What are dermal fillers? The complete guide to filler cosmetic filler injections
This post was written by Dr Adil Sarwar on February 19, 2019
Dermal fillers are a cosmetic treatment which involves small injections. They are used to add volume to the soft tissue in the face – in areas such as the cheek, mouth, lips, around the eye and the jawline – combatting signs of ageing by filling in wrinkles and addressing dark circles, as well as thinning lips. They use a gel which usually includes hyaluronic acid.
How do dermal fillers work?
As time goes on, our bodies produce lower amounts of the proteins which give us a youthful look – namely elastin and collagen. Dermal fillers work to smooth the deep lines in the face which appear as wrinkles. This injectable treatment is able to add volume which has been lost in these areas since elastin and collagen production has dropped. In this way, dermal fillers are able to enhance the appearance of the face, adding ‘lift’.
Patients will typically attend an initial consultation with a dermatologist at the Skin Science Clinic, at which their suitability for the treatment can be confirmed. The dermal fillers procedure can involve a series of injections, depending on the requirements of the individual. In preparation for the injection, the targeted part of the face is numbed with a topical anaesthetic cream. The injection into the skin is administered to a mid or deep level.
Following a dermal fillers injection, patients can resume their everyday activities, including the application of makeup. It is recommended that patients refrain from rubbing or massaging the affected area of the face for a few days after the treatment.
Who is suitable for dermal fillers?
There is a level of debate on the age at which collagen and elastin production begins to decrease, but it is accepted that this is around 25. From then on, we can expect a steady decline of elastin and collagen. The production of these proteins stops altogether by the time we reach our late twenties. For this reason, dermal fillers may be considered as a cosmetic treatment by anyone in their late twenties or older.
Other possible good candidates for dermal fillers include non-smokers, those who are in good physical condition, and individuals who habitually take good care of their skin.
The benefits of dermal fillers
So exactly which are the benefits of dermal fillers that make them such a compelling cosmetic treatment? In this section, we take a look:
– Natural-looking result
One thing which most cosmetic treatment patients have in common is that they want natural looking results. Nobody wishes to be left with the tell-tale signs that they have had cosmetic work done. Dermal filler injections are able to offer this desirable, natural look, which retains the normal movements and expressions of the face. This is in contrast to procedures which can result in lasting changes to the recipient’s facial expression. That’s thanks in part to the more gradual process of dermal fillers, which plump out targeted areas of the face over time.
– Minimally invasive
Unlike plastic surgery, dermal facial fillers are a minimally invasive treatment. Not only does this mean that the procedure itself is less drastic than many surgical options carried out by plastic surgeons, but it also makes the treatment shorter than many more intensive options. Depending on the type, a dermal filler procedure will generally take under an hour, meaning that they need not disrupt the everyday activities of the patient. The recovery time is negligible, and that is compared to the rest time of between four to six weeks which is required by surgery.
– Faster than creams
Anti-ageing creams are favoured by some seeking to combat the natural effects of ageing, such as the decrease in elastin and collagen production. While results are possible from these type of cosmetic products, they can take months to appear. These type of creams can be seen as a long-term skincare option, whereas dermal fillers offer results which are almost instant in some cases. All that is required is to inject filler into the right areas.
Because dermal fillers are a minimally invasive treatment which typically use hyaluronic acid that the body produces naturally, the effects gradually wear away over time as the acid is reabsorbed. For many, this is seen as an advantage, as it does not require a commitment to permanent surgery. Dermal fillers can be topped up periodically, allowing us to retain a youthful appearance in the long run, without surgery. And it should be noted that the effects usually last up to 18 months, meaning that dermal fillers are not typically required at regular intervals.
If for any reason a patient is not happy with the result of their dermal fillers treatment, there is a simple solution, and that is to reverse the effects immediately. In these cases, an enzyme known as Vitrase is used. It can be injected soon after the procedure and is capable of reversing the effects in a very short time.
Dermal fillers and Botox: What’s the difference?
If you are unacquainted with the range of cosmetic facial treatment options, you might be unsure of the difference between dermal fillers and Botox. The truth is that these two treatments, while similar in some respects, are virtually a world apart in others.
Botox and dermal fillers are both minimally invasive skin treatments with the same general objective of addressing wrinkles, but among the key differences is that Botox can only be effective on facial lines which are the cause of muscle movement, rather than a loss of plumpness. That means that Botox can be effective in treating ‘crow’s feet’ around the eyes, as well as horizontal lines which are found on the forehead. That’s because these lines are caused by squinting or frowning. It will not be effective in addressing ‘static wrinkles’ which are facial contours that are the result of sagging lower down in the face including ‘smile lines’ (nasolabial folds).
It should also be noted that Botox works in an entirely different way to dermal fillers. Botox uses botulinum toxin and serves to block out nerve signals in the muscles when injected into target areas. This has the effect of ‘freezing’ the muscle, and consequently, the lack of movement in the targeted area may soften wrinkles, or reduce them significantly.
Dermal fillers FAQs
Is the dermal fillers procedure painful?
Carried out by a skilled dermatologist at the Skin Science Clinic, the injections required for dermal fillers should not hurt the patient. The injection itself contains a local anaesthetic, which numbs the injection site and can negate pain during and after the procedure.
Are dermal fillers safe?
Dermal fillers are recognised as a minimally invasive, safe procedure. Because the hyaluronic acid which is used in the treatment is naturally occurring in the body, there is no recognised risk of an allergic reaction. The type of filler which is used at the Skin Science Clinic – Premium Juvederm Vycross – is of the highest quality, and used by the world’s most respected skin clinics.
How long will it take to see results?
After the treatment, you can expect to see results immediately. Over a two to a four-week period following the procedure, results will gradually become even more apparent.
How long do thermal fillers last?
The amount of time which the results last will vary from person to person, but this is usually between nine and 18 months.
Are there any special steps for aftercare?
People can resume normal activities immediately after the dermal fillers treatment. Makeup can be applied in order to mask any kind of redness which has been experienced as a result of the injection. It is usually recommended that patients avoid very cold weather or extreme heat for a period of a fortnight after the treatment.
Put your faith in the experts
Want to know more about our leading dermal fillers treatment at Skin Science Clinic? Call our friendly team today on 020 7971 77 64 and we will be happy to help.
Founded by the leading cosmetic doctor, Dr Adil Sarwar (MBBS, BSc, MRCGP), Skin Science Clinic is a respected specialist in many skin cosmetic procedures such as; Botox, Lip Fillers, Cheek Fillers, Mesotherapy, Peels and many more cosmetic treatments; Now including FUE Hair Transplant.
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