As we age, our skin begins to lose its fullness, and sagging, wrinkling and hollowing occur. These changes and other effects of aging can be improved through the use of injectable fillers. These treatments, often made from collagen, hyaluronic acid gel and other natural substances, are injected directly into the skin to restore fullness and smooth out wrinkles and other fine lines. The injected substance supports the skin and restores the volume lost over time. Many of the specific treatments have been approved by the FDA and are considered safe procedures with little to no side effects.
Types of fillers commonly used:
Hyaluronic Acid (Restylane®, Juvederm®, Perlane®)
A naturally occurring protein found in human skin, hyaluronic acid has now replaced collagen as the current state of the art in soft tissue fillers. There is no risk of allergic reaction, and hyaluronic acid products typically last much longer than collagen before they are harmlessly reabsorbed by the body. However, it gives long-lasting results because as some of the hyaluronic acid is absorbed, the remaining amount retains its volume by binding water. This allows hyaluronic acid to give long-lasting results that remain nearly constant for the entire period.
Radiesse® This dermal filler is made of a synthetic substance of calcium hydroxylapatite, but there have been no allergic reactions associated with it. Most patients can return to normal activities the next day. One of the advantages of Radiesse® is that it can last up to three years.
Dermal fillers are commonly used for:
• Facial folds and wrinkles: Dermal fillers are an excellent complement to BOTOX® Cosmetic injections because they correct a different type of wrinkle.
• Restoring facial volume: As we age, our face naturally loses volume and what fat we have is often displaced by gravity. This gives the face a wan, tired appearance. Dermal fillers can be used to fill in areas that have lost volume, restoring a youthful fullness to your face.
• Lip augmentation: The lips also tend to lose volume as we age, which is especially important to women. Thin lips can create an older, sterner appearance. Dermal fillers are great treatment for restoring volume to lips.
• Facial reshaping: Some people do not have the facial shape they desire, and in many cases this can be at least partly corrected with dermal fillers, which can give the appearance of higher cheekbones or a stronger chin.
The only common side effect of injectable fillers is swelling at the injection sites which can last 1-3 days, and is not something that everyone experiences. You may be aware of the filler at first, but this will pass quickly. As soon as the swelling goes down, the results of your treatment will be apparent. Your wrinkles, folds, and hollows will be significantly reduced. They may even be erased. Your results should last for about six months or more depending on the type of filler used and its placement up- to two years.