What are dermal fillers and what are they used for?
Dermal fillers are made up of Hyaluronic acid. This is a naturally occurring substance in our skin and produces volume. When we are born we have huge amounts of hyaluronic acid, hence the chubby cheeks! As we age we lose hyaluronic acid and stop producing as much of it from as young as mid twenties. Specific areas of the face and body lose their volume which naturally ages us and makes our skin look less youthful. Dermal fillers are used for correction of facial wrinkles and folds caused by loss of volume. They are also used to increase volume in areas such as lips and cheeks as well as facial contouring. This provides a natural and rejuvenated look. They can be used on most parts of the face and other areas of the body such as hands and décolletage. You may have heard of a number of different brands of fillers such as Juvéderm®, Restylane®, Teosyal®, Belotero®, and these are all hyaluronic acid based fillers.
How do dermal fillers work?
Dermal fillers come in the form of a gel which is injected through a small needle. We sometimes use a cannula on certain areas as this enables us to treat larger or very intricate areas more safely and with minimal discomfort. The treatment sites are carefully selected to enhance and improve the areas of concern and volume loss which will be specific to you. Once injected each molecule of filler will absorb over 1000 times its weight in water, thus plumping the skin. As a result you will see most improvement on the day of treatment but then there will be continued improvement over the following 3-4 weeks. Slowly over time your body will gently break the filler down and you can then re-treat the area. Alternatively if you have had fillers for a specific special occasion and don’t want to re-treat then over time the skin will slowly return to its pre treated look.
How are dermal fillers administered and what results can I expect?
Dermal fillers contain Lidocaine. This is a local anaesthetic agent which will numb the area as the injections are administered so that treatment is made comfortable. Treatment is well tolerated and usually only a mild discomfort is felt at the injection site. Topical anaesthetic cream can be applied to the area as well if you wish to numb the skin. This is commonly used when treating lips as this is a slightly more sensitive area. Your practitioner will provide you with any aftercare advice following your treatment. Treatment is usually carried out in a series of small injections either via a needle or cannula directly into the skin.
How many treatments will I need and how long will the effects last?
The average time between treatments is approx 6-18months depending on the type of filler you have had as well as individual anatomy and variations in how quickly your body breaks it down. When having filler for the first time it is often recommended that you initially build a base layer at the first treatment. It is quite normal to need a number of treatments at different times in order to achieve the result you want. This is far safer and ensures a natural look than trying to do too much in one visit. Once you have achieved your desired result then maintenance will be advised with periodic top ups as and when required. Your practitioner will discuss with you how much filler is likely to be needed for your individual case, and treatment can then be done in a number of stages if required.
For more information about dermal fillers please book a complimentary consultation and we can discuss your individual needs.