sun exposure, illness, etc. 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.
Uses of dermal fillers
Injectable wrinkle fillers, unlike Botox injections that relax the muscle under a wrinkle, fill the line, crease, or area with one of several different substances. As a result, trouble spots nearly disappear. Dermal fillers are meant to act as volumizers in the face by
- Filling out thin lips
- Soften facial creases and wrinkles
- Lifting cheeks, jawlines and temples
- Improving the appearance of recessed scars
- Reconstructing contour deformities in the face
- Decreasing or removing the shadow of the lower lids
- Dermal fillers can be very helpful in those with early signs of aging, or as a value-added part of facial rejuvenation surgery.
They are not meant to be used instead of a face lift or brow lift. It is important to remember that dermal fillers are temporary treatments (the effects may last from 4 months to a year) for facial aging and that ongoing treatments will be needed for long-term results.
Types of dermal fillers
Dermal fillers differ on the basis of their ingredients and that decides how they work and which the best areas they are suited for are. Your doctor can help you choose the right one for you. The fillers can be made up of naturally occurring substances or synthetic substances (Polylactic acid, Polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres (PMMA), Polyalkylimide
Hyaluronic acid fillers – The most popular category of dermal fillers is hyaluronic acid. Each type works in a slightly different way with varying results. Hyaluronic acid injections can be used to improve the skin’s contour and reduce depressions in the skin due to scars, injury or lines. Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in your body. High concentrations are found in soft connective tissues and in the fluid surrounding your eyes. It’s also in some cartilage and joint fluids, as well as skin tissue. It is extracted and reformulated and now has become one of the most popular kinds of injectable fillers. If the term sounds familiar, it’s because the same substance is often injected into the aching joints of people with arthritis to ease pain and provide extra cushioning.
A dermal fillers procedure begins with proper facial assessment. Planning involves marking of
Strategic points on your face may be marked as the appropriate injection sites for the filler. Photographs may be taken of the areas to be treated. The area to be treated is cleaned with antiseptic solution and anesthetized. Pain at the injection site may be ameliorated by use of a very cold instrument to chill the skin, anesthetic ointment to numb the skin or injection of local anesthesia.While not painless, the injections are usually easily tolerated. The actual injection takes a couple of minutes per site. After every injection the area is massaged and assessed if more volume is needed. Depending on the number of areas to be treated, the whole process may be as short as 15 minutes, or as long as an hour.
After completion of the process the area is cleaned of any markings. Ice compresses are advised for a day or two. Usually no pain medication is needed.
After treatment with dermal fillers one can do most of the activities but it is recommended to avoid intense physical activity. As is with any treatment recovery times vary from patient to patient as well as with the type of filler used.
After the treatment it is common to find some bruising an swelling. Also seen is an over corrected or over filled appearance in the treated areas. Some patient may complain of temporary numbness or redness. Similarly some patients can feel palpable lumps at the injection sites. These are temporary and are best managed with gentle massages over the lumps and some cold compresses. Rarely some patients may have a hypersensitivity reaction much like an allergy. It is best to discuss the post-operative recovery and treatment with the doctor.
It is important to discuss your objectives in getting the treatment done as well as the potential risks with your doctor. Most of the fillers used are safe and the complications rare.
However in some patients complications can arise. These could be because of the injection – like bruising, bleeding from the injection site, boils (acne), lumps, redness, under correction or over correction, skin damage or necrosis, blindness etc.
It is important to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.