Dermal Fillers: Everything You Need to Know

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As we age, our faces naturally lose subcutaneous fat, making our facial features look thinner. The facial muscles are working closer to the skin surface, so smile lines and crow’s feet become more apparent. The facial skin also stretches a bit, adding to a loss of facial volume. If you’re unhappy with the way your face looks and want a way to improve your appearance without turning to cosmetic surgery, then you might be a candidate for dermal fillers. Dermal fillers will soften facial creases and wrinkles to help you look years younger.

What are dermal fillers?

Dermal fillers are safe, gel-like injectable implants approved by the FDA to help smooth your skin. This helps to diminish facial lines, creases, and wrinkles to rejuvenate your skin and add volume and fullness to your face. Dermal fillers are not the same as Botox. It is a minimally invasive procedure, meaning it does not require surgery, and you can start to see the differences in your facial features right away.

There are four different types of dermal fillers, all named for the material they’re made with. Hyaluronic acid is produced naturally by your body and already found in your skin, meaning that over time, your body will naturally absorb the particles from the injection. Calcium hydroxylapatite is a mineral found in your bones, and the substance is typically thicker and lasts longer than hyaluronic acid. Poly-L-lactic acid is a synthetic, biodegradable substance with the main function of smoothing fine lines by helping your skin rebuild collagen. Finally, polymethylmethacrylate beads will remain beneath your skin indefinitely to provide support. This substance is typically used around the mouth. Each type of dermal filler is ideal for different treatments, so be sure to consult with a professional to decide what type is best for you.

What do dermal fillers do?

Dermal fillers help your skin retain moisture, so they will make your face look more plump and hydrated. Fillers can be used to enhance or plump your lips, fill your cheeks, straighten your jawline, soften grooves underneath your eyes, improve the appearance of recessed scars, along with many other cosmetic alterations to reduce the visible effects of aging.

What DON’T dermal fillers do?

Dermal fillers do not fill in your wrinkles, but rather add volume to the desired area of your face in order to reduce the appearance of wrinkles in your skin. As this is a non-surgical procedure, you cannot achieve the same results you might get with a traditional facelift. Fillers are a temporary treatment for facial aging, so the results will not be as dramatic, and they will not be permanent, as the substance will be naturally absorbed by your body over time.

How long will they last?

FDA-approved dermal fillers can last anywhere between six to twelve months before fading and requiring another injection. Your body will naturally break down the substance of the filler at that time, so if you want to maintain the look, you’ll need to get a touch-up once or twice a year. The lifespan and overall effectiveness of your dermal filler treatment depend on your physiological makeup, which is why we recommend consulting your doctor before beginning your treatment.

What will treatment be like?

When done by an expert, your filler should look completely natural, so no one will notice you’ve had any treatment! One of the best parts about dermal fillers is the minimal pain and recovery time. Typically, most FDA-approved dermal fillers are infused with lidocaine to help minimize discomfort during and after treatment. Injecting cosmetic dermal fillers only takes a short amount of time to complete, and most patients are able to return to their normal activities immediately after treatment. Since the effects are not permanent, they are relatively simple to change if necessary. If you aren’t happy with how you look, an enzyme can be injected to completely dissolve the product.

If dermal fillers sound like the treatment for you, consult with your doctor to make sure you’re getting the right option for you.

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