What are Dermal Fillers?
Dermal Filler, commonly referred to as ‘ filler’, is a non-animal biodegradable gel composed of hyaluronic acid (a naturally occurring substance in our skin), and is used to add volume to your face to correct the signs of aging.
Not to be confused with Botox, which is used to paralyze muscles in your face to avoid forming wrinkles and creases, filler is injected into the soft tissue of your face to add dimension to areas of your face that have begun to lose volume and sag.
What Fillers Do
As we reach our thirties we lose about 1% of collagen per year, making our skin thinner and less elastic. As an added bonus, the fat in our face atrophies while we lose bone mass from facial bones, making us seem gaunt and tired looking. Phew!!
Sounds traumatic when you break it down, but here’s where dermal filler comes to the rescue. Dermal fillers can treat:
· Lift Droopy Brows
· Narrow Forehead (to even out a bottom heavy face)
· Aging Hands
· Thin Lips
· Nasolabial Folds
· Lax Jawline
· Bumpy Nose
· Droopy Eyelids
· Under Eye Circles & Bags
· Sunken Cheeks
As I like to stress, preventative maintenance is important. You can put out a small fire with a garden hose and a cup of water, but let it grow and you’ll need the fire hydrant down the block to get it under control – catch my drift? In this case the ‘garden hose’ is a filler.
What to Expect When Getting Filler
Getting filler can be scary the first time, mainly because anything involving a needle can be intimidating, right? Here’s how it goes down.
First, the doctor or practitioner will ask you the areas you wish to address. She will explain to you realistic expectations of the outcome and the cost. If you agree, they will apply numbing cream to the areas being treated.
After the numbing cream takes affect, about 15 or 20 minutes, the filler is injected. The practitioner will use a partial syringe, or several depending on the area being treated.
After the fillers are injected, the practitioner will manipulate it with his/her fingers to sculpt it for the best effect and then you’re done. Wala! You’ve been filled!
It may pinch a little but it doesn’t hurt much at all. You may experience light bruising, but a good injector will do their best to avoid this by injecting around obvious veins to make sure that it is minimal. You also may have slight swelling but nothing noticeable.
Regardless if you swell or not, you can expect for the area to go down a bit, as some of the product gets absorbed into your body. How much differs for everyone.
If you want to avoid bruising talk to your practitioner about using a cannula. This technique uses a blunt cannula instead of a sharp needle. Yes, finally! That means little to no pain and no bruising. The injector can access multiple portions of your face with one tiny entry point. The best part is that all of this can be done at lunch and you can return to work without anyone noticing a difference.
Which Areas Can You Treat With Fillers ?
Practically anywhere! It can be put in the hollows under your eyes, the lack of projection in your cheekbones, you can even straighten out that bump on your nose – the possibilities are limitless!
What is the Cost of Fillers ?
There are many different brands of fillers and usually your doctor will have a favorite and will choose from those when recommending the one that best suits your needs.
The cost should range from $500-$800 per syringe. Some offices let you use a partial syringe then save the rest for next time. Not all offices do this though and will just find places to inject what’s left over but trust me, you do not want to be overfilled!
Also, keep in mind that the first time you get fillers you will need to use more than on a regular visit in order to build up a good base to add onto later.
Brands of Fillers
Juvederm is made by the same company that makes Botox™ Cosmetic, Allergan™ and is used to treat smile lines, corner lines, marionette lines, and those little vertical lines above your lip. There are several types offered:
· Juvederm Ultra XC – perfect for fine lines and lasts up to one year
· Juvederm Ultra Plus XC – better for deeper lines and lasts up to one year
· Juvederm Volbella- Great for natural looking lips
· Juvederm Voluma XC – first and only FDA-approved correcting age-related volume loss in the cheek area and is effective for up to two years.
Radiesse is for long term girls! It not only fills in your your smile lines and adds volume to your cheeks in the short term, but promotes the growth of your own natural collagen in the long term. It’s said to last 18 months.
Restylane and Restylane-L – This product is made by Q-med and is great for your laugh lines, marionette lines,lipstick lines and is the only FDA approved products for perfecting that gorgeous pout.
Angelina Jolie doesn’t have to be the only beauty with those lips ladies! The only difference between Restylane and Restylane-L is that Restylane-L has lidocaine in the filler that numbs as it’s injected.
Restylane-Refyne - Great for plump natural lips.
Restylane- Defyne- Great for nasolabial folds.
Versa is one of the newest additions to fillers. It is commonly used in the lips and nasolabial folds. Its ability to add volume without going to the Kylie Jenner level is amazing. This product is known to last up to 12mths and has nearly 50% less swelling than Juvederm. What's not to love about that?
Belotero is one of the most fillers being offered. It’s claim to fame is that it is more malleable to work with so can be used for anywhere including those little wrinkles close to your eyes, over your lips and between your brows.
Choosing a Dermal Filler
When deciding which filler to go with I would recommend discussing your goals with your practitioner. The doctor will have the best recommendation for you and will help you get more bang for your buck.
Dermal Filler Tips:
– There is nothing that fills the voids in your face like filler.
– Make sure that your office of choice saves your extra filler for use another time.
– LESS IS MORE. YOU CAN ALWAYS ADD MORE LATER!