Dermal Fillers / Injectables
What are dermal fillers or injectables?
Injectable filler (injectable cosmetic filler, injectable facial filler) is a soft tissue filler injected into the skin to help fill in facial wrinkles, restoring a smoother appearance. Fillers require minor maintenance as they are temporary and eventually absorbed by the body. The purpose of dermal fillers is to help 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. During the aging process, the facial skin also stretches, adding to this loss of facial volume. Other factors that affect the facial skin include sun exposure, heredity, and lifestyle. Dermal fillers can be very helpful in those with early signs of aging, or as a value-added part of facial rejuvenation surgery.
Injectable wrinkle fillers give you a more youthful look for a fraction of what a traditional face lift costs. Most will fill lines and wrinkles in less than 30 minutes with results that can last from 4 months to more than a year. 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 CAN BE USED TO
- Plump thin lips / lip enhancement
- Enhance shallow contours
- Soften facial creases and wrinkles
- Improve the appearance of recessed scars
TYPES OF DERMAL FILLERS
There are several different types of dermal fillers. Dermal fillers differ in chemical make-up, 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. Dr. Paul will determine with you the best type and volume of filler needed for your particular areas of concern.
At Austin Oculofacial Plastics we use Juvederm and Restylane which are both FDA approved for the correction of moderate to severe facial folds and wrinkles, such as nasolabial folds, and for subcutaneous to supraperiosteal implantation for cheek augmentation, lip enhancement, and correction of age-related midface contour deficiencies.
The dermal fillers we offer are very predictable, and have relatively minimal risks and side effects. Individualized treatments are available at any of Dr. Paul’s locations by appointment at 512-642-5050.
Am I a good candidate for dermal fillers or injectables?
You may be a good candidate for dermal fillers if you:
- Are physically healthy
- Have a positive outlook and realistic goals in mind for the improvement of your appearance
What dermal fillers won’t do
For some patients, surgery such as a face lift, brow lift, or eye lift may be the best approach. Non-surgical rejuvenation treatments, such as soft tissue fillers, cannot achieve the same results, but may help delay the time when consideration of a face lift becomes appropriate.
What are the side effects?
Side effects are rare but can include redness, swelling, and bruising at the injection site. The filler may also show up under the skin as tiny bumps. This is a problem that often improves over time.
How long the results last varies from several months to over a year or two. Some research shows that repeated injections may help stimulate the body’s own natural production of collagen. That will help reduce the number of lines and wrinkles. There is also some evidence that less filler is needed over time to achieve the same look.
Before any filler injection, avoid alcohol use and stop taking any blood-thinning medicine. This includes aspirin, any other type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), or vitamin E.
Fillers can be permanent non autologous (Sculptra) or autologous (fat) or temporary (Restylane, Voluma, Juvederm). Restylane is the number one selling hyaluronic acid (HA) dermal filler and the most-studied cosmetic filler in the world. Restylane, Juvederm, Belotero are FDA approved. With these injections, you can achieve natural-looking results in just one visit that deliver long-lasting results of 6 to 18 months. The differences between fillers have to do with thickness cross linkage and longevity. In general, the thicker the filler, the better it will fill creases, but the greater the chance of possible bumps. Bumps are more likely in thinner skin such as the lower eyelids, and crow’s feet. Fillers can also be used to improve or enhance facial structures.
Dr. Paul’s preference is hyaluronic acid fillers, as they are relatively safe, with immediate results and almost no downtime. These fillers are not of animal or human origin, therefore a skin test is not needed and you can have the HA treatments performed immediately. When treating wrinkles or folds, the filler is injected under the skin in tiny amounts with a very thin needle or cannula. These injections give natural volume under the wrinkle, which is lifted up and smoothed out. A typical treatment takes about 15 minutes and the results can be seen immediately. Dissolvable fillers are used for enhancing cheek bones to make them fuller and more defined, to fill in the nasolabial fold, to enhance brow and volumize hollow upper lids and fill in hollows under the eyes (tear trough) that contribute to dark circles.
These fillers are biodegradable which means that they will gradually be absorbed. As the gel breaks down, water takes its place, and when totally absorbed, the HA gel disappears unnoticed from the body. How long a HA treatment holds its effect is very individual. This depends on many factors, such as your age, skin type, lifestyle, and muscle activity, as well as on product injected.
It is important to understand the difference between Botox, a muscle relaxer, and Juvederm, Restylane, Collagen, etc. which are fillers. The easiest way to visualize the difference is to think of a crease as a valley between two mountains. Botox prevents the mountains from being pushed together, and fillers fill in the valley.
As we get older, our creases also age. They become deeper and deeper, even when we are not frowning, squinting, or using facial muscles. If creases are only apparent when we squint, only Botox is needed. If creases are visible at rest, and not made worse by squinting, then fillers are necessary. If creases are present at rest, and get worse with facial expressions, then Botox AND Fillers will be necessary.