The word 'fillers' can conjure up all sorts of preconceived ideas of faces looking not quite right or overdone. Volume loss in our faces is a fundamental component of facial ageing and this happens due a variety of reasons including fat redistribution, skin laxity and skeletal changes in our faces. Dermal fillers are not to be feared..they are a great way to enhance your beauty by replacing volume in a subtle and natural looking way... however choosing your injector wisely is essential as a good anatomical knowledge is needed alongside a thorough consultation so you are fully informed and educated in the process.
In this blog I'm going to address dermal fillers really try and breakdown the stigma and mis-information about them. I'm going to try and answer some of the most common questions I get asked in clinic during consultations.
WHAT ARE DERMAL FILLERS?
The most commonly used dermal fillers are biodegradable Hyaluronic acid fillers. These products contain hyaluronic acid which is a naturally occurring component in the skin. They attract and holds water to provide hydration, structure and volume to our skin. As we age the levels of hyaluronic acid in our skin declines. HA dermal fillers draw more water into the skin, so plump and more youthful, hydrated skin can be achieved.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BOTOX AND FILLERS?
✅ Dermal Filler is made with Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate and add volume. It works by plumping fine lines and wrinkles and adding fullness to areas that are thinned due to ageing. The most common indications of dermal fillers is the restoration /addition of volume or a lifting effect to areas of your face that has depleted volume. Injection of areas of less volume can not only improve directly but also create a positive effect to areas distant to the injection site. They can restore volume or enhance areas of the face like cheekbones and lips. HA fillers are not permanent and can be dissolved.
✅ Botulinum Toxin temporarily freezes the muscle. It works by temporarily weakening the underlying muscles and so smoothes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles caused by ageing and facial expressions. Popular areas include crow's feet and frown lines. It's not permanent – it usually lasts for around 3 or 4 months.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF FILLER? I'M SCARED I WON'T LOOK NATURAL!
As we age, we lose volume in key areas of the face. This contributes to folds, wrinkles, developing and an older appearance to the face. Fillers can be used to restore this volume loss, smooth out folds and wrinkles, and improve contours to achieve natural results without altering your facial expression. When fillers are used in the appropriate amount and placed in the right location, the result is a natural, age appropriate and holistic outcome. Fillers are not meant to create totally different features. In the hands of an experienced provider that has extensive knowledge of facial anatomy, the outcome simply enhances your own facial features.
HOW MUCH DERMAL FILLER DO I NEED? AND HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
Probably the most common questions asked! These questions can be answered after a detailed consultation. CONSULTATION IS KEY. Important factors will include... the type of filler needed? the indication of the filler, the depth of the injection, amount of correction needed. I always say to my patients that facial enhancement is a journey and treatment plans are always evolving according to needs and budget. In my opinion if your considering dermal filler treatment, most patients will benefit from replacing lost cheek volume. This not only enhances the mid face, but it also improves the appearances of the 'nose to mouth lines' and helps support structure around your eyes... and also helps to lift your lower face. This statement is obviously subject to individual facial assessment and consultation.
I will aim to give you an honest answer and it may be that we do your treatment in stages, say a month apart. Patients can sometimes get shocked when we say 6ml or 4mls or 2mls to reach your desired goal.. but it's important to remember that 1ml of filler is actually a 1/5 of a teaspoon. Having said that strategically placed fillers in small amounts can give maximum benefits. So generally your paying for the skill not the ml!
ARE THE RESULTS PERMANENT?
No, the result is temporary, and can last between 3-18months, depending on which product used, which facial area treated, and your body’s ability metabolise the injected material. Over time, you will notice the results of the treatment begin to fade, gradually returning your appearance to its pre-treatment state. Many patients undergo regular touch-up injections in order to maintain their rejuvenated appearance.
WHAT IF I DON'T LIKE THE RESULTS?
It would be unlikely as I only inject small amounts of product in at a time and I always let you share the journey. You are involved in the process throughout and your input is very important. Remember the dermal filler is not permanent and will gradually dissolve.
WHICH FILLER DO I NEED?
The choice of filler depends on the individual patient, your treatment goals, and personal facial anatomy...so it really depends. My products of choice are from Teoxane, Juvederm and Belotero ranges. Each range has its own portfolio of products used in different areas of the face with different thicknesses and properties. Consultation is essential as different fillers have varying thickness are suitable for different areas of the face.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS, SIDE EFFECTS AND DOWN TIME?
We understand the benefits of dermal filler now, but if I decide the risks outweighs the benefits the treatment should not be done.
Injection-related reactions: these reactions may include redness at the injection site immediately after the treatment.
Bruising: occasionally bruising can occur. However the use of micro-cannula (blunt needle) dramatically reduces the risk of bruising.
Contour irregularities can and do occasionally occur. Massaging can usually smooth out any ‘lumpiness’ however if persistent the filler can be easily and rapidly dissolved.
Infection – as with all injections, this procedure carries a risk of infection. The syringe is sterile and standard precautions associated with injectable materials are taken.
Necrosis – one of the worst possible complications of dermal filler. Fortunately, this is extremely rare. It happens when the dermal filler is accidentally injected into a blood vessel and it subsequently blocks the blood supply to the skin/tissue in that area. If that does happen, rest assured a reversal drug can be administered on site to dissolve the filler.
Well I hope this answers some of your concerns and questions:) As long as your informed and consented, dermal fillers are not to be feared.