What are Dermal Fillers?
They are also called soft-tissue fillers or soft-tissue augmentation made of substances designed to be injected beneath the surface of the skin to add volume and fullness. As we age, our skin loses its youthful plumpness. Dermal fillers can help with a number aging issues by restoring fullness to cheeks, hollow areas under the eyes, and deep creases, plumping lips, erasing fine lines, rejuvenating hands as well as fill in or soften the look of recessed scars.
Substances used in dermal fillers to treat different signs of aging or other cosmetic issues include:
How does fillers work?
Fillers are popular for the fact that there is zero downtime so that patients can return to everyday activities immediately after getting them.
Almost all fillers offer immediate results except for Ply-L-lactic acid which may take two to three weeks to see results.
Procedure and Treatment
The procedure varies with the filler used, the part of the body to be treated, and your medical history.
Before the injection, an anesthetic or numbing cream will be applied, or a nerve block injected. This varies with the filler and area to be treated. While hands generally do not need anesthesia, lips often require a nerve block.
Most filler treatments take 15 to 30 minutes. You may feel a stinging or burning sensation as the filler is injected. Icing the area down for 15 to 20 minutes helps to reduce any redness and swelling from the injections. You should be able to apply makeup after that.
Same with Botox, most fillers offer temporary results and require repeat treatments to maintain the results. Depending on choice of fillers used, they can last from two to three months for bovine collagen, to 12 months for hyaluronic acid gel and calcium hydroxylapatite, and up to three years for Poly-L-lactic acid. Do check with your medical doctor how long the recommended filler should last in the area you want treated.
Most fillers do not cause downtime so you can return to your everyday activities immediately. But wait until the next day to exercise or do any strenuous activity. Stay out of the sun and refrain from touching the treated area for three days, unless you receive instructions to massage the area.
Risks and Side Effects
Filler treatments are considered safe but may cause some temporary symptoms such as redness, swelling, pain and itching that go away after three days. But if the symptoms persist or get worse, it is best to go back to the practitioner as prolonged symptoms may be signs of possible complications including infection, bruising, bleeding, allergic reactions like rashes and hives, flu-like symptoms, or lumps under the skin in the area. But serious side effects are more likely when the person injecting the filler does not have adequate medical training and experience.
How to avoid side effects?
Do see a medical practitioner who has the knowledge and experience required to inject fillers safely and effectively. The results you see depend largely on the experience of the person performing this procedure. Having a filler injected in a non-medical setting can be extremely dangerous.
Before getting a filler, it is essential that you provide your medical doctor with full details of your medical history as much as possible - especially in the area of allergies, bleeding disorder, cold sore breakouts, heart condition, previous cosmetic treatment (mention other injections and implants), and any skin irritations.
Tell your medical doctor about medications, or any supplements that you are taking or have taken before, even ones that do not require a prescription, especially Warfarin, aspirin, Ibuprofen, vitamin E, St. John’s wort, garlic and ginger supplements. Be sure to mention everything, as much as you can remember and even if it seems unimportant.