What are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers are gel-like substances that are injected beneath the skin. They restore lost volume, smooth lines and soften creases, or enhance facial contours. More than 1 million men and women annually try this popular facial rejuvenation treatment. Which can be a cost-effective way to look younger without surgery.

What are Fillers Made With?

There is a variety of FDA approved filler products that cosmetic surgeons use. Fillers are categorized by the substance they consist of.

A note for your safety:

Always make sure that you are receiving FDA approved brand name fillers. Which are only available through a physician such as a board-certified cosmetic surgeon.

Hyaluronic Acid (HA)

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance 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 contain lidocaine to help minimize discomfort during and after treatment.

HA fillers include.

Juvéderm products; Juvéderm XC, VOLBELLA, VOLLURE.
Restylane products; Restylane, Restylane Silk, Restylane Lyft, Restylane Refyne, and Restylane Defyne,
Belotero Balance.

Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA)

Calcium hydroxylapatite is also a naturally occurring substance. Primarily in our bones. When in a filler, the calcium particles are nearly 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 lasts longer as well. About 12 months for most patients. Calcium hydroxylapatite also helps stimulate natural collagen production. CaHA fillers include -Radiesse- Radiesse L- Radiesse®.

Poly-L-lactic Acid

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”.  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. It also treats deeper facial wrinkles. And results can last more than 2 years. Poly-L-lactic acid fillers include Sculptra® Aesthetic.

Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)

Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is a synthetic, biocompatible substance. That has been used in medicine. In dermal fillers, PMMA takes the form of a “microsphere” or tiny ball, that remains beneath the skin indefinitely to provide continued support. PMMA fillers will also contain collagen, a naturally occurring substance in the skin that provides structure and firmness. PMMA fillers include Bellafill®.

Autologous fat injections (facial fat grafting)

Autologous fat injections are the only injectable filler treatment that requires surgery. But results can last for many years. Your own fat is harvested from another area typically using liposuction. The fat is then purified and injected into the face. This helps restore volume to the cheeks, temples, lower eyelids, or other areas. Fat injections require specialized training to perform safely and achieve great results.

What dermal fillers can do

Plump thin lips.
Enhance shallow contours.
Soften facial creases and wrinkles.
Improve the appearance of recessed scars.
Reconstruct contour deformities in the face.
Decrease or remove the shadow of the lower lids.
Dermal fillers can be very helpful in those with early signs of aging.

What dermal fillers can’t do

For some patient surgery such as a facelift, brow lift or eye lift may be the best approach. Minimally invasive rejuvenation treatments. Such as soft tissue fillers cannot achieve the same results. But may help delay the time when consideration of a facelift becomes appropriate. It is important to remember that dermal fillers are temporary treatments for facial aging.

Uses for Dermal Fillers

Beyond filling in wrinkles and lines in the face. There are some pretty interesting uses for dermal fillers. One of these is treating scars. Soft-tissue fillers injections commercially known as Juvederm, Radiesse, Restylane, and Sculptra work to temporarily improve the appearance of scars. There is a lot of buzzes around using fillers to improve acne and other scars.

Fillers can also enhance the skin of knees, feet, hands, and even butts. These may be more unusual requests, but chances are you may get one.

How Long Do the Results Last?

How long the effects of dermal fillers will last depends on the product, the area of treatment, and the patient. The denser the product is and the more deeply it is injected, the longer it will last. Although this is not a hard and fast rule. To maintain your results, your cosmetic surgeon will simply repeat treatment. While adjusting the amount and techniques to ensure optimal results.

Hyaluronic acid fillers tend to be the most temporary option, and therefore are often recommended for first-time filler patients. These will typically last from 6 to 18 months. Injections to the lips will wear out a little faster than those to the nasolabial folds. Certain HA fillers, such as VOLUMA, are formulated to last longer but are usually limited to certain areas, such as the cheeks.

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