Dermal Fillers

What are dermal fillers?

Dermal fillers are injectable substances designed to 

  • erase wrinkles;
  • augment lips;
  • to enhance volumn; and
  • to restore the youthful 3-dimensional contour of the face.

What types of dermal fillers are there?

Dermal fillers consist of hyaluronic acids ,calcium hydroxy-appatite fillers , human fat, bovine or porcine collagen and synthetic substances. 

Hyaluronic acid fillers: The hyaluronic acid fillers are sterile, clear, dermal iller gels made of chemically modified hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in the fluids surrounding cells and tissues. Hyaluronic acid is found in the human body in the skin, cartilage, joints and the eye. In skin tissue, hyaluronic acid fills the space between collagen and elastin fibers. The role of hyaluronic acid in skin is to deliver nutrients, hydrate the skin by holding in water and to act as a cushioning agent. Hyaluronic acid is hygroscopic which means that it draws water very strongly to it, yielding a larger volume effect than the material would have by itself. Made from highly purified natural hyaluronic acid, the gel is gradually absorbed by your body through natural mechanisms.

Calcium hydroxy-appatite fillers are microspheres of smooth particles of calcium that, after injection, also form a scaffold that is slowly filled with human collagen.

Newer generation fillers containing porcine collagen and poly-L-lactic acid can be used for the same indications such as hyaluronic acid dermal fillers with the exception of lip augmentation where hyaluronic acid is the preferred filler.

What areas do the dermal fillers treat ?

The typical areas treated are

  • the nasolabial folds (lines from the end of the nose to the end of the lips);
  • perioral area (wrinkles around the lips);
  • wrinkles of the cheeks;
  • marionette lines (lines from the corners of the mouth to the jawline, accentuating the downturn of the mouth);
  • lip augmentation which provides definition to lips which have become thin and wrinkled;
  • volume replacement for “tear-trough deformity” (hollow under-eye circles), hollow cheeks, cheek-lift, brow-lift;  and
  • resculpting and strengthening the jaw line by lessening the effect of jowls and sagging.

Are dermal fillers safe?

Dermal fillers have been proven safe if administered by trained medical professionals. Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are produced by human genes inserted into a bacterium for reproduction. Hyaluronic acid is a highly “conserved” protein, meaning that its genetic composition is almost exactly the same in 97% of animal species. This gives is an extremely low incidence of allergic reactions, hence there is no need for pre-treatment skin testing. There is little risk of a foreign-body reaction with hyaluronic acid fillers and they are completely reversible with time.

FDA approval hyaluronic acid fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane and Perlane have been used in millions of patients for more than 10 years with a very low incidence of side effects and thus are considered very safe.

Newer generation fillers containing porcine collagen , calcium hydroxy-appatite and poly-L-lactic acid can be used for the same indications such as hyaluronic acid dermal fillers with the exception of lip augmentation where hyaluronic acid is the preferred filler. These newer generation fillers are very injector dependent and can cause lumpiness if improperly injected by inexperienced injectors.

What To expect after a dermal filler treatment?

There is mild redness and swelling after the procedure which rapidly subsides. Try to avoid aspirin containing products or high-dosage vitamin E supplements for 10 days prior to the procedure to avoid bruising which may occur especially after treatments of the lips and cheeks.

You may put makeup on immediately and resume whatever activities you have planned, as long as you appreciate that you may have bruising which may last for up to a ten days after the procedure. 

Can dermal fillers be combined with other treatments?

Dermal fillers are commonly performed at the same visit as Botulinum toxin . Botulinum toxin helps with the upper one-third of the face whereas injectable fillers generally help with the lower two-thirds. The combination is one of the most widely used and most effective methods of achieving a significant aesthetic improvement within 1-2 weeks time.

Can all skin types be safely treated with dermal fillers?

Yes, all skin types can be safely treated with dermal fillers